SAINT PAUL, Minn. — Big River Farms (formerly Minnesota Food Association), a program of The Food Group, is hosting the 15th annual Emerging Farmers Conference (EFC). The Emerging Farmers Conference is specifically designed to advance the success of farmers who traditionally face barriers to the education and resources necessary to build profitable agricultural businesses, including immigrant farmers and farmers of color. The conference is free for farmers and includes interpretation in Spanish, Hmong, Karen, Nepali, and Somali, among other languages. Interpretation services are based on registration.The conference will take place at the University of Minnesota Continuing Education Center, 1890 Buford Ave, St. Paul, on Jan. 24-25, 2020.
The conference connects farmers with advocates, educators and experts, and empowers farmers to lead change in their communities through healthy food access, education, and economic opportunity. This year’s conference theme is Strength & Creativity in Farming, exemplified by keynote speakers Moses B. Momanyi and Lonah Onyancha of Dawn 2 Dusk Farm. Originally from Kenya, Moses and Lonah started farming in the Big River Farms Education Program, and in 2014 purchased their own farm near Cambridge, Minnesota. Currently they grow 5 acres of vegetables and 2 acres of fruit, and sell at a variety of Twin Cities farmers’ markets.
Farmers gain knowledge that is directly applicable to their businesses, including organic options for soil fertility, how to find land to farm, understanding United States Department of Agriculture programs and resources, app-based record-keeping, and goat/sheep husbandry. Hands-on Friday evening workshops will all take place in the UMN greenhouse and will cover: basic equipment maintenance, growing mushrooms, and pest and disease management.
For additional information and to register, please visit www.bigriverfarms.org/about-efc. Registration is also available by calling Mhonpaj Lee at 651-433-3676. Registration closes on Jan. 19, but no farmer will be turned away.
— Big River Farms
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