Field-to-Market: Selling Farm Direct, Producer-Processed, Value-Added Products in Oregon: Kelly Streit, OSU Extension Service.

Keep up on the new changes to the Oregon’s Farm direct Marketing Law (ORFDML) which allows small farmers and aspiring food entrepreneurs to produce certain low-risk, value-added products (fruit spreads, pickled and lacto-fermented fruits and vegetables) from the produce that they grow and sell them directly to the consumer without having to obtain a processing license. The law was passed in 2011 and amended in 2023 to include new products, new sales channels, and a raised sales limit.

Funding Opportunities for Farmers: Amy Gilroy; Andrew Collins-Anderson; Wallace Jennings; Maud Powell; OSU Extension Service, Zoë Bradbury DeSurra; Tanya Murray, Oregon Community Food Systems Network.

This session will feature a panel of representatives from grant and financial assistance programs who will share about current and upcoming funding opportunities for farmers and ranchers. Funding programs that will be covered include the Farmer & Rancher Disaster Resilience Grant Program, the Resilient Food Systems Infrastructure Grant Program, the Farm to Child Nutrition Program Producer Grant, the Northwest and Rocky Mountain Regional Food Business Center Business Builder Grants and  financial assistance from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS).  Program representatives will provide information about what funding can be used for, eligibility requirements and application processes and timelines. We’ll also hear perspectives from farmers on how they’ve accessed grant funding and how using grant funding fits into their business planning.

Thinking of Leasing Out Your Farmland?: Andrea Krahmer, Education Program Director, Oregon Agricultural Trust; Christina Bentrup, Willamette Valley Farmland Navigator, Friends of Family Farmers; Silvia Cuesta, Oregon Farm Link Navigator, Friends of Family Farmers; Teagan Moran, OSU Extension Service Small Farms Program

Join us to explore questions you should be asking when considering leasing out your land to new or experienced farmers. Service Providers will share common questions and considerations as well as provide input and guidance on where to find answers. Presentation topics include site readiness and assessment, contract building, farmer relationships, succession planning and more.

Innovations in dry farming in western Oregon: Jihelah Greenwald of Kasama Farm; Dan Schuler of Moondogs Farm; Matt Davis and Lucas Nebert of OSU Horticulture

For millennia, farmers have used dry farming practices to grow food through arid, warm seasons without relying on irrigation water. While dry farming has a history in our region, and around the world, farmers continue to innovate on dry farming practices to meet the diverse opportunities and constraints of growing food in our modern age and into a hotter, drier future. Our panel of farmers and researchers will discuss the latest dry farming practices that work for them, including no-till dry farming methods in diversified vegetables, techniques in dry farmed organic fruit tree production, and management of blossom-end rot in dry farmed tomatoes.

Organic Transition (TOPP): Opportunities and Challenges: Rose High Bear, Director, Elderberry Wisdom Farm; Amy Treasure (Siletz Tribe), Tribal Liaison, Elderberry Wisdom Farm; Elizabeth Dean (NW TOPP), Oregon Tilth.

In this listening session, presenters will solicit feedback from Native American and BIPOC farmers on the benefits and barriers of transitioning to organic. Presenters will cover topics on how to access funding, resources, obstacles and issues for transitioning producers, market opportunities, and ecological health. Two Native farmers and ranchers will share their experience transitioning to organic and be available for Q/A.

Futuring the Small Farm: A model for ecologically sound, socially responsible, and economically viable agricultural systems: Beth Hoinacki, Goodfoot Farm.

In this workshop, farmerworker Beth Hoinacki will use Goodfoot Farm, a Demeter certified Biodynamic® and certified organic market farm, as a case study to discuss how she has applied principles of holacracy and sociocracy to empower and engage farm workers as highly valued and skilled components of the farm organism.  With the philosophy, “mentor people, manage projects,” Beth reimagines how we view and value labor on the production farm.  The farm also seeks to pay a living wage for all workers and is accomplishing this in part through the implementation of a sliding scale farm membership.  Underlying her priority of wage equity for farm workers is her belief that the single most important goal we can work toward to ensure a whole and healthy food and farm future is changing the narrative on what it costs to produce food and how we pay for it.  It is expected that farmworkers and farmers from farms of various sizes will leave this workshop with ideas, tools, and inspiration to support implementing labor and market practices that support a viable farming future.  Others with interest in our community food systems will learn how they can help to shape a farming future that centers the people who farm as well as the planet.

Adjusting Crop Plans to Manage Climate Risk Using Financial Modeling: Julia Shanks Food Consulting & Author of The Farmer’s Office: Tools, Tips and Templates to Successfully Manage a Growing Farm Business; Lennie Larkin, Farm Business Instructor with Flower Farming For Profit & B-Side Farm.

In the last decade or so, weather patterns have become more extreme and unpredictable. Different parts of the globe have experienced a range of devastating rains, scorching droughts that fuel wildfires, hurricanes, and unseasonable temperatures. Crop plans that made sense a few years ago, may need to be modified to take into consideration the risk of extreme weather events. Farming has always been a risky venture. With little control over the weather, a freak snowstorm or severe hurricane can wipe out wide swaths of production. And as weather patterns become more erratic, the high value crops are also the highest risk. Climate change has affected agri-business strategies – from deciding what to grow, when to plant, and what infrastructure is needed. In this session, we will go through 2 case studies of how farmers used financial modeling to evaluate shifting priorities, risk tolerance and profit goals. We will discuss a flower farm in a region with increasing risks from wild fires and drought (B-Side Farm) and a vegetable farm with increasing risks for severe weather events (like hurricanes and winter storms).

Becoming a Successful Vendor at Your Local Farmers Market: Ashley Hess, Oregon Farmers Market Association.

Farmers Markets are a key business opportunity for small farms. There are more than 140 farmers markets throughout the state that yield more than $60 million of revenue across more than 6,000 vendors annually. This session will cover the key metrics that are most impactful to bring new businesses success through their local farmers market(s).

Getting Meat to Market: David Zarling, Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network (NMPAN)

Come learn about opportunities under retail and custom exemption, plus FIVE things you can do right now to work smarter and not harder with your meat processor resulting in better margins for both.

Pricing Info For 2024

  • Registration $85 per person until Feb. 1st
  • After Feb. 1st $100 per person
  • At the door registration may NOT be available due to venue capacity.
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