Upcoming Events



“Learn on your own Turf” to begin January 2019!

 

picture of brown bag lunches and apples

Presented by the Alabama Cooperative Extension System- Etowah County Office..”We bring the learning to you!”

The Etowah County Extension Office would like to bring on site learning opportunities to local businesses and companies while employees eat lunch or are on breaks.   “Learn on your own Turf” is an informal way for you to receive up to date information on topics that concern you while also being able to ask questions of local Extension staff.  Topics include, but are not limited to:  gardening topics, estate planning basics, healthier lifestyles, nutrition, food safety, fly fishing, forestry, 4-H parent orientation, Beef 101, Swine 101, General animal nutrition, poultry 101, pond upkeep, grass and forages, and many more.  Workshops are free.  If interested in Extension programming coming to your workplace, please have your HR department representative to contact the Etowah Extension Office at 256.547.7936 to get on the calendar.

Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training

pictures of fruit and veggies

Overview

Growers will participate in the PSA Grower Training Course on October 23, 2018, 9:00 am – 5: 00 pm at the Etowah County Alabama Extension Office, 3200 A W. Meighan Blvd, Gadsden, AL 35904

Who Should Attend

Fruit and vegetable growers and others interested in learning about produce safety, the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule, Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs), and co-management of natural resources and food safety. Attending this course is one way to satisfy the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirement outlined in § 112.22(c) that requires ‘At least one supervisor or responsible party for your farm must have successfully completed food safety training at least equivalent to that received under standardized curriculum recognized as adequate by the Food and Drug Administration.’

What to Expect at the PSA Grower Course

Seven hours of instruction time to cover content contained in these seven modules:

  • Introduction to Produce Safety
  • Worker Health, Hygiene, and Training;
  • Soil Amendments
  • Wildlife, Domesticated Animals, and Land Use
  • Agricultural Water (Part I: Production Water; Part II: Postharvest Water)
  • Postharvest Handling and Sanitation
  • How to Develop a Farm Food Safety Plan

In addition to learning about produce safety best practices, key parts of the FSMA Produce Safety Rule requirements are outlined within each module. There will be time for questions and discussion, so participants should come prepared to share their experiences and produce safety questions.

This course is FREE and lunch will be provided.

Produce Safety Alliance Grower Training Registration

October 23, 2018, 9:00 am - 5: 00 pm

Farming Basics Online Course Available

logo detailing farming basics

More people than ever are interested in giving farming a try.  In the past, people turned to farming family members for help.  Today, most people are generations removed from farming.

To help budding farmers get started, Alabama Extension now offers a free online course, Farming Basics. Launched Sept. 10, the course addresses critical topics in agriculture.

 

Alabama Extension director Gary Lemme calls the course a groundbreaking digital effort.

 

“Anyone who is considering farming but has little to no experience will reap rewards by completing the course,” says Lemme.  He adds that Farming Basics is a valuable tool for experienced farm owners as well.

 

“Established producers can use the course as a refresher in best practices,” says Lemme.  “Additionally, they can use it to train new employees.”

 

Jewell and Russell Bean of S & B Farm in Barbour County agree the course is exactly what beginning farmers need.

 

“Farming Basics is filled with good information,” Russell Bean says. “We recommend it as a resource not only for beginning farmers but seasoned producers as well.”

 

Farming Basics’ five chapters feature video presentations and additional resources which enhance the course’s content depth. A short quiz at the end of each chapter offers participants the opportunity to review and reinforce content concepts. The course takes about two hours to complete. Upon completion, participants receive a certificate.

 

Dr. Ayanava Majumdar, Farming Basics project leader, says more than 200 people have already pre-registered for the course.

 

“Farming is challenging for experienced farmers, and it can be overwhelming to people new to it,” says Majumdar.  “Our goal with Farming Basics is to help new producers develop knowledge and critical skills, enabling them to reduce mistakes and achieve profitability more rapidly.”

The course covers farm management and marketing, pesticide safety, food safety, basic crop production and pest management. Find the course at https://aces.catalog.auburn.edu/.

 

Farming Basics follows the proven model of Beef Basics, Alabama Extension’s first online agriculture course.

 

Lemme says these courses serve as the foundation of the organization’s growing commitment to online learning.

 

“Because of programs like this, we are becoming a nationally recognized leader in digital learning.”

 

Currently, the Beginning Farmer program provides intense on-farm guidance to more than 60 beginning farmers, including military veterans, women and socially disabled individuals. The advisory service has an 85 percent adoption rate and has increased yields by improving crop quality and reducing insecticide use with pest prevention.

 

Alabama Extension operates as the primary outreach organization for the land-grant functions of Alabama A&M and Auburn Universities.

Contact your local Etowah County Extension Office at 256.547.7936 for more details.