Malatya Haber Specialty Crops Workshop slated April 9 in Red Rock
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Specialty Crops Workshop slated April 9 in Red Rock

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The ability to grow and prepare original foods is a staple of a self-sustaining community.

Some crops are well suited for small-scale commercial production, and an upcoming workshop will help provide valuable information to those interested in this business opportunity.

Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension, along with USDA’s Risk Management Agency, has teamed with the Otoe-Missouria and Ponca tribes to host a Specialty Crops Workshop, April 9 in Red Rock, Okla. from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

“It’s documented that Otoe-Missouria people historically raised crops such as corn, squash and beans for food sources. I’m excited we’re taking part in a project that will help us restore our connection to growing healthy foods,” said Melanie Harder, Otoe-Missouria Council second member. “We’ll be able not only to produce fresh, culturally appropriate foods, but also provide learning experiences, exercise and inter-generational interaction for all participants.”

Participants should meet at the one acre garden site north of the gravel parking lot at Paradise Casino, 7500 Highway 177, Red Rock, for registration and refreshments.

There is no cost to attend but participants are asked to preregister by contacting Jennifer Jensen, OSU Cooperative Extension assistant, risk management education, at 405-744-9826 or jennifer.jensen@okstate.edu, or Frankie Reid, Otoe-Missouria Tribe of Indians, 580-723-4466, ext. 120 or freid@omtribe.org.

“Preregistration helps us ensure sufficient numbers of lunches, refreshments and workshop materials are on hand so every participant has the best possible experience,” Jensen said. “Because the workshop is designed to provide demonstration and hands-on experience of specialty crop production, we’ll be addressing these production practices and procedures in a timely fashion.”

Participants will learn the ins and outs of the business.

“Crops such as vegetables, fruits, herbs and other crops can be grown successfully, but requires knowledge of various aspects common to all farming ventures,” said Lynn Brandenberger, OSU Cooperative Extension and research specialist, horticulture food crops. “This workshop will focus on all of these aspects of specialty crop production. Knowledge of this information is important for minimizing the risks associated with this enterprise.”

The workshop is a collaborative effort between the tribes and OSU Cooperative Extension to deliver information to the public.

“I applaud the cooperative effort of the Otoe-Missouria and Ponca Tribes to deliver agricultural education and healthy foods to their members,” said Alicia Seyler, Native American Young Beginning and Small Enterprise Center. “This cooperative spirit is much needed in Indian country and should be used as a model for future intertribal projects.”

NAYBSEC is Indian country’s only organization dedicated to educating and encouraging the development of Native American young, beginning and small farmers and ranchers.

Date: 4/1/2013



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