Opportunities with Silvopasture
Michael Fields Agricultural Institute and the Iowa County Uplands Watershed are hosting a FREE virtual event, Wed. 1/27/21 from 12-1pm CST, focusing on silvopasture. Silvopasture is an agroforestry system that combines trees & forages with livestock management. Join us and register today!
Organic Apple Tree Management Workshop
Join Instructor Deirdre Birmingham of The Cider Farm on Saturday March 6, 2020, 9 am – Noon, $30 (includes supplies). This virtual workshop is focusing on organic apple tree management in the Upper Midwest. Topics will include tree planting & spacing, fertilizing, pest & disease management, pruning, and grafting. Participants will receive needed materials in the mail prior to the event IF register by Feb. 10th. REGISTER TODAY!
Wisconsin Women in Conservation
With a long-standing commitment to conservation and land stewardship, Wisconsin women landowners and farmers share a love for the land that binds them together. A new project “Wisconsin Women in Conservation”(WWIC), is launching this year! If you are a Wisconsin woman committed to conservation and curious to learn more from other women in the state, this project is for YOU!
Calling All Home Bakers! Brewers! Grain Users! We Need YOU
Michael Fields Agricultural Institute is offering an exciting learning opportunity for home makers to try making their food products with Kernza(R) and join a growing coalition of folks investing in environmentally friendly crops. Join our Kernza Makers Challenge today!
More Crops Get Coronavirus Assistance: CFAP2
Another $14 billion available for farms/ranches. Contact your USDA-Farm Service Agency office today. CFAP 1 helped support farmers whose crops suffered market losses due to the pandemic. CFAP 2 is an expanded version of the same program. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) began taking applications for CFAP2 on Monday, September 21. The program will end […]
The Election and the Electorate
The political divisions that were on full display on post-election state electoral maps lately painted Wisconsin’s rural counties red and metropolitan areas blue. But those living in rural Wisconsin know that there’s considerable diversity of opinion and political affiliation in their communities, as testified by Trump signs and Biden signs in neighboring yards that grew […]
Dung Beetles – Tiny Grazers with Big Soil Health Dreams
Join Iowa County’s Uplands Watershed Group in SW Wisconsin on Friday, December 11 for a lunch-hour virtual field day entitled, “Dung Beetles – Free Labor for Healthy Pastures and Clean Water,” featuring Uplands farmer Cherrie Nolden and others sharing experience about the important ways that dung beetles distribute nutrients, foster pasture and livestock health, and […]
“I’m Quitting My Job”
The statement strung together by the four words, “I’m quitting my job,” changed a man’s life trajectory from an east coast cardiologist to a rural Wisconsin farmer. A rainy November morning gives David Zimrin a break from his cows and time for a phone chat. I am excited to hear about his transition from medicine […]
Ecology alert: Feds remove protections for gray wolf by delisting from the Endangered Species list.
Gray wolf populations have rebounded considerably throughout the United States after being protected from trapping, hunting, and poisoning by being listed on the federal Endangered Species list for more than 45 years. Wolves were hunted nearly to extinction in Wisconsin and the rest of the U.S. throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, but populations are […]
Tuition-Free Sustainable Agriculture Program in Kentucky Encourages Applicants
HENRY COUNTY, KY – The Wendell Berry Farming Program of Sterling College is now accepting applications for Fall 2021. The tuition-free two-year residential education program based in Henry County, Kentucky is designed to serve students from generational farm families or those with a strong desire to farm. Students who are residents of Kentucky are particularly […]
Getting Ready for Virtual Field Days!
Our farmers are essential! They have stories, histories, and practices to share on how they grow food, graze animals, and keep the soil healthy. In light of the pandemic, we have become limited in hosting large public events and farm tours. Despite this limitation, we are finding solutions to share the wisdom of WI farmers. […]
Wisconsin Women Championing Conservation
Michael Fields is excited to announce a new project to help women farmers and landowners engage robustly in conservation management of their land. The Natural Resources Conservation Service recently awarded the Institute and our partners a 3-year contract to work with cohorts of women farmers and landowners in four regions of Wisconsin. Led by MFAI’s […]
No-Tilling Organic Soybeans with Spring-Interseeded Cereal Rye
More and more growers are experimenting with no-tilling organic soybeans. New research shows interseeding cereal rye in spring can improve weed suppression, but timing, row spacing and good stand establishment play a critical role. By Julia Gerlach October, 2020 IN THE FACE of marketplace pressures and mounting instances of herbicide-resistant weeds, a growing cadre of growers are […]
Stateline Farm Beginnings
Now accepting applications for 2021. Apply for Stateline Farm Beginnings to launch or improve your farm business. Stateline Farm Beginnings® is a yearlong course designed to help launch or expand your farm business. Divided into three main components: Farm Dreams Intensive, Skill Building Practicum, Farm Business Intensive, you’ll receive over 60 contact hours of class […]
Support MFAI with Amazon Smile
During the COVID pandemic many of us are doing our shopping online. If you use Amazon, please consider using Amazon Smile, where you can support Michael Fields with every purchase. Amazon will donate 0.5% of the price of your purchases, there are no fees or extra costs. MFAI relies on contributions from individuals like you. […]
Why MFAI Loves Small Grains – a Short Video
The website for southwest Wisconsin’s Uplands Watershed Group, for which MFAI serves as the fiscal agent and coordinator, recently featured a new video about small grains such as barley, oats, wheat, and rye. No surprise that MFAI would make it a priority for our talented staffer, Donale Richards, to film and produce it. For over […]
Warm Season Summer Cover Crops can Produce Good Forage During the Summer Slump
Summer cover crops can be an important tool in a grower’s toolkit for protecting soil during the warm summer months following an early summer harvested crop, or in fields where summer crops didn’t get planted in the spring. Summer cover crops, if managed properly, can increase infiltration of heavy summer rains, protect soil from runoff, […]
Improving the Environment, Igniting Rural Prosperity
Multi-state Coalition Aims to Advance Agriculture by Driving Research, Education and Adoption of KernzaⓇ, the first U.S. Perennial Grain Crop A multi-state coalition of researchers, farmers, educators, industry leaders, policy experts, and climate scientists was recently awarded a competitive 5-year, $10 million grant through USDA NIFA’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative’s (AFRI) Sustainable Agricultural Systems […]
Glacierland RC&D teams with county conservation departments to provide managed grazing technical assistance to farmers in Jefferson, Waukesha and Rock Counties
Glacierland RC&D is one of Wisconsin’s five RC&Ds. They are an independent, not-for-profit organizations that share a common goal: Encouraging economic development while protecting and conserving land, water, and related resources to assure the quality of the natural resource base for future generations. In partnership with the county conservation departments, Glacierland RC&D was selected to […]
Farm Aid Festival 2020, Sept 26, 8-11 pm
Farm Aid will mark its 35th anniversary with a virtual at-home festival experience. Farm Aid 2020 On the Road, will take place on Saturday, Sept. 26, from 8 – 11 pm EDT. Donations made during the event will further Farm Aid’s mission to build a more vibrant, resilient, family-farm-centered agriculture system.
Wanted: Curious Farmers
Michael Fields Agricultural Institute is working with partners through our Cover Crops Research and Outreach Project (CCROP) collaboration to help farmers around the state generate farmer-generated research data around cover crops in the state. Simple but reliable farm data can us help build a better knowledge base about the who, what, why, where, and when of cover […]
MFAI Suggests Diversification as Key Topic for USDA Research
When USDA sought public comments on what course their research direction should take for the next few decades, MFAI’s Research Director, Nicole Tautges, and Policy Director, Margaret Krome, had some suggestions. In late July, Tautges and Krome submitted comments to USDA, based on the Institute’s more than thirty five-year history of conducting research and working […]
Financial Support for Farmers during the COVID-19 Pandemic
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) recently announced that the Wisconsin Farm Support Program is open for applications! The program was created under Governor Tony Evers in May of 2020 and provides $50 million of direct payments to support Wisconsin farmers undergoing financial challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. The first round […]
MFAI Tells State: “Investing in Soil Health Can Help Farmers and Save State Money”
In late July, Michael Fields sent a letter to the Wisconsin Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change to express our years of experience and a range of actions that the Institute recommends the State take to both mitigate and help farmers adapt to the severe impacts of climate change on agriculture. Ranging from programs to […]
Grain Hemp and CBD Research at MFAI
MFAI is once again involved in hemp research this year – the third in a row. We are currently testing grain and CBD Hemp in a varietal trail. There are 44 varieties in the CBD Hemp trial inclusive of some CBG varieties. Of these 44 varieties, 22 were raised from seeds, 4 from seedling liners, […]