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Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture Webinar
March 24, 2015,  11 a.m. PST, 12 p.m. MST, 1 p.m. CST, 2 p.m. EST
Carrot Improvement for Organic Agriculture (CIOA) is the first multi-state, participatory plant-breeding project to focus solely on organic carrots. Organic growers need carrot varieties that are adapted to organic conditions and have market qualities that organic consumers demand, such as superior nutrition and flavor. While some breeding work has identified these traits in orange, red, purple, and yellow carrots -- all high-value crops and in demand by consumers -- these varieties have not been adapted to the needs of organic agriculture. In the webinar, members of the CIOA research team will present results from the first three years of the project. In particular, participants will learn about advancements in breeding under organic conditions for nematode resistance and for beneficial relationships with soil microorganisms. For more info and to register, click here.

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Food Safety training focusing on Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) guidelines
The in-person trainings will be held at Chico Hot Springs (March 26), Great Falls (March 30), and in Helena (April 1). Webinar trainings are scheduled for May 15 and September 25.

The trainings will be offered as both in-person and via webinar. The course is a six-hour training and will include pre-course exercises and a post course exam for those pursuing certification as a food safety Regional Independent Verifier. The trainings are designed for farmers, sanitarians, cooperative extension agents, local food educators, farmers market managers, food safety auditors, organic inspectors, food retailers, restaurant owners, farm interns, farm to school and farm to college professionals and agricultural service providers. The course will specifically cover food safety issues including: farmer self-inspection preparation, traceability, ground history, adjacent land, fertilizer and crop nutrition, irrigation and water use, crop protection, field worker hygiene, and harvesting practices. Participants will gain skill in navigating the regulations and using standard assessment tools.

For more information about the training, please contact: Jonda Crosby at 406-227-9161, or email her at

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Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program Grant Writing Workshop
April 2, 2015 at the Bozeman Public Library
April 7, 2015 at the Yellowstone County Courthouse
April 27, 2015, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Missoula County Extension Conference Room, 2825 Santa Fe Court, Missoula, MT 59808
The Regional Rural Development Centers in cooperation with the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) have developed workshop materials and resources focused on improving the funding success rate of applicants to USDA AMS grant programs, specifically the Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) and the Local Food Promotion Program (LFPP). The Missoula County Extension Office is participating in this project, and offering this training program to assist individuals and organizations in their efforts to secure AMS resources to further the provision of local foods. There is NO CHARGE for the training and it is open to everyone.  Space is limited, but pre-registration is required. Please register here.
For more information, visit here or contact Seth Swanson at (406) 258-4205.

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