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KRC Specialty Crop Workshop in Leavenworth
March 9, 2018 @ 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Registration is open for the Kansas Rural Center’s Specialty Crop Workshop in Leavenworth on Friday, March 9, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at The Barn at Schwinn Produce, 17624 Santa Fe Trail, Leavenworth. There is a $15 registration fee for each workshop, which will cover the cost of lunch and materials.
Please register by Monday, March 5, so we can get an accurate lunch count.
The workshop will provide information and education necessary for beginning specialty crop growers to establish a successful specialty crop enterprise in Kansas. Each workshop will focus on conservation, production and marketing practices for specialty crop growers, and will provide an excellent opportunity for beginning growers to connect with and learn from experienced growers.
The workshop will provide information on the state of specialty crops in Kansas, with David Coltrain answering the question, “What’s Special About Specialty Crops?” Coltrain will look at current production, historical production, and potential production of specialty crops in Kansas. Economic considerations and enterprise budgets for growing specialty crops will be covered.
Information on accessing the many resources that are available to help specialty crop growers be successful in their operations will be provided. Organizations that offer resources to specialty crop growers include: Kansas Department of Agriculture; K-State Research and Extension; USDA groups, including SARE, NRCS, RMA, FSA; and farm credit lenders. A representative from one of the groups will be on hand to talk about the resources and to answer questions. This session will also provide a number of websites with important information for growers.
Stu Shafer, Chair of Johnson County Community College’s (JCCC) Sustainable Agriculture Program, will discuss building bridges for sustainable agriculture education from a specialty crop base. The JCCC Sustainable Agriculture Department was recently awarded a grant from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, for work on this issue.
Shafer is also an experienced specialty crop grower and a founding farmer of Rolling Prairie Farmers Alliance, which is the longest running Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) operations in the Midwest. Shafer will talk about this experience in his presentation “Grower Cooperatives: Strength in Numbers”.
Jerry Wohletz, who is the owner and operator of Wohletz’s Farm Fresh u-pick strawberry farm, will talk about growing and selling fruits and vegetables in the Midwest. In addition to u-pick strawberries on the farm, the Wohletz’s sell their strawberries and other produce at farmers markets in Lawrence and Overland Park. They put a premium on growing produce in a healthy, sustainable manner, utilizing crop rotations, cover crops and other strategies.
Also speaking is Jacob Thomas, who will speak about managing a highly diversified small farm. Thomas is a third generation farmer from Leavenworth, who started growing vegetables because he became interested in helping to feed his community and as a way to increase profits on his family’s limited land. Thomas grows vegetables in five high tunnels on eight acres, and sells his produce at farmers markets and to local restaurants.
The workshop will include a farm tour of Schwinn Produce Farm. Joe Schwinn will talk about the operation, and his experience growing asparagus, strawberries, cut flowers, corn, tomatoes, melons, peppers and pumpkins.
For more detailed information on the workshop and to register, please visit – https://kansasruralcenter.org/krcs-2018-specialty-crop-workshops/.
The workshop is part of a five-workshop series that the Kansas Rural Center is hosting this March, as part of their “Linking Experienced and Beginning Kansas Specialty Crop Farmers to Share Information for Establishing Successful Specialty Crop Enterprises Project,” which is funded by the Kansas Department of Agriculture through the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant program.
To learn more about the workshops, please contact David Coltrain at 620-330-3951 or email@example.com, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions about the project as a whole, please contact Mary Fund at email@example.com or 866-579-5469.