Farmer Field Days, Workshops and Webinars

Meet up with other farmers and agricultural professionals on working farms to see organic systems in action! Share your successes and your challenges with peers and connect with useful resource providers. OAK's Farmer Education Events are on-farm and virtual learning opportunities offered monthly for farmers, ag professionals and local food system advocates. 

OAK welcomes farmers from all types and scales of farms - large and small scale, organic and conventional, urban and rural. OAK Members and Member Farms receive discounted registration pricing to OAK events. Keep up-to-date with the details of every farmer-to-farmer learning event - subscribe to our Field Notes newsletter. View previous OAK virtual events on our OAK YouTube page for recordings, snapshots and lessons learned from host farmers. Explore Field Day summaries and resources for 2023 and 2022Have suggestions for future farms, practices or topics to highlight? Let OAK know

 

Conservation, Connection and Capital: Bringing EQIP Support to Your Farm

Live Webinar -- April 24, 2024

crowd of farmers in conversation in front of high tunnels and farm infrastructure

This webinar guided farmers through all they need to know to apply for and implement Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) support and funding. This free online event proided participants with sure-footed next steps and connections with people who can help, from identifying conservation concerns to completing a successful contract. Click below to access a summary, follow-up resources and the event recording. Learn from OAK staff members, a Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) specialist and experienced farmers Cortney Moses and Paul Dengel. Cortney and Paul who shared their farm story of the EQIP application and funding process and its on-farm benefits for GoodThymes Organic Farm in Williamsburg, KY. This event was supported by a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). 

NEW! Schedule a Chat with OAK's Conservation Outreach Coordinator to explore EQIP and conservation planning.

 

  

 

Reduced Tillage, Cover Crops and Crop Rotations on an Organic Vegetable Farm

Lazy Eight Stock Farm, Paint Lick KY -- June 4, 2024

cultivating tractor implement in foreground; bare soil between crop rows in background

Lazy Eight Stock Farm is a 420-acre Certified Organic farm located on the banks of the Paint Lick Creek in Madison and Garrard counties. Dedicated to farming practices that are rooted in biological systems, Bryce Baumann and his farm crew tend to more than 25 acres of certified organic vegetables using a standardized permanent bed system, intentional crop rotation, cover crops, minimal tillage and reduction of plastic mulch. Join this OAK Farmer Field Day to visit Lazy Eight’s fields in multiple successions of late spring crops, observe demonstrations of reduced tillage and vegetable intercropping, explore cultivation equipment, learn about field production of cut flowers, and view their ½-acre covered crop production*. Hear from Bryce, OAK staff and NRCS representatives how Lazy Eight is implementing conservation practices within their organic vegetable production that build soil health, increase conservation of the farm’s natural resources, improve their climate resilience, and earn financial assistance to serve the farm, their community and future generations. As a Kentucky farm enrolled in OAK's USDA supported Climate-Smart Project, Lazy Eight Stock Farm has committed to implementing climate-smart practices and assessing whole-farm sustainability. Learn more about OAK's project at https://www.oak-ky.org/climate-smart-project. *Weather-dependent activities include a glimpse into field production of cut flowers and a chance to view Lazy Eight's ½-acre covered crop production. Support for this project comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Partnership for Climate Smart Commodities under agreement number NR233A750004G092. 

 

 

 

Innovating Generational Farming Practices with Ecological Approaches and System Efficiencies

Foxfire Farm, Liberty KY -- June 18, 2024 -- 9 am - 12 pm ET

diverse crop beds with stand of corn in background

Developing farm systems for production and crop planning is part of most new vegetable farmers' journeys, and learning from experienced farmers - adopting or adapting their tried and true methods - can speed up the early years of new production and farm business operations. When Aaron Lange assumed a portion of his family farm in Casey County in 2021, he brought years of learning from his parents’ decades of organic farming. He combined his family farming experience with ecological farming methods from Susana Lein and innovative production systems from farmer-authors Jesse Frost, Ben Hartman and Daniel Mays. Join this OAK Field Day with Aaron Lange as he shares Foxfire Farm’s 2.5-acre certified organic vegetable fields, covered production, and greenhouse highlighting: Three-year crop rotations integrated with cover crops and grazing sheep; High tunnel and field production for year-round harvest; Reduced tillage using standardized beds, mulching, and soil-building techniques; and Harvest and packing efficiencies for reduced time and labor. Aaron will provide demonstrations and specific crop examples for harvest techniques, wash-pack systems, crop transitions and bed-flipping. He’ll also share his experience building and balancing multiple market channels, including community-supported agriculture (CSA), farmers' markets, retail outlets and deliveries. Grow Appalachia and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture provided support for this Field Day.

 
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Building a Small-Scale Family Farm One Year at a Time

Wolf Gap Gardens, Berea KY -- July 9, 2024 -- 9 am - 12 pm ET

trellised tomato vines and interplanted summer crops in high tunnel structure

Launching a small vegetable farm requires much more than keeping the crops healthy: recordkeeping, finances, marketing, ongoing learning, and countless decisions can overwhelm early farmers. Melinda and Maggie Wilder of Wolf Gap Gardens in Madison County make the process seem smooth and enjoyable. This mother-daughter team launched their certified organic* vegetable production in 2020 on 1/2-acre, adding infrastructure and evolving their crop and product offerings on a consistent and intentional scale. Join this Field Day to visit their DIY greenhouse and high tunnel with rainwater catchment, walk through their summer field crops and rotational cover crops, explore their post-harvest wash-pack area and cold storage, and hear their success stories of securing financial assistance, developing value-added products, and dividing their labor so it fits their individual skills and experience, as well as their off-farm lives. Maggie and Melinda will highlight the production tools they use on their human-powered farm, explain the crop fertility they implement with cover crops, nutrient management and reduced off-farm inputs, and share their whole-farm management and planning activities outside their vegetable production. *The Wilders will also share their farm certification process and experience with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the Real Organic Project. Grow Appalachia and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture provided support for this Field Day.

 

 

  

Perennial Possibilities and Annual Rotations

Barr Farms, Rhodelia KY -- September 5, 2024 -- 9 am - 12 pm ET

row of nut trees surrounded by weed-barrier black landscape fabric and between rows of berry bramblesSave the Date!  Details Coming Soon!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exploring the Ecosystems of Community and Conservation

Seedleaf's Headwater Farm, Lexington KY -- September 12, 2024 -- 9 am - 12 pm ET

freshly turned soil strip with tractor exiting in background and two people measuring the width of the new crop bedFarms come in all shapes and sizes and involve one farmer or a team of farmers - and sometimes, they’re managed in community. Along the headwaters of the Elkhorn Creek in Northeastern Fayette County, Headwater Farm is growing its work to cultivate nutrient-dense produce for community partners and support small local agribusinesses in Lexington. On this 30-acre parcel of leased land, Lexington nonprofit Seedleaf provides acreage to small-scale growers, cultivates culturally significant seeds for organic markets and offers community education on organic agriculture and agroforestry.

Join this OAK Farmer Field Day to learn about Headwater Farm’s integration of whole-farm planning and management built on an ethic of community engagement, land stewardship and a long-term vision. Hear from Headwater Farm’s multiple market and subsistence growers using different small-scale production systems on individual plots while maintaining the integrity of the whole farm’s transition to organic certification. Learn more about Headwater’s collaboration with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in adopting conservation practices that protect the natural resources of Headwater Farm and its local ecosystems - and how OAK and NRCS can help any Kentucky farm to do the same. Thanks to a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), registration fees are waived for this event. Registration is required.

 

  

From the Soil Up - Rotational Grazing and Pasture Improvement

Valley Spirit Farm, Campbellsburg KY -- September 23, 2024 -- 9 am - 12 pm ET

 cattle in pasture at Valley Spirit FarmAt Valley Spirit Farm in Henry County, Joseph Monroe manages his beef cattle using adaptive grazing principles, providing the herd with high-quality forage and building vitally important organic matter. Nurturing a diverse warm and cool season forage and eliminating over-grazing encourages root development, supports the soil’s biological activity and water cycling, and provides a full-circle system of pasture growth and regeneration. Although the reality of frequently rotating the herd can be intensive, Joseph has continually refined his system with movable electric fencing, water and mineral access, and improved forage varieties through ongoing experimentation and observation.

Join this Farmer Field Day to visit Valley Spirit’s 100+ acres of pasture and closed-herd grass-fed cattle and explore the managed grazing, reduced inputs, grazed cover crops, and ongoing land stewardship of waterways, pollinator species and native grasslands. As a Kentucky farm enrolled in OAK's USDA-supported Climate-Smart Project, Valley Spirit Farm has committed to implementing climate-smart practices and assessing whole-farm sustainability. Learn more about OAK's project at https://www.oak-ky.org/climate-smart-project. Support for this project comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Partnership for Climate Smart Commodities under agreement number NR233A750004G092.  

 

 

Growing on Principles: Soil Health, Farmer Health and Community Health

Apostles Garden, Bowling Green, KY -- October 10, 2024 -- 9 am - 12 pm CENTRAL

vegetable crops in lower foreground; stand of drying cover crop in upper foreground; high tunnel in background of small farmscape

Farming, fellowship and fungi are interconnected at Apostles Garden. On this ½-acre of vegetable production in Bowling Green, Jackson Rolett and his family are creating a collaborative market farm based on soil health, farm and family work-life balance and mission-driven work on their church’s land. Join this OAK Farmer Field Day to learn from Jackson the realities of part-time farming and co-farming, leasing community land, transitioning acreage to organic certification, and balancing crop management with time management in year-round farming. 

Tour their Warren County gardens to see Jackson’s efficient practices of cover cropping, crop rotations and field and tunnel vegetable production - yielding healthy crops and benefiting the natural resources of soil, water and pollinators. Learn how OAK programs can assist growers and farmers in on-farm conservation, organic production and organic transition, and hear from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) on funding and technical assistance available for conservation efforts. Thanks to a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), registration fees are waived for this event. Registration is required.

  

 

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Farmer-Focused Field Days, Workshops and Webinars for the farming community

The Organic Association of Kentucky's (OAK) Field Days are on-farm and virtual learning opportunities for farmers, ag professionals and local food system advocates. OAK welcomes farmers from all types and scales of farms - large and small scale, organic and conventional, urban and rural.