Hundreds of small farmers to gather at annual OSU conference

January 25, 2016
Cut flower production is one of 30 workshops at the OSU Small Farms Conference Feb. 20. Photo from EESC slide collection.
Cut flower production is one of 30 workshops at the OSU Small Farms Conference Feb. 20. Photo from EESC slide collection.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The 16th annual Oregon Small Farms Conference, which drew more than 900 people last year, takes place Feb. 20 at Oregon State University.

The event, one of the flagship educational offerings of OSU Extension Service’s Small Farms Program, is geared toward farmers, agriculture professionals, food policy advocates, students and managers of farmers markets. Over the years, participants have learned how to harvest rainwater, market meat products, develop a business plan, sell products to schools, graft vegetables and lease land.

This year, presenters will include farmers, OSU faculty, government agencies and representatives of farm and food businesses. Featured speakers include Chris Blanchard, a consultant, educator and owner of Rock Spring Farm; Steve Peters, creator of Seed Revolution Now; Shannon Algiere, flower and herb manager of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture; Andrew Millison, founder of Permaculture Design International; and Joan Thorndike of Le Mera Gardens, who has been farming fresh-cut flowers in Oregon for more than 20 years.

The 2016 Oregon Small Farms Conference will feature 30 workshops, including three in Spanish, on topics such as:

  • Growing without irrigation
  • Cut flower production
  • Specialty food market opportunities
  • Smart marketing
  • Vegetable crop scheduling with degree days
  • Exploring the small farm dream
  • CSA innovations
  • Animal husbandry
  • Record keeping for organics
  • Managing healthy soil

The cost, which includes lunch, is $45 per person until Feb. 1 and then $65 until registration closes Feb. 12. If available, tickets will also be sold at the door for $100. The conference will take place from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the LaSells Stewart Center and CH2M Hill Alumni Center on OSU’s Corvallis campus. To register, go to the Small Farms Conference website.

Author: Kym Pokorny
Source: Chrissy Lucas