Testing pesticide applicators: February 8 and April 8. 8:30 a.m. to noon, Renville County Soil and Water Conservation District office in Olivia. Check the Minnesota Department of Agriculture website for testing requirements or call Ethan Dahl at 320-523-1550 ext. 101 or email him at [email protected] net for any questions. The website is
Hemp production forum: February 9, 9 a.m. to noon, online, free. For anyone interested in hemp and hemp production, the forum will feature updates on hemp licensing requirements from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, new inspection requirements for those who process hemp crude in the field and opportunities in fiber production. 2022 will be the second year that Minnesota operates under a federally approved state plan that governs hemp production and regulation. The state was previously working under a hemp pilot program from 2016-2020. More information and registration information can be found at
Small cereal workshops: The University of Minnesota Extension offers small grain workshops throughout Minnesota to address successful small grain management, focusing on production agronomy, variety selection, and economics. Workshops include an open forum to discuss related topics and on-farm experiences. Lunch is included at all sites with registration. Registration is free but required to facilitate meal planning. Please register by visiting
or contact the number listed with each workshop. Area workshops include:
- February 18: Cold Spring, 9-11:30 a.m., Great Blue Heron, contact Nathan Drewitz at 608-515-4414.
- February 18: Benson, 1-3:30 p.m., McKinney’s on Southside, contact Scott Lee at 320-760-6129.
- February 23: online, from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., virtual workshop
Strategic Agriculture: Let’s talk about crops webinar series. This free, live online program will provide up-to-date, research-based information to help you optimize your crop management strategies for 2022. Sessions will be held on Zoom from 9-10 a.m. Wednesdays through 30 March. The sessions will begin with a brief presentation by the day’s facilitators, followed by a discussion around questions from farmers/participants on the topic. Register on
for the entire series of shows. Sessions will be recorded and posted for later viewing. The next three sessions are:
- February 9: Cover crops: end time and green planting; Axel Garcia y Garcia, Sustainable Cropping Systems Specialist, and Anna Cates, State Soil Health Specialist.
- February 16: Corn tar spot: status and options for this growing problem; Dean Malvick, Extension Plant Pathologist, and Nathan Kleczewski, Plant Pathologist, GROWMARK Inc.
- February 23: Update of the management of small cereals; Jochum Wiersma, Extension specialist in small grains.
“Prairie Court and Garden”: The 35th season of the TV show will air Thursday, January 20 on Pioneer PBS. All shows will be available for viewing online at
after the original screening.
- 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 10 and repeats at 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 12 and 1 p.m. on Monday, February 14. Host Mary Holm visits Andy Carlson and Roger Boleman about landscaping. Roger Boleman added a new deck at his home in Taylors Falls, he called on designer Carlson to help with the landscaping.
- 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 17 and rehearsal at 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 19 and at 1 p.m. on Monday, February 21. Host Mary Holm talks with Mary Meyer about pollinator-friendly alternatives to traditional turf at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chanhassen.
- 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 24 and rehearsal at 4 p.m. on Saturday, February 26 and at 1 p.m. on Monday, February 28. Host Mary Holm talks to Steve Henry from Alexandria about his methods and a secret ingredient he uses when composting.
Gardening for health: The Olmsted County Master Gardener Extension Volunteer Spring Gardening Seminar will consist of a series of weekly Zoom sessions, at a cost of $15 per session. There will be 10 classes between February 15 and March 24. Topics include alternative gardening ideas. gardening with nature, bees and pollination, shade gardening, photographing gardens, caring for trees and shrubs, beneficial insects, the healing power of gardening, heirloom varieties and conservation of water and soil in urban areas. Register and pay the fees on
Gardening from scratch: From February 22 to 25, from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., online. University of Minnesota Extension Educators present the third annual webinar series. The free virtual workshops will cover a wide variety of topics ranging from soil nutrients, plant health and insects – useful for any curious beginner gardener or garden owner. More information and registration available at the West Central Research and Outreach Center
. Webinar recordings will be sent at the end of the series.
“Prairie Sportsman”: Season 13 of Prairie Sportsman airs Sunday, January 23 on Pioneer PBS. All shows will be available for viewing online at
after the original screening.
- 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 6 and repeats at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, February 7 and at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 12. Join host Bret Amundson for “Rick-a-Shay, Regals and Goats. The Rick-a-Shay Riders drill team performs, king fritillary butterflies are introduced to a metropolitan park, and goats wipe out buckthorn from rugged grasslands.
- 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 13 and repeats at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, February 14 and at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 19. Join host Bret Amundson for “Lake of the Woods Remembrances” as he joins the veterans commemorating a friend at Lake of the Woods and celebrating his family’s Lake of the Woods traditions.
- 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 20 and repeats at 12:30 p.m. on Monday, February 21 and at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 26. Join host Bret Amundson for “Lakes and Legacies” as he travels to Alexandria to spear fish with hand-carved lures by Glen Tomoson’s grandfather in the 1950s and stops at the Legacy of the Lakes.
Fort Ridgely State Park: Feb. 12, 5-8 p.m. A candlelit, gibbous moonlit night hike starts at the lodge and is suitable for beginner snowshoers or hikers of all ages. No equipment is required to participate in the hike, but visitors can bring their own snowshoes or ice cleats if they wish. Visitors are also welcome to bring their own hot chocolate or cider to warm up after the hike by the bonfire. A vehicle permit is required to enter Minnesota state parks and must be purchased in advance from the DNR website
. Call the park for more information at 507-426-7840.
Ice fishing tournament: Feb. 19, 12-3 p.m., Smith Lake in Douglas County, Alexandria Industries 15th Annual “Fishing For the Cure” Ice Fishing Tournament. Advance tickets are $20 for adults through Feb. 18, $30 on tournament day; 12 and under are $10. The tournament allows fishing houses to be housed and participants can fish anywhere on Smith Lake.
Sibley State Park: A vehicle permit is required to enter the park and is available online. Sibley State Park is west of New London, just off US Highway 71. For more information, visit the State Department of Natural Resources website at
Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center: Spicer Rural Center trails can be used during daylight hours at no charge. A bathroom with composting toilet is open by the pavilion. Pets must be kept on a leash. All equipment rentals (thick tire bikes, kayaks, canoes) will be by reservation, made at least 24 hours in advance. To reserve equipment for the weekend, please call before Friday noon. Equipment rental for two hours is $20 for adults, $10 for members and $5 for all youth. Call 320-354-5894.
- Introduction to cross-country skiing: February 10, 4 to 5 p.m., 2nd grade and up, $10. Learn the basics of cross-country skiing. Then hit the trails to practice your new skills. Instruction and materials provided. Meet at the main building.