Images from a 2019 on-farm instructional event in Northern California, taught by Gary Zimmer.
When we survey our audience on how they like to learn, it’s very clear: on the farm, with peers who they trust. For this reason, we are bringing you the Acres U.S.A. On-Farm Intensives with Zimmer Ag.
These are different from our large events in hotels and universities, which feature classroom-style environments. Instead, these are on active, working farms to allow you to learn with all five senses.
SEE the farm in action during production season, and put yourself right in the middle of the action.
HEAR from world-renowned experts who have spent decades bucking convention and learning farming systems that are profitable and nontoxic. Talk to your peers and other attendees about what they are working on at their farm, ranch or grow operation.
TOUCH the soil, the equipment, the plants and more. There is only so much a textbook can teach you.
SMELL the rich soil of Otter Creek Farm and learn the way odors and scents can help control the insect populations.
TASTE great food grown right there on the Otter Creek Farm and in the region.
Our on-the-farm events are designed to equip attendees with real, practical tools to grow better crops using the right chemical, biological and physical basis and then to take their land further and do more.
Instructors Gary Zimmer and Leilani Zimmer-Durand will demonstrate best practices for cover crops, soil testing, field preparation, equipment/tillage, weed & pest management, fertilizer programs, livestock integration and more.
When you register, you are not only signing up to experience a successful, biological farming system, you will also learn to:
- Increase your knowledge on soil health, no matter your experience level
- Build a land-use system that maximizes your land’s potential
- Find techniques for transitioning your farm away from toxic systems
- How to get your soil balanced correctly without toxic inputs
- Build a biodiverse ecosystem that supports crop and soil health
- Decrease negative weed and pest pressure naturally
- Determine the best use of every square foot of your land
- Use regular soil health evaluation and the standard Haney test to make improvements to your system
- Work through the limiting factors and create a flexible system
- Integrate livestock to improve soil health system, transition to an organic program, and generate income
- Leverage equipment appropriately to advance your system
- Create checklists for your farm management program
- Meet and network with talented farmers and growers
You will walk away with clear, next steps to improve your land’s value and potential.
<anchor past events>
On July 19-20, 2021 the inaugural On-Farm Intensive with Zimmer Ag was held in rural Wisconsin. Gary Zimmer and his daughter, Leilani Zimmer-Durand, brought together a group of about 30 farmers from across the country – Pennsylvania to California – to learn about soil health strategies for commercial farmers of any scale. Dairy farmers, corn and wine grape growers, new farmers, experienced farmers, and even a university professor were in attendance. Guest instructors provided a filled out the robust programming including – Karl Dallefeld of Prairie Creek Seeds, Lawrence Mayhew of the Humic Products Trade Association, and Keefe Keeley of the nearby Savannah Institute. Together this team created a well-rounded program that centered around Gary’s Principles of Biological Farming, which include:
- Test your soils, use results for guidance
- Use high quality fertilizers
- Minimize chemicals and nitrogen
- Maximize plant diversity
- Use appropriate tillage
- Feed the soil life