Register today for this Sept 14 Field Day if you want food

On Sept 14 you will want to go to the Sustainable Student Farm on the U of I campus at 9.30 and then the I Hotel to hear ‘CheffarmerTM’  from Ken Myszka to learn how he and Bloomington’s Epiphany Farms are developing a farm to for organism that uses intensive pasture rotation and permaculture methods to provide the Central Illinois community with fresh, nutritious, local food to reconnect people to their food. Its worth the drive to their Bloomington restaurant (220 E. Front Street) to try the food!

After training at the Culinary Institute of America in New York, and earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management from the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, Ken Myszaka engaged in the production side of the food business and after that he and the Epiphany Farms Hospitality Group devoted themselves to the farm to fork movement.   You can find more about Ken on the internet- eg: an article from Illinois Farmer , and from the Chicago Tribute (warning the pop up adds are obnoxious).  *The nice images are from here.

In addition to hearing from him you will learn about how Illinois Dining Services, the Sustainable Student Farm and the Food Processing Plant are making farm to fork happen at the U of I!

If you want to make sure to get a taste of this you need to register this week!  Just $10 in advance.  On site or late registrations may not get lunch.  Register here

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IOGA-ASAP-SSF Sept 14 Field Day: Growing Farm to Fork Businesses



To register for this event ($10 in advance, %15 at the door) click here

Start at the SSF

9.30 a.m. with a tour of U of I’s Sustainable Student Farm, 3505 S. Lincoln Ave. Urbana, Il 61801, led by  Farm Manager Matt Turino.

At 10.30 we will head over to the I Hotel (1900 S 1st St, Champaign, IL 61820) for the following program:
10:45 a.m.  Dr. Carmen Ugarte and team members will discuss a new Illinois Local Grains Initiative
11:10 a.m. Brian Jacobson will describe how Food Science and Human Nutrition’s Food Processing Pilot Plant is partnering with U of I’s dining services before Dr. Juan Andrade explains how their research can help optimize processing for local product development—
12:15 p.m. Lunch will feature SSF produce and Chefarmer Ken Myszka of Epiphany Farms who will discuss how to grow a farm to fork business.
1:30 p.m. Dr. Fred Kolb and Bill Davison will recognize Jack Erisman, Pana Farmer, and discuss the release of U of I’s new wheat variety!
2:30 p.m. Interested folks will go to campus to tour the FSHN Pilot Processing Plant.

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National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Intern

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), which represents over 100 organizations working for small and mid-sized farms through advocacy to support agriculture and food systems that are ecologically and socially responsible, is looking for a policy intern for the fall term. This short term position (Aug.-Jan.) is in Washington DC. The Policy Intern will have the opportunity to work on a range of issues and campaigns, including local and regional food systems, working lands conservation, beginning and minority farmer issues, sustainable agriculture research, crop insurance reform and much more.

The full description and info on how to apply are at:

Apply by July 20!

This is a great (paid!) short-term opportunity for some real-life experience in Science Policy.



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Summer Field Days

Don’t miss upcoming organic field days!

So far there is

  1. a MOSES field day on artisinal grains July 24 in Pecatonia IL
  2. an ‘In her boots’ field day in Libertyville IL. on Aug. 24 and,
  3. an ‘Opportunities in Organic Farming’ event planned for Sept. 8 in Atlanta IL.



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Prairie River Network Day and Picnic at Allerton

Don’t forget about Sunday’s PRN Day at Allerton! Join PRN staff, board, fellow members, and river lovers as we celebrate river stewardship at the fun-filled PRN Day at Allerton!

In 1967, the proposed Oakley Reservoir on the Sangamon River was the catalyst for the organization that would become Prairie Rivers Network. That year, Bruce and Patricia Hannon and others collected 20,000 signatures in a petition drive to stop the dam that would have put hundreds of acres of Allerton Park underwater.
When: May 21, 2017; noon – 4:00 pm (rain or shine)

Where: Allerton Park Music Barn, 588 Allerton Road, Monticello, Illinois 61856

Cost: Free
Bring a picnic, your lawn chairs, a hat, and a full water bottle, and enjoy these planned activities:

  • A guided nature — accompany Environmental Almanac creator and PRN board member Rob Kanter on a walk to observe and photograph wildlife, wildflowers, and whatever else we find
  • A guided birding walk with local birder and PRN member David Thomas
  • The Traveling Science Center — learn about types of habitats and species diversity. Great for kids and adults!
  • Stormwater/Rainfall Simulator – Learn what happens to all that rainwater when it falls on the ground. Courtesy of the Champaign County Soil & Water Conservation District.


  • The Water Project, an ensemble performance developed by local director and civic theater advocate, Latrelle Bright, examining our relationship with water


  • A sampling of locally-produced honey and locally-grown artisanal grain breads
  • An art and photography exhibit by local artists and photographers


  • A River of Hope: Save a Place. Change Your Life — a multimedia reflection on 50 years of stewardship, including readings from PRN member Amy Hassinger’s new novel, After the Dam. Copies of Amy’s book will be available for purchase at the event.

RSVP appreciated to Check the PRN Facebook page for up-to-date event information.

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Program Coordinator

Sustainability is the defining challenge of the 21st century and COSA believes that you cannot manage sustainability until you can measure it.

Driven by the conviction that reliable data enables better decision-making and greater accountability, we develop indicators, design tools, and create solutions to better measure and manage sustainability. We are a global consortium of institutions dedicated to accelerating the social, economic, and environmental elements of agricultural sustainability. We are purposely small, are committed to excellence, and are influential on a global scale.

COSA is hiring a Program Coordinator to assist the Measurement Systems Manager with overseeing and developing various aspects of our technical work. Specifically, the position entails coordinating various aspects of our Performance Monitoring Program—implementing tools designed for managers that provide fast and affordable measurement of sustainability initiatives. Tasks include developing sustainability management frameworks with clients, adapting field data collection tools, managing relationships with partners and stakeholders, data analysis, and report writing.

The position also involves assisting in the ongoing development and maintenance of COSA’s Global Indicator Library—a hallmark of COSA’s work in global standardization of sustainability measurement. Tasks involve helping keep COSA indicators current, doing research to benchmark indicators to global initiatives, and assistance in maintaining our online database.
The ideal candidate will:

1. Have familiarity with sustainability topics across social, economic, and environmental themes
2. Have good interpersonal and communication skills to work with a variety of clients and stakeholders; must be fluent or highly advanced in English
3. Be comfortable with technology—we utilize a variety of software solutions and the ideal candidate would be a quick study
4. Be able to perform basic/intermediate data analysis
5. Be detail oriented and committed to high quality work

The job would take place at the candidate’s own location. Must have excellent connectivity to the internet and be available for reliable voice and email communication regularly during East Coast USA business hours.

The COSA team shares a high level of personal initiative and responsibility for great work, a strong set of world-class skills, a deep respect for the value of different perspectives, commitment to the practical application of good scientific methods, and a passionate commitment to creating a more sustainable world.

Interested candidates should send a cover letter and resume to Jessica Mullan, Measurement Systems Manager (


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Oral Histories of National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC)

Check out this series of interviews Ron Kroese has worked on during his stint as Senior Fellow in the University of Minnesota’s Endowed Chair in Agricultural Systems.

Ron’s oral history project is documenting the formation and evolution of what today is known as the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC), including the federal policy reforms NSAC and its allies have achieved over the last three decades.  Twenty one are currently available here:

Come back later if you like these because he will be adding more down the road!

A bit about Ron from UMN’s website…  “Prior to retiring from The McKnight Foundation in early 2015, Ron served for nine years as a program officer and program director for the Foundation’s Mississippi River Program. He currently is a senior fellow at the University of Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture’s Endowed Chair Program where he is conducting a video archiving project. The project features interviews with people who played key roles over the past three decades in the formation and development of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. Before coming to The McKnight Foundation, he served as executive director of Minnesota Environmental Partnership, a coalition of nonprofit groups focused on strengthening Minnesota’s environmental and conservation policies.  In 1982 he co-founded the Minnesota-based sustainable agriculture organization, Land Stewardship Project, serving as executive director for 11 years.”



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New Times, New Tools: Cultivating Climate Resilience on Your Farm

Laura Lengnick, author of Resilient Agriculture, will be at Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery on Saturday, Feb. 18, from 2– 5 pm to discuss her book and look at PFFC as a case study of resilience in the face of climate change.  She will discuss how we can meld two areas of her experience and expertise, climate change in agriculture and storytelling, to help others understand what lies ahead and how we can respond to it.  Copies of her book will be available for purchase, and we’ll have some local food snacks available as well. Around 4 pm we’ll wind it up and go forward with our ideas to make our responses to climate change accessible and important to our customers and the greater public.

Laura’s visit is hosted by U of I’s Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture Program and Prairie Fruits Farm & Creamery.  PFF is located at 4410 N Lincoln Ave, Champaign, IL 61822

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UC Davis Student Farm is seeking a new director

Just heard about this GREAT JOB at UC Davis’s Student Farm (SF).  But first.. the fact that they are seeking a new director means that Mark Van Horn, has retired –  I just have to take a minute to acknowledge his contributions to agriculture education and the farm.  If you want to remember or get to know Mark please check out this link from his visit to U of I- In it he reflects on some of his work. !  Prospective applicants might enjoy his reflection on the farm’s 30 year history.

Also, check out this info on an award Mark recently received.‘-  THANKS MARK!!

Info about the SF Director-  ‘will lead the continued development of the SF as a learning community where students from many disciplines work to create, maintain and explore sustainable food systems on a 20+ acre farm. A key component of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute (ASI), the SF has served UC Davis students and faculty and the public with educational, research, and outreach opportunities focused on sustainable agriculture and food systems for 40 years. Each year over 400 students engage in staff- and faculty-mentored experiential learning through which they come to understand sustainability through the soils, crops, climate, and community in which they work and within programs ranging from backyard garden scale to mechanized crop and compost production

The SF Director provides intellectual, academic, and community leadership to the SF and has primary responsibility for overall vision and administration as well as the programs’ educational, research and public service functions.  The Director collaborates with staff and students to ensure the SF learning community collectively develops and achieves it short-term and long-term goals focused on just and sustainable agriculture and food systems, experiential learning, and student leadership and empowerment.”
Recruitment period:
Open date: December 1st, 2016
Next review date: February 21st, 2017
Apply by this date to ensure full consideration by the committee.
Final date: November 14th, 2017
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.

Job is located on the UC Davis campus in Davis, CA.
See a full job description and apply for the position here.<>
Learn more about the Student Farm <> and the Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis.<>

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Nutrient Mgt and Water Quality Jobs and Univ Minnesota

Hey, check it out.  There are three tenure track and one non-tenure track positions available at the Department of Soil, Water, and Climate at the University of Minnesota. These positions are in nutrient management and most have a direct emphasis on water quality.  Some of these positions have a January date for application, but they have not begun the review process for any of the positions yet so get your applications in!

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