October Extension Topics
  • Apple Day - Oct 2
  • Montana Nutrition Conference and Livestock Forum - Oct 5-6
  • First Annual Agricultural Production Symposium Oct 7
  • Seed Saving Workshop - Oct 13
  • Young Farmer and Rancher Leadership Conference Oct 15-17
  • Building A Stronger Bitterroot Teens on the Farm Oct 16
  • Montana Small Farms Conference - Oct 19-20
  • Fall cleanup in vegetable gardens
  • Fabulous Fridays begin Oct 1
  • Estate and Legacy planning home course
  • Thank you to all our 4-H Supporters!
  • Enrollment for the 2021-2022 4-H Year opens Oct 1
  • National 4-H week
Apple Day
Saturday, Oct 2
42nd Annual McIntosh Apple Day
Time: 9am - 3pm
Hailed as the Biggest Bake Sale Under the Big Sky, the Annual McIntosh Apple Day Festival is not one to be missed! This time honored and well loved festival was recently named one of Montanas Best Fall Festivals, by National Geographic Traveler Online and as one of the Top Festivals in the United States, by Flight Network!
Enjoy arts, crafts, food & produce from our local Hamilton Farmers Market as well as new vendors from outside the area. The highlight of the day is our signature Bake Sale. Hand-picked, locally grown Apples are lovingly crafted into made-from-scratch Apple pies.
7th Annual Liquid Apple Night
Time: 5pm – 9pm
Location: On the lawn in front of the museum on the corner of Bedford and 2nd Street in Hamilton.
This hard cider festival takes place in the evening following McIntosh Apple Day. Cider companies from all over the Rocky Mountain north west are invited in to share their craft. 
Ticket price includes a commemorative glass for cider sampling. 
There is also local food vendors and live music.

Both events benefit the Ravalli County Museum and Historical Society.
Montana Nutrition Conference and Livestock Forum - Oct 5-6
The Montana Nutrition Conference is Oct. 5-6, 2021 at the Best Western GranTree Inn in Bozeman, MT. There is a room block reserved under the Montana Nutrition Conference at the hotel, please contact the hotel for reservations (406-587-5261). 
For any questions regarding the Montana Nutrition Conference and Livestock Form, please contact Dr. Megan Van Emon at 406-874-8286 or megan.vanemon@montana.edu.
First Annual Agricultural
Production Symposium Oct 7
From the MSU News Service September 13, 2021
BOZEMAN – The newest program in Montana State University’s College of Agriculture is set to host its first annual agricultural production symposium on Thursday, Oct. 7.
The symposium, “Calving Season: When is Optimal for Your Ranch?” will be hosted by the Dan Scott Ranch Management Program, a program of the Department of Animal and Range Sciences, which offers the college’s newest undergraduate degree in ranching systems. It will be all-day event from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The day’s agenda includes a presentation from Burke Teichert, a rancher, consultant and contributor to Beef Magazine; a tour of MSU’s Red Bluff Research Ranch north of Norris; and a producer panel that will discuss challenges and opportunities in changing the timing of calving on cattle ranches.
Sessions for the symposium will include discussions on how to find the calving season that works best for your ranch, an overview of the cascading impacts of choosing and changing calving seasons, and an in-depth look at cattle and range management at Red Bluff Research Ranch. Other segments will center on how to increase profitability by reducing supplemental feed requirements and how to optimize profit from off-season sales of calves and cull animals.
Speakers will include Red Bluff foreman Noah Davis, reproductive biologist Sarah McCoski, MSU Extension beef cattle specialist Megan Van Emon and cattle nutrition and management specialist Tim DelCurto.
"Perhaps no other management practice influences your ranch more than the time of year you calve,” said Rachel Frost, director of the Dan Scott Ranch Management Program. “Selecting a calving season that works for your operation and fits your environment is crucial to financial sustainability. We are excited to bring Burke Teichert and other producers to Bozeman to share expertise and experiences in adjusting calving season and how that can present new opportunities for your ranch.”
Registration cost is $100 through Sept. 20 and $150 thereafter, and registration includes all meals and transportation for the day. Registrants can attend the event in-person or virtually for the same price. More information, a full agenda and online registration can be found at https://animalrange.montana.edu/danscott/danscottoutreach.html.
Rachel Frost, frost@montana.edu or 406-994-3724
Seed Saving Workshop - Oct 13
Learn how to harvest, clean, dry, and store your seeds and why it is vital to our food and community here in Montana.
Join Cultivating Connections, Farmers Laura Garber and Henry Wuensche, and event co-sponsor the Community Food and Agriculture Coalition (CFAC) for a seed saving/seed cleaning 'Farmer Field Day' workshop at Homestead Organics Farm. Homestead Organics is the farm-classroom for Cultivating Connections and the Building A Stronger Bitterroot series.
Laura has been farming organically for over 24 years and is passionate about sharing what she has learned about the ancient and vital practice of saving and sharing seeds. Our access to clean, organic, food for generations may just depend on it.
As seed growers for Triple Divide Organic Seed Cooperative, Laura and Henry will highlight the vegetable and flower varieties they are stewarding. Henry will demonstrate the 'Winnow Wizard' seed cleaner that CFAC has helped make available to Triple Divide Seed Coop, as well as many low-tech methods to harvest and clean seeds.
Seed saving is simple, easy, fun and for EVERYONE. Whether you are new to saving seeds or a pro, all are welcome.
Suggested donation of $20 to support the Building A Stronger Bitterroot knowledge-sharing event series. No one will be turned away for lack of funds. Please bring a friend and share.
It is also possible to sign up on the CFAC website: https://www.missoulacfac.org/programs/farmer-support/farmer-field-days/
Young Farmer and Rancher
Leadership Conference Oct 15-17
The Montana Farm Bureau Young Farmer and Rancher Committee announces that registration is now open for the 2021 YF&R Leadership Conference October 15-17 at the GranTree Inn in Bozeman. The conference offers top-notch speakers, networking and tours, and is geared towards young agriculturalists ages 18-35.
The event kicks off Friday afternoon with two rounds of the Collegiate Discussion Meet. The Final 4 round will be held Saturday afternoon. Saturday’s keynote speakers include Amanda Radke with “Shifting the Mindset and Shaping New Opportunities in the post-COVID-19 era.” Workshops cover the gamut, including practical information on accounting, ag markets, agriculture and climate change, and finding success in a multi-generational family business. Tours commence Saturday afternoon, where participants can choose from three options which include a purebred Hereford ranch, the MSU Plant Growth Center, Dry Hills Distillery “Farm to Bottle,” and more. The event wraps up Sunday with Governor Greg Gianforte (invited) to speak to conference attendees.
To view the full agenda and register for the conference, click here. The registration fee is $50 before October 1; $70 after Oct. 1. 
Attendees are responsible for making their own room reservations. Call the GranTree Inn at (406) 587-5261 by October 1 and request the “YF&R” room block for the $99+ conference rate.
Questions? Contact Sue Ann Streufert, Montana Farm Bureau, 406-587-3153, sueanns@mfbf.org
Building A Stronger Bitterroot
Teens on the Farm Oct 16
Building a Stronger Bitterroot: Youth Night for Teens at the Farm!
The Youth (11+) are taking over the farm! It is game night. You can expect flashlight tag, capture the flag, adorable pigs, and tasty snacks and drinks.
This is an all weather event and you will be on the move so dress in layers and wear your running shoes. Bring a flashlight or headlamp (no phone lights).
Please RSVP so we know how many people to expect and plan to bring $10 to the door.
Cultivating Connections is a local non-profit teaching real job skills in the Agricultural and Home Arts, using food as the tool to bring people together through education, participation, and celebration.
Montana Small Farms Conference
Oct 19-20
Come join us for the Montana Small Farms Conference, October 19-20th, in Missoula. 
Presentation topics from speakers covering topics including:
  • direct marketing of products
  • agritourism
  • niche processing of meats
  • specialty crops
  • regional food systems, and many other topics. 
 
Workshop includes lunch both days, and a half day of field trips. 
 
Fall cleanup in vegetable gardens
Rebecca Krans, Michigan State University Extension - October 10, 2016

Soil testing, removing plant material and adding organic mulches, compost and cover crops are all smart gardening techniques for fall cleanup.
 
Use shredded leaves raked from your lawn to cover vegetable gardens or beds. Photo: Rebecca Krans, MSU Extension.

Home gardeners can implement a number of Michigan State University Extension’s Smart Gardening practices while completing fall cleanup in vegetable gardens. Consider practices such as soil testing, mulching with organic materials or compost, and planting a cover crop.
Get your soil tested
If you haven’t had your soil tested in the last three years, this is a great first step. MSU Extension suggests getting your soil tested every three years. A soil test from the MSU Soil and Plant Nutrient Laboratory will give you the amount of major nutrients required for plant growth (Mg, P, K, Ca), the pH, soil type, CEC or cation exchange capacity (the soil’s ability to hold onto nutrients), and the organic matter percentage. Specific recommendations are then provided for how to properly amend your soil for whatever you are growing – vegetables, lawn or flowers. Fall is a great time to test your soil as you can amend the soil and have all of winter for these components to naturally work themselves into the soil.
Remove healthy plant material and add it to your compost pile
Removing plant material after you have harvested is a smart gardening practice. Shred or break up the material into smaller pieces and add it to your compost pile. Don’t include any diseased plants or plant parts. Dispose of these parts away from your compost pile, for example, burning if permitted or through disposal. Unless you hot compost, which heats your pile up to at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit, there’s no guarantee disease organisms will be killed. They can then be reintroduced into the garden when you use this compost. It is also beneficial to the many soil microorganisms to leave roots of beans and peas within your garden. Just cut off the tops of these crops and allow the microorganisms to live and feed off of the roots throughout winter.
Add mulch or compost to your soil
Covering your vegetable garden soil is another smart gardening practice. Apply an organic mulch, compost or plant a cover crop. Not only are you protecting the topsoil from erosion, but you are also improving the health of the soil and boosting yields in next year’s garden. By applying 3-6 inches of an organic mulch or compost over the soil, you are creating a home and providing food for all the microorganisms within the soil. Use shredded leaves or clean straw without seed heads or weeds, and cover your vegetable garden or beds. This material will lie on the soil’s surface and the microorganisms will break it down throughout the winter. You can plant directly in this material next spring or turn it over into the top 6 inches.
Consider planting a cover crop
Planting a cover crop in your vegetable bed provides a home and food for valuable soil microorganisms, suppresses weeds and returns organic material and nutrients to the soil. A good choice for fall planting is winter wheat or cereal rye. Both will produce some shoot growth this fall, die back in winter and then regrow next spring. Be sure to turn the top growth over next spring before it is 6 inches tall so it doesn’t get too difficult to manage. Allow at least two weeks for the incorporated cover crop to decompose before planting your vegetables.
Using a cover crop is a great way to rebuild soil structure and overall soil health. Consider integrating a cover crop into your vegetable gardening crop rotation plan each year or make use of certain cover crops within walking paths or rows. Many different cover crops exist, so it’s important to match your specific gardening goals with the type and characteristics of each prospective cover crop. For more information on choosing a cover crop, visit the Midwest Cover Crops Council website.
Fabulous Fridays begin Oct 1
Montana State University Extension is collaborating with Montana 4-H Foundation and MSU 4-H Center for Youth Development for a eight-part webinar weekly estate/legacy planning series titled Fabulous Fridays through October 1 - November 19, 2021. 
Topics for the eight-part series include
  • what individuals can and cannot do with a will
  • how to avoid probate with a transfer-on-death deed
  • how joint tenancies could accidently disinherit your children
  • how a testamentary or living trust can be used as estate & legacy planning tools
  • benefits of financial and health care powers of attorney
  • taxes  

The series will run from 10:00 to 11 a.m. with 15 minute Q & A afterwards.  

This webinar series will be presented by Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension Professor and Family Economics Specialist.

To register for the Fabulous Fridays webinar series, visit https://www.montana.edu/estateplanning/fabulousfridays then click on registration.
Estate and Legacy planning home course October 2021
MSU Extension to offer estate and legacy planning learn-at-home course
MSU News Service September 7, 2021
BOZEMAN — Montana State University Extension and the Montana Community Foundation will collaborate to offer a new learn-at-home course that covers estate and legacy planning topics for Montanans. “Estate/Legacy Planning for Every Montanan” is a five-lesson course with information similar to that which is offered in MSU Extension’s webinars. It’s intended for individuals who might not have attended the webinar series due to lack of computer or internet access.
According to Marsha Goetting, MSU Extension family economics specialist, the webinars that took place in 2020 and 2021 reached more than 6,000 Montanans. Goetting wanted the estate planning information to be inclusive and available to all. She said working with the Montana Community Foundation on this course is helpful because both organizations share the goal of strengthening the social, economic and environmental well-being of individuals, families and communities.
 “We decided to return to an educational approach used before the age of computers: a learn-at-home course,” Goetting said. “I am setting aside time each week for participants to call me with questions about the content, just as they could if they were able to participate in one of the webinars.”
“Estate planning is an invaluable way for individuals to protect what they care about when they’re gone,” added Mary Rutherford, president and CEO of the Montana Community Foundation. “We are pleased to partner with MSU Extension on ensuring all Montanans have access to this important information."
Starting Oct. 1, Extension will mail a new lesson plan to participants every two weeks. There will be five mailings in total. Goetting said the lessons are an introductory level and that Extension may offer a secondary course in January. Lesson topics are:
  • Lesson 1 will provide information about how to start the estate planning process.
  • Lesson 2 defines property ownership titles and outlines how those titles affect who receives property from an individual who dies without a will.
  • Lesson 3 explores a variety of family situations and illustrates who receives property if someone dies without an estate plan.
  • Lesson 4 explains common language in a will and how to transfer personal property.
  • Lesson 5 will discuss how to avoid probate.
Participants over the age of 60 or anyone with a disability will receive assistance with creating a will provided by the Montana Legal Developer Office in the Office of Aging. There is no charge for the will and the service will be done over the phone.
To register for the course, contact Goetting at P.O. Box 172800, Bozeman, MT 59717, or call 406-994-5695 and leave your name and mailing address. For those who have friends or family with computers and email, registration can be emailed to marsha.goetting@montana.edu.
Contact: Marsha Goetting, 406-994-5695 or marsha.goetting@montana.edu
Thank you to all our 4-H Supporters!
We would like to thank the parents and friends of the 4-H program, your support was a great asset to the 2021 Ravalli County Fair! There are so many people to thank that made your 4-H year a success: 
  • Club Org Leaders 
  • Club Project Leaders 
  • County Wide Project Leaders 
  • Parents in your club 
  • Fairgrounds Staff 
  • County Commissioners 
  • Local Businesses 
  • Livestock Breeders 
  • Award Donors 
  • Anyone who contributed to the success of your year, these folks are always there when you need them and they do appreciate your thank you’s! 
Enrollment for the 2021-2022 4-H Year opens October 1
Enroll online at 4h.zsuite.org 
Re-enrolling member and volunteer deadline: December 31
New member enrollment deadline: March 1
National 4‑H Week is October 3-9
Show your 4-H spirit by wearing green on Friday, October 8th (4-H Spirit Day!) 
MSU Ravalli County Extension
Office Staff
MSU Extension Agent
Agriculture, Horticulture
& Natural Resources
MSU Extension Agent
4-H Youth Development
Administrative Assistant
MSU/Ravalli County Extension Office
215 S. 4th Street, Ste G
Hamilton, MT 59840
Phone: 406.375.6611
 
The Montana State University Extension is an ADA/EO/AA/Veteran’s Preference Employer and Provider of Educational Outreach.