TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Traverse City will host more than 1,000 individuals interested in making small farms more economically and environmentally sustainable at the upcoming Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference. Small farmers, homesteaders, farm interns, students, and conscientious eaters and growers will gather on Friday, January 26 and Saturday, January 27, 2018 to network, share ideas, and gain new skills at the 19th Annual Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference.
This year’s conference kicks off on Friday with Farm School, a full day of advanced education with three tracks to choose from: Agroforestry, Lean Farming, and Local Sales 2.0. This targeted day of learning includes national experts Dave Jacke, author of Edible Forest Gardens and Ben Hartman, author of The Lean Farm and recently named one of fifty emerging green leaders in the United States by Grist. Local Sales 2.0 will feature regional and statewide industry leaders and farmers to discuss the tools needed and best practices for small farms looking to take their food sales beyond the farmers market.
The 2018 keynote speaker is author and farmer Richard Wiswall. Author of the The Organic Farmer’s Business Handbook, Wiswall has consulted with over 90 farmers in New England, helping them increase profitability and meet their long term goals. His keynote address will focus on farming smarter, not harder.
New this year: The Trade Show will be a two-day event, with nearly 100 exhibitors from national and regional food and farming businesses. Trade Show attendance is included in the price of the conference, and will be open to the public for $5 at the door after 1:30pm on both Friday and Saturday.
The Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference will be held at the Grand Traverse Resort. In addition to hearing Richard Wiswall speak Friday night and attending the trade show, conference-goers will be able to choose from over 30 educational sessions and panels, including topics on food safety, the business of farming, environmental sustainability, flower farming, and more. A delicious, locally-sourced lunch prepared by the staff at the Resort will be provided both days. The full schedule, with more details about panels, classes, and discussion topics, can be found online at www.smallfarmconference.com.
About the Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference
The Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference serves as a vehicle to promote and build a local vibrant agriculture community, to equip the small farm community with the tools to be successful, and to serve as a forum for the open exchange of ideas within the small farm community.
— Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference
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