Register at the door – $85 per person

*Limited to available sessions. Cash or check preferred.

Small Farms Conference Brochure 2020

Getting the Most Out of Your Hoophouse Vegetable Production – Andrew Mefferd

Growing vegetables in a hoophouse or greenhouse is becoming more important for local growers to lengthen local food season. However, many small growers are using field-growing techniques in their greenhouses and hoophouses, that do not make the most of their precious covered growing space.

This talk will introduce the system of protected vegetable production pioneered by the Dutch, which is common in large commercial vegetable production and is also useful on smaller farms. Andrew will discuss the basic principles of protected growing and how they differ from field growing. The focus is on the eight most common edible greenhouse crops: tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, lettuce, greens, herbs and microgreens. We will discuss why these crops are the most reliable ones to pay off for protected growing, and how to evaluate the potential of other crops. Both presentations will cover material from Andrew’s book, The Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook.

Value Added Meat Goat Production – Renard Turner, Vanguard Ranch, Virginia

Vanguard Ranch maintains of herd of about 100 goats and grows seasonal produce on its 60 acres. The meat goat breeds carry the myotonic trait for easier management and are managed at a low stocking rate to enhance the health of the herd. Quality is the goal because the ranch retains ownership of the meat and which is marketed as ranch identified value-added products.

Olives 101: What you need to know if you are considering a small orchard in Oregon – Javier Fernandez-Salvador, OSU Small Farms Program; Tessa Barker, Graduate Student, OSU

Olives do grow in Oregon! This “up and coming” crop has multiple considerations that you need to evaluate in order to be successful with production. In this session you will learn the basic physiology and growth of the plant, land requirements an orchard establishment needs, what the OSU Olea Project is researching and what are the options for selling your final product. Please remember that OSU is new to this crop too and we have a lot of answers to share but also questions that we are working on resolving.

Changes to the Oregon Farm to School Program that Benefit Producers – Amy Gilroy, Oregon Department of Agriculture; Sara Runkel, OSU Small Farms Program; Lauren Gwin, OSU Center for Small Farms and Community Food Systems; Melina Barker; Angela Hedstrom, Ecotrust; Jesse Nichols, Stoneboat Farm; Jeff Aichele, Aichele Farm; Lisa Vincent

Oregon’s Farm to School Program received an $11 million boost for the 2019-2021 biennium. The expanded program includes increased funding for schools to purchase Oregon grown and processed foods and a new grant program designed to help producers overcome barriers associated with equipment and infrastructure costs to sell Oregon grown and processed products to schools.  Come hear how the new grant program may be a fit for your small farm business and how to connect with your local procurement hub for resources. You will also hear from producers and school districts who have successful business relationships.

Cut Flower Profitability – Erin McMullen, Rain Drop Farm; Aaron Gaskey, Rain Drop Farm; Tanya Murray, Oregon Tilth

Choosing, Growing and Selling Specialty cut flowers.  How to find the best crops for your farm, the best markets for your product, and the best price for your flowers.  Determining what crops are worth growing, which are lost leaders, and which are just not worth the effort.

Strengthening Inclusive Democracy in Food System Spaces: Organizing tools for combating white supremacist activities at farmers markets and other public spaces – Amy Herzfeld-Copple, Western States Center; Anna Springer, Oregon Farmers Markets Association (OFMA) Policy Board Chair

Farmers markets have seen a major increase in political activity in recent months, which is interfering with their ability to both function and to operationalize their growing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) commitments. We’ll discuss the situation and hear from an expert on how to organize around the goal of creating inclusive, anti-racist food system spaces.

Passing the Baton: How to transfer information, assets, and responsibility to the next generation – Nellie McAdams, Oregon Agricultural Land Manager with Columbia Land Trust; Diana Tourney, Clackamas Small Business Development Center; Theo Ciszewski, Persephone Farm; Matt Gordon, Rogue Farm Corps; Jabrila Via, Winter Green Farm

Whether you’re passing the farm on to a family member or a non-family member, it’s important to be intentional about how you transfer knowledge of farming techniques, responsibility for business decisions, and the land and equipment that make up the business.  Panelists will provide both elder and younger generations with advice on how to successfully pass on the farm business, including how to be a supportive mentor and mentee, and financial planning to assist with transfer – including working land easements as a tool for succession.

Pricing Info For 2020:

  • Early Bird Registration until Jan 20th: $60
  • Registration from Jan 21st until filled or Feb 12th: $85
  • No at the door registration will be available this year, unless we have significant spaces available.

These sessions are FULL – No waitlist available

Just Getting Started? Exploring What to Farm – Teagan Moran, OSU Small Farms Program

As a beginning farmer, you need to determine what CAN be grown or raised on your property and what you WANT to produce. This session will cover how to assess natural resources on a property, such as soil and water, to know what your options are. We will introduce the basic physical property and personal considerations for livestock, fruit, flower, and diverse vegetable operations. Due to the brief time we get together, we will not be covering production methods, costs of production, or marketing strategy, however, you will leave knowing what questions to ask in order to take the first step into farming and with a resource packet to help you along the way.

Advanced Nitrogen Management in Organic Vegetables – Dan Sullivan, OSU; Nick Andrews, OSU Small Farms Program; Clare Sullivan, OSU Small Farms Program

OSU, WSU and other Universities have done a lot of research on this topic in recent years. At OSU, that has culminated in several new Extension publications that you can use to manage soil nutrients more efficiently on sustainable and Organic vegetable farms. For 45 minutes we’ll update you on recent research and Extension advice related to N management in organic vegetables, and some ongoing trials. For the last 30 minutes of the session we’ll answer questions and discuss N management. This is an advanced session, but beginners interested in the topic are also welcome!

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