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During the winter months, agriculturally-focused organizations tend to offer classes, programs, courses, and certifications at various locations for farmers to take advantage of. For some people, leaving the farm is not an option with animals giving birth and the constant demands of the business. A newer opportunity has come into existence providing learning experiences without leaving your home and all it requires is high-speed Internet and a computer.

Agricultural-based webinars are being offered by various groups with some of the more prominent coming from the state university extension services. While the seminars do have a registration fee, they tend to be inexpensive and accessible to anyone, no matter their computer skill level.

Michigan State University is sharing their 2017 Beginning Farmer Webinar Series which will begin on January 30 and run through May. These nine classes will be presented live on Mondays from 7 – 9 pm (Eastern Standard Time) with all paid registrants receiving a special link to connect to the recorded webinars after the presentation. This option is for those who are interested in viewing the program again or catching the class if they weren’t able to appreciate it while it was live.

The series will be start out with Small Vegetable Farm Systems followed by Hoophouse Management, Maple Syrup, Fencing and Watering Systems for Livestock, Blueberries, Crop Nutrient Management, Aquaculture, Planning and Operating a Mixed Fruit Orchard, and Producing and Selling Eggs. Each course is presented by members of MSU Extension, or staff at MSU or Purdue University.

The webinars offer an interactive approach during the live presentations with a ‘live’ chat box where questions may be posted and the participants can have a discussion with the presenters. Other registrants will have access to the questions and answers promoting an interchange of information.  These educational experiences cost $10 each unless you sign up for all nine and receive a 50% off discount, paying only $45. To learn more about the classes or sign up, the information is available at http://msue.anr.msu.edu/events/beginning_farmer_webinar_series_2017.

Another set of webinars offered is through Purdue University with topics ranging from agribusiness, food business in the home kitchen, and the future of agriculture. For more information about these courses, visit edustore.purdue.edu/newsearch.asp.

If someone is looking for free offerings, various video websites offer introductions to different agricultural practices along with recorded speeches and presentations by leading experts with a myriad of topics and subject matter shared.

While the weather outside may be ‘frightful’, an opportunity is awaiting you to enjoy a world of learning within the comfort of your home by adding these educational experiences to your winter to-do list.

Photo by Julia:

9942: The winter season offers a great time to catch up on certifications and information by taking a webinar on your home or office computer.

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