Co-Packing & Food Processing Partnerships: Hannah Kullberg, Co-Pack; Erick Garman, ODA

Join Hannah Kullberg (Community Co-Pack) and Erick Garman (ODA) for a lunchtime discussion on co-packing and food processing partnerships for small farms. As resource connectors & match-makers we would love to hear about your product ideas and needs! 

Reduced Tillage Options: Doug Collins, Extension Specialist, Washington State University; Nathan Stacey, Statewide Coordinator, OSU Small Farms Program; Nick Andrews, Organic Vegetable Specialist

Join our lunch roundtable to discuss reduced tillage options. Doug will share updates on applied research and practical reduced tillage methods for annual crops west of the Cascades. Engage in a farmer-to-farmer discussion, and provide input for a summer reduced tillage field day and future extension events.

Raising Resilient Bees: Eric and Joy McEwen, authors of Raising Resilient Bees

Eric and Joy McEwen, authors of Raising Resilient Bees, share a short presentation followed by Q & A, about their journey as a beekeeping family operation and their unconventional means of developing an inbred line of honey bees with increased levels of resistance to varroa mites. This long-term selection program when paired with management practices that include integrated pest management techniques to reduce varroa mite populations has allowed minimal use of acaricides, specifically oxalic acid twice annually. Using in-hive queen propagation techniques in lieu of grafting, daughter colonies are raised annually from every extant colony. By maintaining relatively high mite pressure, we have imposed a selective force on our inbred line toward mite resistance. Differential rearing of number of daughter colonies per over-wintered colony allows for steady genetic transformation of our metapopulation. By foregoing grafting, we prevent unintended loss of rare genetic information. We utilize the processes of making walk-away splits to grow your apiary and produce naturally-reared queens. Authors share their practice of agrarianism with a heart-centered approach to farm life, passion for rural living, and dedication to the well-being of honey bees.

Farm to Institution Roundtable: Melina Barker, Oregon Farm to School; Amy Gilroy, Oregon Department of Agriculture

Institutional sales can be daunting for small producers, however they also hold great potential as a valuable and stable income stream. We will discuss the opportunities and challenges related to  institutional markets including schools, hospitals, prisons and universities. Come join the conversation with the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Farm to School Network. Learn about the recently forming Oregon Farm to Institution Collaborative and how institutional markets might be a fit for your business. 

USDA – NRCS Resources for Small Farms: Will Fett, NRCS

Do you farm and want to make improvements to the land that you own or lease? The United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) offers technical and financial assistance to help farmers and forest landowners. No matter the size of your farm, NRCS helps with conservation planning and installing practices that are specific to your natural resource needs and business goals. From simple management systems, such as planting cover crops, to complex structural practices, such as animal waste management systems, NRCS has a conservation solution for you.

Learn How to Protect your Expected Farm Income Against Natural Causes of Loss, Such as Heat, Freeze, and other Natural Losses: George Harris, Ag West Farm Credit

Micro Farm Program The Micro Farm program provides a risk management safety net for all commodities on your farm under one insurance policy. This insurance plan is tailored for any farm with up to $350,000 in approved revenue, including farms with specialty or organic commodities (both crops and livestock), or those marketing to local, regional, farm identity preserved, specialty, or direct markets, as in Farmer Markets.   Micro Farm provides protection against the loss of insured revenue due to unavoidable natural causes which occur during the insurance period. Micro Farm will also provide carryover loss coverage if you are insured the following year. Micro Farm premium is heavily subsidized by the federal government and new beginning farmers can qualify for up to 10 years for an additional 10% subsidy

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