“Winter meeting season”, also known as the months of January, February, and March, is upon us here at the Extension Office. Over the next few months, various trainings, classes, and workshops will be held in order to provide farmers with the latest research and updates on regulations so that they have the tools they need for their daily activities on the farm. Please see below for more information about our upcoming events. For questions, please contact our office at 301-600-3576. The address for the Frederick County Extension Office is 330 Montevue Lane, Frederick, MD 21702.

The Annual Implementation Report (AIR) Help Day will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 22, at the Frederick County Extension Office (330 Montevue Lane, Frederick). Drop by any time from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for assistance in filling out the form. Note that this year there are new questions, particularly regarding importing and exporting manure.

Annie’s Project is a six-week course that focuses on the many aspects of farm management and is designed to empower women in overall farm decision making, as well as to build local networks throughout the state. The classes will take place on Monday evenings from Feb. 3 through March 9 from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Frederick County Extension Office.

Topics include when to consider borrowing, loan options, and grants; understanding farm and crop insurance, business planning, and agriculture and business laws. The cost to attend is $75; there is an additional $100 fee for Farm Service Agency (FSA) Borrowing Training attendees. For more information and to register, visit the website at https://go.umd.edu/AnniesClasses, or call 410-822-1244.

Training for the Produce Safety Rule (PSR), which is part of the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), will be held on Thursday, Feb. 6, from 8 a.m. 5 pm at the Montgomery County Extension Office (18410 Muncaster Road, Derwood, MD 20855).

This training will provide an in-depth understanding of the PSR requirements, guidance and mitigation tips for food safety risks, an explanation of the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s role in implementing the PSR, and a completion certificate. The cost is $25 and includes training materials and lunch. Please register by February 5 by visiting https://go.umd.edu/MC-PSR2020. If you have questions about how the PSR would affect your farm, please contact Carol Allen, Extension Agent in Produce Safety, at callen12@umd.edu or 240-994-5043.

A Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) training will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 19, from 8 a.m. from 4 p.m. at the Frederick County Extension Office. Participants will gain insights to common issues seen in last year’s GAP audits, as well as advanced guidance and discussions on water quality, cleaning and sanitation programs, and worker training programs. The cost is $15 and includes lunch. For more information and to register, visit https://go.umd.edu/icY.

The annual Central Maryland agronomy update will be held on Thursday, Feb. 20, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Urbana Fire Hall. Topics include agronomic disease update, integrated pest management, starter phosphorus fertilizer, and more.

Cost is $15.00 and includes breakfast and lunch. For more information and to register, visit https://go.umd.edu/wKUor call 301-600-3576. Payment can made online with a credit card or by sending a check to the Frederick County Extension Office.

A Farm Bill Workshop will be held on February 26, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Frederick County Extension Office. Extension Legal Specialists and representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide an overview of the recent Farm Bill and how it affects farmers. The cost to attend is $15 and includes lunch. For more information and to register, please visit https://go.umd.edu/FarmBill-FC2020 or call 301-600-3576.

Kelly Nichols is an Ag Agent Associate with the Frederick County Extension Office. Her areas of focus are small farms and agronomy. Kelly can be reached at 301-600-3576 or kellyn@umd.edu.

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