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PASA Education Event - FARMDATA Training

April 1, 2017 Farmer-to-Farmer Exchange Event

Event Overview
  Dickinson College
  Kaufman Hall, Room 186
  400 W. North Street
  Carlisle, PA 17013 
Date & Time
  Saturday, April 1
  Free to Members
  Free to Non-members
Event Description
Information is powerful, and running a produce farm efficiently requires tracking vast amounts of information. Planting dates, harvest yields, soil amendments, tillage, pest scouting, sprays, and sales invoices are some of the many data points that can be useful if recorded in a convenient, searchable format. FARMDATA is a collaborative project built by farmers and computer scientists that has been field proven over several years to make record keeping fast, efficient and even fun. FARMDATA is an internet database system customized to your farm that is compatible with smartphones and desktop machines, allows multiple users simultaneously, and is password protected. This innovative system allows farms to digitize a wide variety of records instantly from the field, eliminating the need for clipboards or field notebooks and the tedious task of data entry at the end of the season. Smart input forms use drop-down menus to minimize typing and data entry errors while performing helpful calculations automatically. FARMDATA's record keeping functions are exceptionally handy for reporting requirements of organic farmers, but the data collected will be valuable to any produce operation. Best of all, FARMDATA is free and open source. To view an active working copy of FARMDATA please visit the Dickinson College Farm page guest access at

This hands-on interactive workshop will take place in a computer lab at Dickinson College. After an introductory slide show, participants will launch their own custom accounts with coaching from experienced FARMDATA users. Time will be provided for troubleshooting new account startup and demonstration of the function and use of a variety of FARMDATA pages. Our goal is to get you started on the right foot, so that you can begin fast and easy digital recordkeeping on your farm this growing season! If time permits we will also discuss crop planning theory and practice using Microsoft Excel. FARMDATA does not have automated crop planning functions built in, but the information collected by FARMDATA makes the crop planning process faster and easier in the long run.

Pre-registration is required to prepare your FARMDATA account. Registered participants will be provided with a list of farm-specific information to bring along to get started. Registration will close at noon on March 29th.
Speaker & Host Information
Farmer Mike Ahlert, along with his wife, Charis Lindrooth, are the owners of Red Earth Farm. Red Earth Farm’s CSA program was ten years old in 2016 and consists over 600 members.

Farm Manager Kim Butz joined the Red Earth team in 2016, in part to help the farm navigate the regulatory aspects of their Harmonized GAP-certification. Kim has a background in agriculture, as well as the natural gas industry, which served as a good training ground in learning to work with government agencies and regulatory compliance.

Brenda Sheaffer is the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture Fruit/Vegetable Commodity Program Supervisor. She has worked with Red Earth regarding their Harmonized GAP certification, and has performed many inspections and consultations with farms around GAP, in general.
Do you allow walk-ins?
Sorry, all individuals must be pre-registered for this event in order to bring along the necessary farm information.
Is there financial aid for this event?
This event is free to all.
What should I prepare/bring with me to this event?
This event will be inside.
Bring a smartphone or tablet caomputer, if you have one. Computers will be available on site and you can run FARMDATA on your home computer with or without a mobile device for on-to-go data entry.
Remember your business cards- PASA events are an excellent networking opportunity.
Bring your questions! Make the most of this event by preparing several questions for the day.
Who do I contact if I have more questions about this event?
Please contact Franklin Egan at or (814) 349-9856 for more information about this event.
Registrant Information

Use the 5-digit Zip Code that you last gave PASA
After clicking "Continue" below, we'll check your PASA membership status.
If you're a current PASA member, you'll be taken to the final page of registration for this event.
If you're not a current PASA member, you can join through our Annual Giving form or proceed with non-member pricing.

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