EAST LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Family Farms Conference, to be held Feb 8, 2020 at Kalamazoo Valley Community College, is a forum for beginning, small- and medium-scale farms in Michigan to celebrate diverse agricultural communities, network, learn, and build vibrant sustainable food systems.
Reflecting on this year’s theme, Nurturing Resilient Farms – 2020 & Beyond, Pakou Hang, Executive Director Emeritus of the Hmong American Farmers Association, will deliver the keynote presentation, “We Were Made for These Times.” Pakou will discuss what our histories can teach about what is to come, and how embracing diverse cultural heritage can offer guidance and strength during challenging times of uncertainty and rapid change.
The conference has six educational tracks on topics relevant to small- and medium-scale farms, including: financial resiliency, growing industrial hemp, managing farm stress, creative intercropping, farm labor, goat and sheep management, farm viability, and more! The family-friendly conference also has an education track for ages 5+ with fun, agriculturally focused activities.
Other highlights include over 30 exhibitors, including USDA who can help you register your farm, a critical first step for accessing USDA programs, and an awards ceremony, honoring a Farmer of the Year, Food System Leader of the Year, and Courageous Catalyst.
The Michigan Family Farms Conference is made possible with funding from USDA’s Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program, otherwise known as the 2501 Program.
Thank you to the planning partners and sponsors: Fair Food Network, FoodCorps Michigan, GreenStone Farm Credit Services, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program, Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development, Michigan Farmers Market Association, Michigan Food & Farming Systems, Michigan Good Food Fund, Morgan Composting, MPHI, Michigan State Horticultural Society, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems, MSU College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, MSU Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, & Related Sciences, MSU Extension, Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education, Taste the Local Difference, USDA Farm Service Agency, & USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.
— Michigan Food & Farming Systems
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