Hosted by The Food Group, the 15th Annual Emerging Farmers Conference was held Friday, January 24 to Saturday, January 25, 2020 in St. Paul, Minnesota. A summary of details about the event can be found here.
The annual Emerging Farmers Conference (formerly the Immigrant & Minority Farmers Conference) serves to advance the success and sustainability of farmers who traditionally face barriers to the education and resources necessary to build profitable agricultural businesses, including immigrant farmers and farmers of color.
This innovative conference focuses primarily on the needs and interests of these farmers, and supports their contributions to local economic development and building healthy communities. It does so by connecting farmers, farm advocates, educators, professionals, experts, and agency officials.
The Emerging Farmers Conference (EFC) is FREE for all farmers and language interpretation is available in Spanish, Hmong, Karen, Bhutanese, Vietnamese, and Somali. Interpretation is based on registration. (We do our best to accommodate all farmers, but cannot guarantee interpretation for last-minute registrations.)
Continental breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be provided. Childcare is not provided.
The EFC is a program of Big River Farms. It is planned and hosted by a collaborative of farmers and volunteers, government, nonprofit, and University of Minnesota personnel.
This conference provides education and resources, fosters relationships between farmers and community partners, and empowers participants to lead change in their communities through healthy food access, education, and economic opportunity.
- RESOURCES – Farmers obtain a deeper understanding of resources available to them and methods by which they can access those resources to support and grow their farming businesses. For example, farmers will be provided with financial plans, soil maps, and contact information for organizations who provide land leasing and purchase information.
- CONNECTIONS – Valuable connections are made between local farmers, vendors, organizations, and community groups which support emerging farmer populations and strengthen all components of the local food system.
- KNOWLEDGE – Farmers gain specific, hands-on knowledge which is directly applicable to their farm businesses and will increase the success of their farm operations. For example, farmers will leave with a deeper understanding of weed management or production techniques for specialty crops. Organizations and community stakeholders gain exposure to a deeper understanding of the contributions immigrant and minority farmers make to the local food system, and the importance of supporting sustainable agricultural practices in their communities.
- EMPOWERMENT – Conference participants are empowered to enact change in their local communities, specifically in the areas of racial equity and sustainable agriculture as they relate to the local food system. For example, participants will have the opportunity to connect with other farmers in our collaborative problem solving workshop. This facilitated discussion aims to foster relationships between farmers, allows them a space to talk about common challenges, and find solutions to those challenges.
Interested farmers and community-based members who have questions should contact [email protected] or 651-433-3676.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is food provided?
Breakfast, lunch and afternoon snack will be provided on Saturday.
I’m from out of town. Where should I stay?
A hotel block is reserved at The DoubleTree by Hilton Roseville Minneapolis. It’s in a central location between St. Paul and Minneapolis, only 2 miles away from the Continuing Education Center. The DoubleTree offers complimentary shuttle service to the Continuing Education Center. Enjoy the largest pool in the area, hot tub, sauna, and little kiddie pool, 24-hour fitness center, Made Market that proudly serves Starbucks and Axels Restaurant. Along with the great conference rate, please enjoy a hot breakfast buffet in Axels each morning of your stay. Please visit this link to book a hotel
How do I get to the venue? Where do I park?
Lot S104 at the University of Minnesota is closest to the venue. Note that there is construction in the area as solar panels are being installed, but the lot will be open during this time. Visit the parking lot website for more details on parking.
Driving directions and map to the University of Minnesota Continuing Education and Conference Center, 1890 Buford Avenue, St. Paul, MN 55108
From I-694 take 35W south to the Cleveland Avenue exit (Note: exit to the left). Follow Cleveland Avenue to Larpenteur Avenue. Go east (left) on Larpenteur to Gortner, turn south (right) on Gortner, and go to Buford Avenue. Turn east (left) on Buford Avenue to the parking area.
From I-35W take the Highway 36 exit and turn south on Cleveland Avenue to Larpenteur Avenue. Go east (left) on Larpenteur to Gortner, turn south (right) on Gortner, and go to Buford Avenue. Turn east (left) on Buford Avenue to the parking area.
From downtown St. Paul: Go west on I-94 to Snelling Ave. Go north on Snelling Ave. to Larpenteur Avenue. Go west (left) on Larpenteur to Gortner, turn south (left) on Gortner, and go to Buford Avenue. Turn east (left) on Buford Avenue to the parking area.
From downtown Minneapolis: Go east on I-94 to MN-280, exit number 236. (Note: exit to the left.) Merge onto MN-280 north. Exit at Larpenteur Ave. Take Larpenteur east (right) to Gortner (third traffic light). Turn south (right) on Gortner and go to Buford Avenue. Turn east (left) on Buford Avenue to the parking area.
Thank you to our 2020 Sponsors!