Luhman: Time to reflect and plan

For many farmers, winter is a time when we are able to slow down. Here at Dry Creek Farms harvest is over, and we are still several months from planting. Last year’s calves are weaned, many are gone, and calving is months away. It’s really just been a great time for me to reflect on last year and plan for the future. 2020 provided me with tremendous opportunities to learn through on-farm visits and conversations with farmers. Nature also threw some educational opportunities my way when a dry spring and late summer made clear how important proper grazing management is and has me excited to improve on that grazing management in 2021.

What did you learn in the past year? What are you looking forward to trying in 2021? Perhaps experimenting with a new cover crop mix, or interseeding? Maybe you want to try integrating livestock into your crop operation? Whatever it is, take this time to plan and prepare, reach out to individuals who have done what you want to try. And if you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to myself or another of our SFA staff. We have experienced graziers, silvopasture specialists, dairy farmers, and we want to see you succeed!

Additionally, with many conferences and conventions going virtual, it can be easier than ever to attend educational workshops and seminars. Two conferences I would direct you to is our Annual Conference as well as our Midwest Soil Health Summit. The recording of last week’s kick-off webinar to our Conservation Connections program is also available online. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn from the comfort of your home.

Also, see below for some events and updates for the Forest Assisted Migration Project that I highlighted in a previous column:

January Zoom trainings for Forest Assisted Migration Project (FAMP)

January 21st, 7:00pm-8:30pm
Topic: Container growing and Q&A
Presenter: Charles Eckman, manager at USFS JW Toumey Nursery

January 27th, 7:00pm-8:30pm
Topic: Bareroot growing and panel Q&A
Presenters: Kristina Somes, Bill Sayward, and Mike Fasteland

Everyone is welcome to attend the trainings. For Zoom links to the trainings, please email Joel Bransky at There is a new Forest Assisted Migration Project webpage on Arrowhead Grown. It includes project information, recorded trainings, and resources for farmers.