News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Business

January 4, 2014

Small Farm Conference to encourage owner success

DANVILLE — The second annual Indiana Small Farm Conference, presented by the Purdue Extension, will take place on Feb. 21 and 22 at the Hendricks County 4-H Fairgrounds in Danville. The event will offer expert advice to owners of small farms, which account for nearly nine out of every 10 farms in the state, to help them make their operations more successful. Sessions will focus on issues related to management, production, processing and marketing.

“It’s intended for anyone who is currently involved with, or interested in, small farms in Indiana,” said Steve Engleking, LaGrange County Extension educator and a conference coordinator. “That could be farmers, Extension educators, agricultural agency people or students. We hope to continue building a statewide community of people who have a passion about small farms.”

The conference will devote workshop tracks to crop and livestock production, marketing/processing and small-farm management. Speakers will include Extension educators and specialists from Purdue University, agricultural industry professionals and small-farm owners.

Three keynote speakers are scheduled:

• Sarah Aubrey of Monrovia, owner of Prosperity Consulting, a funding opportunities firm that assists entrepreneurs and small farmers in securing funds from a variety of foundations, agencies and other organizations

• Diana Prichard, an author, blogger, speaker and small farmer from north of Lansing, Mich.

• Tom McConnell, small-farm program leader at West Virginia University: He will bring his perspective on the importance of small farms in West Virginia, where they make up 98.2 percent of all farms, the highest percentage in the nation.

Registration is $150 per person for both days or $100 per person for one day. A discount applies for additional attendees from the same family, and those under age 13 can attend for free. Fees include conference materials and a lunch each day that will include Indiana-raised foods.

A new feature will be two pre-conference workshops on Feb. 20:

• Growing Organic workshop, covering many questions fruit and vegetable growers may have about growing organically

• Dairy meat processing and direct marketing tour to Trader’s Point Creamery in Zionsville and Moody’s Meats and processing in Ladoga: Participants will hear from the owners on topics such as production, processing and direct marketing to consumers.

An additional fee of $50 for participants of the pre-conference workshops, $30 for each additional family member aged 13 and older, will cover lunch, workshop materials and transportation.

For more information, including how to register for the conference and pre-conference workshops, visit the Purdue Small Farms and Sustainable Agriculture Extension Team website at www.ag.purdue.edu/small farms or call the Purdue Extension hotline toll-free at 888-EXT-INFO (398-4636).

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