OSU extension to host farm direct marketing conference Feb. 26 in Corvallis

January 21, 2005

CORVALLIS - The Oregon State University Extension Service's Small Farms Program will host the fifth annual farm direct marketing conference on Saturday, Feb. 26, at LaSells Stewart Center on the OSU campus.

George Brown, executive chef of Burgerville USA, will present the keynote address, "Farming to Fast Food, How to Pick Your Partners." Burgerville USA is known for its use of local agricultural products, conference organizers say.

Co-sponsored by the Oregon Farmers' Markets Association, the day-long conference will have programs for growers who market their production directly to the public, for farmers' market managers and for community food advocates.

The conference will include sessions on season extension, post-harvest physiology of market produce, business management and the family farm as a family business.

In these sessions, Karrie Stevens Thomas of Community Alliance with Family Farmers will discuss direct sales to school and other institutional cafeterias. Joel Huesby of Thundering Hooves Family Farm will discuss grass-finished beef.

Other session topics will include marketing tips and sign design, and U.S. Department of Agriculture's new revenue protection program for smaller farms. Community food advocates will have a chance to participate in a session on the progress of Oregon's food policy councils.

OSU's Integrated Plant Protection Center will be on hand to talk with growers about farm ecosystems and beneficial insects. Free well water screening for nitrates will be available; interested persons should bring one cup of water in a clean container. Natural Resource Conservation Service staff will be on hand to inform growers about the Conservation Security Program.

Registration is $25 or $40 for two from the same farm, and includes lunch.

Find registration materials on-line at http://smallfarms.oregonstate.edu/, or call the Benton County office of the OSU Extension Service in Corvallis at 1-800-365-0201.

Author: Carol Savonen
Source: Linda Brewer