LAWRENCE, Mich. — North Dakota-based farmer and author Gabe Brown will be the keynote speaker at the Van Buren Conservation District’s annual “Farming for the Future” conference. The free event will be held on Tuesday, March 10 at the Van Buren Conference Center in Lawrence. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the conference runs until 3 p.m. with free lunch included. Pre-registration is required and space is limited.
“With increased financial pressures and erratic weather many growers are looking to make changes on the farm. Gabe has been there – and has some great lessons for how he and his family converted their 5,400-acre farm to a holistic, diverse system that is profitable by reducing the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides,” says Conservation Technician Colleen Forestieri. “He is an inspiring speaker who can encourage us to work with nature to improve our farming practices to improve our bottom line. Gabe is a nationally-renowned speaker and we’re thrilled to bring him to Southwest Michigan.”
After several years of crop failure, Gabe Brown and his family could no longer afford chemical inputs on their farm near Bismarck, North Dakota. They began searching for a non-chemical farming model and implemented approaches using patterns from nature, which rapidly improved their soil, resulting in high yields and strong net profits. For over 20 years, they have focused on sustainable farming and ranching practices. Brown will share how his family integrates mob grazing with a no-till cropping system, including a wide variety of cash crops and multi-species cover crops. This diversity and integration has regenerated the natural resources on the ranch without the use of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides or fungicides. Gabe is also the author of the book Dirt to Soil: One Family’s Journey into Regenerative Agriculture.
Farming for the Future is an annual educational event for local farmers and is a great opportunity to learn from agricultural specialists, educators, researchers, businesses and other farmers. Additional topics this year will include a local farmer panel discussion, plant sap analysis, compost, soil health, diversifying grain crops, pasture management, and profitability with livestock. A MAEAP Phase 1 credit will be available for attendees along with 4 RUP credits. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. with coffee and refreshments. Free lunch will also be provided.
This event is free and open to the public but pre-registration is required and space is limited. Farmers are asked to register by February 25 by calling the Van Buren Conservation District at 269-657-4030 x5 or visiting www.vanburencd.org.
— Van Buren Conservation District
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