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KRC Specialty Crop Workshop in Scandia
March 3, 2018 @ 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
Linking Experienced and Beginning Specialty Crop Farmers to Share Information for Establishing Successful Specialty Crop Enterprises
Registration is open for the Kansas Rural Center’s Specialty Crop Workshops in Scandia on Saturday, March 3, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., at the Scandia Community Center, 406 4th Street, Scandia. There is a $15 registration fee which will cover the cost of lunch and materials.
Please register by Monday, February 26, so that 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. The 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.
Mark Stadler, manager of Dan Kuhn’s farm in Republic County, which is one of the state’s largest wholesale growers of fruits and vegetables, will talk about lay flat blackberries. Wade Hambright, who was introduced to wine grapes at age five when his dad planted his first grape vines in 2002, will talk about establishing a vineyard on your farm. Hambright is a manager at a vineyard management company in Manhattan, Kansas, and continues to grow and manage his family’s vineyard and other vineyards in the area.
Tom Buller, K-State Research and Extension Horticulture Agent, Douglas County, will discuss efficient vegetable production system that help farmers scale up their operation. Buller is an organic specialty crop grower and part of a Fresh Farm HQ, a regional food hub that serves the KC metro area, and includes several members from near Clay Center.
The workshop will include a farm tour of C & C High Tunnels, owned and operated by Chris and Christi Janssen. The Janssens have three high tunnels, each measuring 30 x 150 feet, and will be finishing up production of winter salad greens at the time of the farm tour.
The Janssens have been growing and marketing locally grown fresh produce year-round since 2009. Their major summer crops are tomatoes and cantaloupe, but they grow a variety of other vegetables and fruits as well. During the winter months they raise fresh spinach, baby kale, and a mix of spring salad greens. They follow natural practices in the nurturing, cultivation, and harvesting of their plants, including an integrated pest management program and lots of hands on labor.
The workshops are 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or email email@example.com. For questions about the project as a whole, please contact Mary Fund at firstname.lastname@example.org or 866-579-5469.