Register at the door – $85 per person

*Limited to available sessions. Cash or check preferred.

Small Farms Conference Brochure 2020

Protected Culture Vegetable Crop Management and the Economics of Hoophouse Growing –  Andrew Mefferd

This presentation will continue where the previous one left off, moving into variety selection, trellising, pruning, fertility, temperature, spacing and more for hoophouse vegetable production. We will move from general principles into crop-specific management strategies, how they differ between different crops, and how economics underlie almost every management best practice in the protected growing. Learn how to get the most out of your hoophouse or greenhouse!

Black, Indigenous, and People of Color Perspectives on Entering Small Farming – Letty Martinez, Flying Dog Heart Farms; Melony Edwards, Farmer, Fabrics, Advocate; Nyema Clark, Nurturing Roots Farm; Arthur Shavers, Mudbone Grown Farm

Session description coming soon.

Teaming with Microbes for Adaptive Agriculture: Insights from Research with the Dry Farming Collaborative – Lucas Nebert, OSU Postdoctoral Fellow; Eliza Mason, Lilliputopia Farm; Rusty Rodriguez, Adaptive Symbiotic Technologies

Since the beginning of plant evolution, microbes have enabled plants to adapt to diverse environments around the globe. However, these important relationships between plants, bacteria and fungi have been mostly unknown until recently. Increasingly, agricultural practitioners are working with beneficial plant microbes to improve crop yields and reduce over-reliance on inputs. This session highlights an ongoing participatory research project between OSU researchers, a biologicals company called Adaptive Symbiotic Technologies, and Oregon small farmers of the Dry Farming Collaborative, who are working together use beneficial fungi to enable crops to be grown with less water.

Milking for Money: Are You Doing It Right? – Jenifer Cruickshank, Dairy Management, OSU Extension

Are you milking anything? Goats? Sheep? Cows? Milk is a delicious and nutritious but also highly perishable food. This session will cover best practices for sanitation, milk handling, and milk testing in order to minimize risk. Regulatory expectations for milk producers regarding milk sales and manure management will also be discussed

What to Expect When You Are Expecting an Inspection: Produce Safety Rule Implementation in Oregon – Sara Runkel, OSU Small Farms Program; Susanna Pearlstein, ODA Produce Safety Program Manager

For fruit and vegetable growers in Oregon the first year of inspections for the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule has just concluded. As of January 2020 the minimum standards that apply to Qualified Exempt farms will be in effect. Come to this session to learn where your farm stands with the Produce Safety Rule and hear what OSU and ODA are offering farmers to meet the requirements.  Farmers who have had a FDA produce safety inspection will also discuss their experience. There will be ample time for Q&A.

Developing a Brand Identity: for Farmers Market Businesses – Kate Morton, Streetsense; Chris Orcutt, Radical Social Media

This workshop will focus on the core work of developing a solid brand identity and will be geared towards new business owners and new farmers markets, as well as anyone who’s considering a rebrand. Using examples and providing tools and guidance the goal here is to help you build a good foundation for your future marketing activities. A brand is much more than a logo, so we’re here to help you identify your value proposition, your own “story” and your own brand identity

Is Starting a Farm Stand Right for You –  Nella Mae Parks, Nella Mae’s Farm; Maud Powell, OSU Small Farms Program; Melissa Fery, OSU Small Farms Program; Pami Monnette OSU Small Farms Program

Join Nella Mae Parks, owner of Nella Mae’s Farm and small farms faculty to help you decide whether or not starting a farm stand is right for your farm business. We will discuss farm stand models, food safety and quality, general rules and permits relating to what you can sell and market through a farm stand, as well as unique tips and tricks. Farm stands are becoming a more popular avenue to direct market products on the farm.Nella Mae’s Farm is a small, diversified family vegetable and beef operation in rural northeast Oregon. About one third of the farm’s sales come through the on-farm, self-serve, honor-system farm stand which is open from April through October. The farm stand, which has been in operation for 4 years, is the only “grocery store” selling fresh produce in Cove, a town of 550 people. Nella Mae was skeptical about starting a farm stand and yet it has become one of the most fulfilling aspects of the farm, both as a community service and sales outlet. Nella Mae has become a passionate advocate of farm stands as a way to help small-scale growers combat food deserts and build community.


Field Grown Winter Vegetables West of the Cascades – Laura Masterson, 47th Ave Farm; Danny Percich, Full Plate Farm; Nick Andrews and Heidi Noordijk, OSU Small Farms Program 

Even without high tunnels, fresh vegetables can be grown year-round in the Willamette Valley. Variety selections, planting dates, and harvest dates for brassicas and chicories will be discussed. Winter weather can cause heavy losses some years, but in most years, crops produce well and provide fresh local vegetables for your customers, and early season farm income. Nick and Heidi will share their findings from trials with cauliflower, cabbage, radicchio, and purple sprouting broccoli. Laura Masterson and Danny Percich will share their experiences growing winter vegetables. A participatory discussion of successful varieties and management practices will conclude the session – please bring your winter vegetable crop records.

Moving Through Farming: A Choreography of Biomechanical Principles – Talina Corvus

There is a strong prevalence of work-related musculoskeletal injuries among farmers, who participate in many high injury risk activities. This workshop (out of your chairs!) will integrate presentation and practice to discuss key movement principles and strategies that can be applied to joints, muscles, and whole movements with the goal of making them more efficient and safer. We will also discuss body mechanics, environment, and task sequencing while exploring movement strategies that you can individualize and apply to your own work on your own farm. Talina Corvus is a physical therapist, teacher, student, and farmer. Her clinical work focuses on caring for and empowering the aging body. She teaches education, exercise, movement, and massage concepts to a diverse set of professional students, and her research is centered on the ways in which our identities shape the way we move. With her family, she grows vegetables, raises dairy goats, and tends to land that is no-where near flat, in northern Yamhill County.

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