Emerging Farmers Conference: Strength & Creativity in Farming
Friday, January 24 – Saturday, January 25, 2020
UMN Continuing Education & Conference Center
1890 Buford Ave., St. Paul MN
FRIDAY, JANUARY 24TH
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Hands-On Equipment Basics and Maintenance
Presenters: Steve Ziertman, Molly Schaus, Geronimo Estrada, Michael Cruse, Wa Kou Hang
Learn the basics of purchasing and caring for equipment. The presenters will display a mounted tractor and a BCS tractor and cover how to choose the right tractor and maintain it.
Insect & Disease Management for Organic Fruit and Vegetable Farms
Presenters: Michelle Grabowski, Natalie Hoidal, Erin Johnson
This hands-on workshop will feature four stations. Topics include: identification, preventative management techniques, demonstrations of mechanical control tactics, and chemical safety.
Grow Mushrooms! (Log Cultivation Basics, Low Budget Oyster Mushroom Growing & Growing Mushrooms in Straw and On-Farm Spore Production)
Presenters: Jerry McAdams (Northwoods Mushrooms), Nik Prenevost (Mississippi Mushrooms), and José Ruiz (Big River Farms)
Growing mushrooms on logs can be a great small enterprise for you farm, especially for farmers markets or CSA boxes. Jeremy will introduce the pros, cons, and basics of log cultivation and have participants inoculate a log or two. Mushrooms grown on straw can be cheap and easy. Learn about fast-growing mushrooms from Nik and how you can get materials and bring a new, desirable crop to your table.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 25th
Registration and breakfast
This year’s keynote speakers are Moses B. Momanyi and Lonah Onyancha of Dawn 2 Dusk Farm. They started at Big River Farms and now farm 5 acres of vegetables and 2 acres of fruit, selling primarily at Twin Cities farmers markets.
Farmland Access Panel: Strategies for Finding Land and Accessing Capital
ft. Xong Khang, Karen Stettler, Tou Vang, Mhonpaj Lee
Two farmers will share their farmland access stories. There will be a discussion of resources for finding land, land assessment, and financing.
Raising Broilers: Good for the Soil, Good for Your Pocketbook
Presenter: Wayne Martin
Wayne will discuss different methods for raising broilers, compare the benefits and challenges associated with birds that are free-ranging over those in mobile huts. Different styles/sizes of huts will be covered, too. He will discuss marketing and profitability, and the benefits to the soil by having birds on the land.
Growing Asparagus using Soil Health Practices
Presenters: Theresa Kaveney, Paul Schmidt
Learn to grow asparagus, a high value, early-season crop that is a perennial. Farmer presenters will discuss selection of growing sites, choosing asparagus crowns, how to prepare and plant them, and how to tend to them during initial years, fall preparation, and harvest.
The Future of Urban Agriculture (tentative)
Presenter: Michael Chaney (Project Sweetie Pie)
What is the future of urban agriculture in the Twin Cities? We will explore this question as we learn about past, current and future farming projects happening in the Metro.
Lunch & Performances
Managing Soil Fertility in Organic Cropping Systems
Presenter: Paulo Pagliari (University of Minnesota Extension)
Explore options for improving soil fertility in organic systems. The presentation will cover how to take effective soil samples, interpret soil tests, and what options work best for adding nutrients to various crops.
Foundations for Success in Lamb Production
Presenters: Caleb Langworthy (Blue Ox Farm), Asael Garcia
Explore factors that contribute to the long-term success of a grass-based lamb operation. We’ll share tips for lambing, fencing, water systems, rotational grazing, feeding, and flock health. We’ll also cover opportunities with NRCS conservation programs that can assist your livestock operation.
Seed Saving with an Indigenous Perspective
Presenter: Lucas (Dream of Wild Health)
We’ll discuss the living relationships between indigenous communities and the seeds that they grew/grow, as well as what a seed is. This will help us transition into discussion on the actual practice of growing seed to save seeds for following seasons, the anatomy of a plant that allows it to grow seeds, and how to take care of a seed while in storage. We’ll look specifically at corn, beans, and squash, also known to many indigenous communities as the Three Sisters.
Farm Dreams: Setting Strategic Goals
Presenter: Annelie Livingston-Anderson (Land Stewardship Project
The desire to farm is powerful—spakred by love of food, the land, community, entrepreneurship and more. But it is a complicated undertaking and the list of questions is long. If you are dreaming of farming and puzzled about how to get started or you’re already farming and feel stuck, this workshop is for you. Clarify what motivates you to farm, get your vision on paper, identify a challenge or gap in skills, and make a plan for moving forward.
Soil Health for Fruit and Vegetable Growers
Presenters: Sarah Lindblom & Josh Reinitz (Sustainable Farming Association)
Explore the five soil health principles using examples from local producers to implement different strategies.
Starting a Small Food Business
Presenter: Iman Mefleh (Seward Makes/You Betcha Kimchi)
Learn from the owner of You Betcha Kimchi how to begin a small food business, whether on-farm or off. You’ll gain knowledge of the steps for different licensures and how to keep your business safe and legal. You’ll also explore scaling your business and different pathways businesses can take.
Improving Your Farm’s Success with Easy Record Keeping
Presenter: Rodrigo Cala (Latino Economic Development Corporation)
How to use the app AgSquared to keep records on your farm for organic certification, food safety and Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs). And how to use the records to run a more successful farm business.
Raffle Prize Drawing!