Education

Northeast Disability and Agriculture 2023 Conference Survey

Hey Farmers!

In order to help with the planning process of the Northeast Disability and Agriculture 2023 Conference Survey (Encuesta Para La Conferencia Noreste 2023 Sobre Discapacidad y Agricultura) would you please consider taking 3 minutes to fill out/ share this survey and help the steering committee (One of our local farms! ) to know what you want to see:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSehUwhjpQjVLdwcsfTVqXgXuHbz61xr8OruAf1vl5UACLIwJQ/viewform

The aim for the conference is to be sensitive and responsive to the needs of farmers, agricultural service providers and the community. Your responses to this survey will help them design conference content, better identify gaps in disability awareness and needed services for participants. 

Nuestro objetivo para la conferencia es ser sensibles y receptivos a las necesidades de los agricultores, los proveedores de servicios agrícolas y las comunidades de apoyo. Sus respuestas a esta encuesta nos ayudarán a diseñar el contenido de la conferencia, identificar mejor las barreras en el conocimiento de discapacidades y los servicios necesarios para los participantes.

¡Por favor, llene esta encuesta y compártala con sus redes!

If you are interested in registering for the conference, fill out the form HERE.

2023 Northeast Grazing Conference

Introducing the 2023 Northeast Grazing Conference – Virtual, January 20th and 21st, 2023

Registration page and more info: https://NEGrazingConference2023.eventbrite.com

New this year, northeast grazing-focused organizations are collaborating – The New England Grazing Network, Maine Grass Farmers Network, Granite State Grazers, The Livestock Institute, Vermont Grass Farmers Association, and the hosts of Grassworks NY – to hold a region wide grazing conference.

The conference is the largest of its kind in New England, gathering over 300 participants from the northeast for two days of networking and educational workshops. This conference brings together new and experienced farmers alike as well as service providers, and non-farmers seeking to learn more ways to align with and support well managed pasture-based livestock production across our region.

People stand in a field listening to an instructor

Our 2023 Keynote speaker will be Dr. Allen Williams, who will lead a discussion on adaptive grazing. Additional programming will prioritize peer-to-peer farmer networking and practical implementation of managed grazing practices.

Agenda Highlights: (subject to change/substitutions/additions)

Each day will have two parallel tracks to choose from for panel discussions.

Friday:

  • Keynote – Dr. Allen Williams
  • Meat End Product Quality moderated by Dr. Joe Emenheiser
  • Holistic Management & Farm Life Balance moderated by Jenn Colby
  • A Look at the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship Program in New England moderated by Dr. Glenda Pereira and Mary Ellen Franklin
  • Grazing Across the Northeast: A Regional Approach (Introducing NEGN Partners) moderated by Alex Gulachenski

Saturday:

  • Coffee Chat with Troy Bishopp and Brian Maloney
  • Principles of Grazing – 101 – Taught by Daimon Meeh
  • 50 Shades of Graze – Shade Management moderated by Steve Gabriel
  • Forage Biodiversity moderated by Dr. Heather Darby
  • Calving and Lambing on Pasture moderated by Jennie Kapszukiewicz

Cows in a green pasture

Winter 2023 Ornamental and Turf Short Course

Wednesdays 5:30-7 pm, from January 11 – March 8, 2023

Click here to register today

More information at s.uconn.edu/ornamental-turf

Registration will remain open until Friday, January 6

Questions? Please contact Alyssa Siegel-Miles, alyssa.siegel-miles@uconn.edu

Ornamental and Turf Online Short Course Description:

UConn Extension offers an online Ornamental & Turf Short Course in the fall and winter, which helps students prepare for the pesticide applicator supervisory exam.

This Short Course is an in-depth review of the information necessary to study for and pass the Ornamental and Turf/Golf Course Superintendents State of Connecticut Supervisory Pesticide Applicator Certification exam. A student that completes all the modules, works through the quizzes, and studies the resource materials independently should be able to pass both the written and oral state exam successfully.

This short course consists of eight modules that the student can complete independently: Pesticide Laws and Regulations, Pesticide Safety, Botany, Plant Pathology and Ornamental Plant Diseases, Entomology and Insect Pests of Woody Ornamentals, Area and Dosage Calculations, Turf Management, and Weed Management. Each module consists of learning objectives, topic sections, and slides with a recorded narrative, and closes with a quiz on the material. The modules can be completed and revisited at any time while the student is enrolled in the course.

An instructor will meet virtually with the students weekly on Wednesdays at 5:30-7 pm to review each module topic and answer questions. Each weekly class includes a basic overview of the subject and highlights specific pests, their biology, and control.

Expect to spend study time reviewing each module topic outside of the review class. The more time you spend studying the module topics and reviewing each module’s post-quiz, the more beneficial the course will be for preparing for the final short course exam and the state exam.

COURSE MATERIALS:

The Pesticide Applicator Core Manual, the required training manual for the course, can be purchased from UConn Marketplace ($44, including shipping). 

WE STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO OBTAIN AND READ THE “CORE MANUAL” BEFORE THE CLASS BEGINS. 

The National Association of State Departments of Agriculture Core Manual can also be downloaded for free. 

“Turfgrass Nutrient and Integrated Pest Management Manual,” edited by Tim Abbey, is an additional valuable and highly recommended resource, available for free at: cag.uconn.edu/documents/Turfgrass-IPM-manual-s.pdf

An optional manual, “Ornamental and Turf, Category 3 Manual” ($43.00 plus shipping and handling), is also available from Cornell at: cornellstore.com/3.-Ornamental-And-Turf

Check for used copies of these books with your colleagues or online.

Information regarding testing and other information can be found on the CT DEEP website links: portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Pesticides/Pesticide-Management-Program

Information for Supervisory Certification is at: portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Pesticides/Supervisor-Certification/Certification-Process-and-Requirements-for-Supervisors

Foundations of Shellfish Farming Training Course 2023

Registration: http://s.uconn.edu/shellfish 

Cost: $300

Foundations of Shellfish Farming is a training course for new and prospective farmers and those who simply seek to learn more about aquaculture practices and techniques. Topics that will be covered include: how to establish and operate a shellfish business; leasing and permitting requirements; considerations for gear, vessels, and facilities, shellfish biology, aquaculture techniques and best practices, and risks involved in farming shellfish. Although the course will concentrate on Long Island Sound waters within the jurisdiction of Connecticut, the topics and practices covered are applicable in the Northeast United States and potentially beyond. 

 

When: Tuesdays, 5:30pm – 7:30pm, weekly from January 24th to April 11th 

Location: UConn Avery Point Campus, Groton, CT, Lowell P. Weicker Jr.  Building, Room 312

Outline: http://s.uconn.edu/course-schedule

Instructors: Michael Gilman and Tessa L. Getchis

Sponsors: Connecticut Sea Grant, UConn Extension, and the Connecticut Department of Agriculture

*This course meets the Connecticut Department of Agriculture eligibility requirement for the submission of a Joint Agency Application for Marine Aquaculture. 

Additional questions can be emailed to: shellfish@uconn.edu 

CT Trail Finder and Avenza Maps Webinar

WEDNESDAY, December 7, 2022 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Trail Mapping for CT Trail Finder with Avenza Maps

Cary Chadwick & Emily Wilson, UConn CLEAR

Connecticut Trail Finder is a free, interactive mapping site designed to help Connecticut residents and visitors find publicly accessible hiking, walking, snowshoeing, mountain biking, cross-country skiing, and paddling trails across the state. It is a critical resource for trail managers, allowing them to provide the public with up-to-date, comprehensive information about their trails through individual trail listings that allow users to view a digital trail map, get essential information, submit trip comments and photos, and connect with other users. But what is the best way to collect trail data these days? This webinar will focus on Avenza Maps, a free mapping solution for iOS and Android devices. The broad features of the app will be demonstrated in the context of trail mapping for managers and trail stewards whose overall goal is to collect information to share broadly with the public through the Connecticut Trail Finder website.

REGISTER

 

A trail sign in the woods, bridge in the background

8 Essential “Always” of Holiday Food Safety

Article by Indu Upadhyaya, Ph.D., Assistant Extension Educator, Food Safety

cooked turkey on a tableHoliday gatherings bring families and friends together, to spread more joy and happiness. While the merriment begins around Thanksgiving and continues until the New Years’, the food during holiday buffets, the party trays, the turkey, and other delicacies remain the main attraction of gathering. But be aware that a well-meaning and much anticipated get together can easily turn sour if the food is not safely prepared, served, or stored. Food safety should be diligently taken care of, especially during holidays, as in the delight of the season, negligence could cause serious health consequences.

Most people who get sick from eating contaminated food, might have mild illness and recover early, however susceptible population can see lasting effects or even death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that each year roughly 1 in 6 Americans get sick each year from contaminated food. Approximately 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die due to foodborne diseases across the country. These data are out of reported cases, thereby not including cases of undocumented, non-reported stomach indigestions and/or mild diarrhea or vomiting. The real number of patients getting sick from foodborne illnesses is still an unknown and hard to predict.

What you CAN do this season is control food contamination at your own home and community. Start with these simple steps aligning with USDA holiday food safety guidelines.

Here are the 8 “always” of food safety to help everyone stay healthy during the holiday season:

  1. Always wash your hands

It’s a simple rule to follow, yet many easily forget in midst of festivities. Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Wash hands:

  • Before you start preparing food,
  • After using the bathroom,
  • Before serving food and eating,
  • After you handle raw meat, poultry, fish, seafood, and eggs.
  1. Always clean and sanitize:

Clean and sanitize any surfaces that have touched raw turkey, meat or fish and their juices and will later touch food such as kitchen counters, sinks, stoves, tabletops, etc.

Cleaning: with soap and hot water, and a paper or dish towel. Use these to remove any dirt and debris you can see.

Sanitizing: sanitize the surfaces to kill any remaining germs. Different food grade sanitizers or sanitizing wipes can be used. Allow to air dry and follow the label instructions on commercial sanitizers to determine whether you need to rinse food preparation areas after use.

Food borne bacteria like Campylobacter and Salmonella, found in poultry products, can survive on countertops and other kitchen surfaces from 4 to up to 32 hours, so make sure you repeat this step after handling raw meats or turkey.

Don’t forget to clean and sanitize any areas that will encounter the turkey before and after cooking.

  1. Always Thaw the Frozen Meat/Turkey Safely:

Always follow USDA recommended thawing. There are three ways to safely thaw a turkey: in the refrigerator, in cold water and in the microwave.

  • Refrigerator thaw: Turkey can be safely thawed in a refrigerator. Allow roughly 24 hours for every four to five pounds of turkey. After thawing, a turkey is safe in a refrigerator for one to two days, before cooking.
  • Cold water thaw: The cold-water thawing method will thaw your turkey faster but needs to be done very carefully. When thawing in a cold-water bath, allow 30 minutes per pound and submerge the turkey in its original wrapping to avoid cross-contamination. Change the water every 30 minutes until the turkey is thawed. Cook immediately after thawing.
  • Microwave thaw: Smaller sized turkeys that fit in the microwave can be thawed using this method. Make sure to follow manufacturer’s recommendations. Cook it immediately after thawing because some areas of the food may become warm and begin to cook during the thawing process, bringing the food to the “Danger Zone.” (Between 40-140F).

It’s safe to cook a completely frozen turkey; however, it will take at least 50 percent longer to fully cook.

Remember to never thaw your turkey in hot water or leave it on a countertop.

  1. Always Separate food items to avoid cross contamination:

Cross-contamination is the spread of bacteria from raw meat and poultry onto ready-to-eat food, surfaces, and utensils. To avoid this, always use separate cutting boards — one for raw meat and poultry, and another for fruits and vegetables. Keep raw meat, poultry, fish, and their juices away from other food. After cutting raw meats, wash cutting board, knife, and counter tops with hot, soapy water.

USDA recommends not to wash your raw poultry due to the risk of splashing bacteria throughout your kitchen. It can easily lead to aerosolizing bacteria and cross contamination.  As mentioned earlier, always clean and sanitize any surfaces that have touched raw turkey and its juices. That includes counters, sinks, stoves, tabletops, utensils, and plates. Sinks are the most contaminated areas of the kitchen, so keep them clean and don’t transfer any dirty items to clean spaces. It’s important to pay attention to your movements in the kitchen to avoid cross-contamination.

  1. Always Cook Thoroughly:

Always follow a standard recipe to cook properly. Make sure your turkey is cooked to a safe final internal temperature of 165°F by using a reliable food thermometer. Check the thickest part of the breast, the innermost part of the wing, and the innermost part of the thigh. Cook your turkey at 325º F until its internal temperature reaches at least 165º F. Cooked, hot foods should be kept at 140º F or warmer.

When cooking a stuffed turkey, pay attention that the turkey, as well as the stuffing inside of it, reaches at least 165º F. Even if the turkey itself reaches 165º F, the stuffing inside may take longer. Its best to prepare your stuffing and turkey just before cooking. Using a cold stuffing makes it more difficult to reach the safe temperature of 165º F. Stuff the turkey loosely and use ¾ of a cup of stuffing per pound of turkey. Use a moist stuffing rather than a dry stuffing because heat destroys bacteria better in a moist environment. To be on the safe side, cook stuffing separately.

If cooking other meats, cook all raw beef, pork, lamb and veal steaks, chops, and roasts to a minimum internal temperature of 145 °F as measured with a food thermometer before removing meat from the heat source. For safety and quality, allow meat to rest for at least three minutes before carving or consuming. If you prefer, you may choose to cook the meat to a higher temperature.

For Ground meats: Cook all raw ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal to an internal temperature of 160 °F as measured with a food thermometer.

For baked goods, avoid eating foods containing raw eggs or uncooked flour, such as cookie dough or cake batter. It’s tempting to sneak a taste during preparation, but pathogens like Salmonella present in these ingredients can lead to food poisoning if not cooked first.

  1. Always follow the 2-hour rule:

All perishable foods must be refrigerated within two hours of coming out of the stove or fridge, or one hour if the ambient air temperature is above 90°F. Never forget this 2-hour rule put forth by USDA. After two hours, perishable food will enter the “Danger Zone” (between 40 F and 140 F), which is where bacteria can multiply quickly and cause the food to become unsafe. Discard all foods that have been left out for more than two hours.

  1. Always Keep warm food warm and cold food cold

Remember the rule — keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold.

  • Always transport hot foods by wrapping in dishes in insulated containers to keep their temperature above 140 F.
  • Always transport cold foods in a cooler with ice or gel packs to keep them at or below 40 F.

When serving food to groups, maintain the temperature by using chafing dishes or crock pots and ice trays. Hot items should remain above 140 F and cold items should remain below 40 F. Temperature abuse of food is one of the main reasons for people falling sick very often. Always follow proper guidelines.

  1. Always store leftovers appropriately:

Everyone looks forward to Thanksgiving leftovers. But they must be stored and refrigerated promptly to be safe to eat. After the turkey is served, immediately slice, and refrigerate on shallow platters. Store leftover food in shallow containers and refrigerate promptly. Use refrigerated turkey and stuffing within three to four days. Use gravy within one to two days. Thanksgiving leftovers are safe to eat up to four days in the refrigerator. In the freezer, leftovers are safely frozen indefinitely but will keep best quality from two to six months.

Always reheat all leftovers to 165°F, and check that temperature with a food thermometer. Cold foods should be kept at 41º F or less. And as they say, when in doubt, throw it out! Do not try to save potentially contaminated food.

Lastly, don’t prepare foods if you are sick or showing symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea or if you recently had such symptoms. Many foodborne illnesses are transmitted unknowingly by human error, by a food preparer who had these symptoms. If you are ill, let someone else do the cooking so you can have a safe and enjoyable meal with your family and friends.

References and additional resources:

Programas y Servicios en Español

 

 

Extension banner photo of programs with green and blue hexagons

¿Sabía que la Extensión de UConn ofrece programas y servicios en español?

Si tiene interés en la salud, nutrición, horticultura, manejo integrado de plagas, y el desarrollo personal y comunitario nuestros programas están disponibles para ayudarlo a aprender!

 

UConn EFNEP

El Programa Ampliado de Educación en Alimentación y Nutrición (UConn EFNEP) ayuda a las familias a aprender sobre la alimentación saludable, compras económicas, y actividad física. UConn EFNEP se esfuerza en empoderar a los participantes y mejorar la salud de todos los miembros de la familia. Los educadores han publicado varias recetas en nuestro canal de Youtube. ¡Las recetas de EFNEP lo ayudarán a preparar comidas ricas, saludables y económicas para usted y su familia! 

https://bit.ly/RecetasUConnEFNEP

 

UConn Master Gardeners

El programa Master Gardeners ofrece entrenamiento en la horticultura. Master Gardeners busca participantes que estén listos para aprender y compartir sus conocimientos con la comunidad. El programa ofrece una clase en español sobre los conceptos fundamentales de los vegetales. Puede encontrar más información en el enlace debajo.

mastergardener.uconn.edu/garden-master-classes

 

Programa de Manejo Integrado de Plagas

El programa de Manejo Integrado de Plagas educa a los productores y al público general sobre el uso prudente y seguro de pesticidas orgánicos, sintéticos y métodos alternativos de control de plagas. El programa incorpora todas las estrategias posibles de manejo de cultivos y de plagas a través de una toma de decisiones informadas, utilizando los recursos agrícolas y del paisaje más eficientes e integrando controles culturales y biológicos. Visite el enlace debajo para acceder a las publicaciones en español.

ipm.cahnr.uconn.edu/spanish-resources/

 

UConn PEP

El programa UConn PEP es un programa de desarrollo personal, familiar y de liderazgo con un fuerte enfoque comunitario. PEP está diseñado para aprovechar las fortalezas únicas y las experiencias de vida de los participantes. También enfatiza la conexión entre la acción individual y comunitaria. El programa es conducido por un facilitador capacitado de la Extensión de UConn. Hay varias sesiones para el programa durante el año. Puede encontrar más información visitando la página web.

pep.extension.uconn.edu