- About Us
2013 Conference Sessions
7:50 am Registration & Refreshments
9:15 am Morning Session
Keynote: Greenhorns & Grayhorns
The recently published book, Greenhorns: 50 Dispatches from the New Farmer Movement, includes nine “dispatches” from Oregon farmers and ranchers. These authors represent the growing youth movement in Oregon agriculture. The keynote session for the conference features four of the Oregon authors and greenhorn farmers representing different regions of the state:
- Sarahlee Lawrence, Rainshadow Organics, Terrebonne
- Josh Volk, Slow Hand Farm, Portland
- Cory Carman, Carman Ranch, Wallowa
- Teresa Retzlaff, 46 North Farm, Olney
However, greenhorns would not be anywhere without “grayhorns.” Moderating the panel is well-known organic seed grower and inveterate grayhorn, Frank Morton of Wild Garden Seed, Philomath. The session will include readings, lessons learned, wisdom and more than a few laughs.
10:30 am to 11:00 am - Break
11:00 am to 12:20 pm
Greenhorns & Grayhorns: Continuing the Conversation
Continuing the keynote session, the panel will be reshuffled to include additional grayhorns. This informal session will be driven by questions from the audience. The goal is to share the wisdom of new and experienced farmers and enjoy the community of small farms.
Selling Farm Products via the Internet
Internet-based methods for advertising and selling farm products provide opportunities to access new and different customers but also new challenges. Two veterans, one from the Northwest and one from the Midwest, will discuss their best practices as well as great ideas that didn’t work out so well. Larry Lev, OSU Extension Agricultural Economist.
Useful Record Keeping for Vegetable Growers
Successfully operating a diverse farm is much easier with good planning and record keeping and it is essential for maintaining certifications. Josh Volk from Slow Hand Farm will share the basics of the systems he has developed over the last 15 years for keeping clear and concise records that feed into his planning system every year. His systems also help communicate clearly what needs to be done during the season. AgSquared (www.agsquared.com) is an online software tool developed to help small farmers plan, manage, and keep farm records so that they can better understand the ins and outs of their production system and make better decisions. Drew Katz, AqSquared; Josh Volk, Slow Hand Farm.
Starting a Farmer Network
Farmer Networks provide great opportunities for producers to develop partnerships, educate themselves and organize. During this session, learn about some successful models of Farmer Networks in Oregon and ideas for how to start your own. The presenters will highlight portions of their newly published manual on farmer networks, including how to communicate with network participants, run efficient meetings, survey participants and develop relevant programming. Maud Powell & Melissa Fery, OSU Extension Service Small Farms Program; Melissa Matthewson, Barking Moon Farm.
More than an Apple a Day: Farmers’ Market Partnerships with Health Providers
Collaborations between farmers markets and health service organizations cultivate healthier food systems and healthier people. Learn about the innovative “Fruit and Veggie Rx” model in which healthcare providers give patients “prescriptions” they can redeem at a farmers’ market to buy fruits and veggies. Participants will leave with an understanding of the impacts of “Fruit and Veggie Rx” programs and how to create such programs. Oregon Farmers’ Market Association.
Pasture Management 101: Maximize Production for Profit
The keys to profitable grazing lie in understanding the pasture system, from the way grass grows to the grazing behavior of animals. Extension Animal Scientist Gene Pirelli will teach the principles of successful grass-based management and ways to maximize in-season and long-term forage production through sustainable management. This session is the first of two pasture management sessions and provides the foundation for beginning ranchers wanting to participate in the discussion of advanced topics in the 201 session. Gene Pirelli, OSU Extension Animal Scientist; Mylen Bohle, OSU Extension Agronomist.
Managing Insect Pests on Small Vegetable Farms
This session will discuss the use of and science informing insect pest methods. Included are trap crops, row covers, and biological controls for managing carrot rust fly, cabbage maggot, cucumber beetle and aphids. Elanor O’Brien, Persephone Farm; Laura Masterson, 47th Ave. Farm; Paul Jepson, OSU Integrated Plant Protection Center; Nick Andrews, OSU Small Farms Program.
12:20 pm to 1:30 pm - Lunch
1:30 pm to 2:50 pm
Connecting to Land: Finding, Leasing and Purchasing Agricultural Land
Finding the right land is the most fundamental, and sometimes the most difficult, part of starting or expanding an agricultural enterprise. Those interested in leasing or purchasing agricultural land will learn what to look for in selecting agricultural property to lease. Prospective landlords and tenants will learn the basics of crafting a lease agreement, and how to maintain a long-term, working relationship. Get practical advice from a farmer, a legal perspective on land contracts, and a real estate agent’s perspective on researching a property. Nellie McAdams, Friends of Family Farmers; Conner Voss, Agricultural Real Estate Consultant.
Systems Weed Management on Vegetable Farms: Learning from Case Studies
Can rotation, cover cropping, and mulching reduce the need for hand weeding? And what does this have to do with insect pests? Alex Stone and Helen Atthowe (formerly of BioDesign Farm, Montana) will share stories about systems weed management from case studies of diverse vegetable farms. Alex Stone & Helen Atthowe, Oregon State University Extension Horticulture.
Small Farms at the Legislature
In its 2013 session, the Oregon Legislature will consider policies that will affect the state’s small farms. In this session, representatives of Oregon Grows, a statewide coalition of sustainable agriculture groups advocating for supportive public policy, will update us on legislative priorities and potential opportunities.
Growing the Willamette Valley Bean & Grain Economy
Staple crops, and the infrastructure needed to clean, store and process them, are making resurgence in the Willamette Valley. Hear the story from farmers, millers, distributors, bakers, and food banks.
Oh, SNAP! How to Navigate SNAP Payments for CSA Shares and Increase Your Membership
In 2011, Zenger Farm received a grant to develop a toolkit to will help Oregon CSA farmers begin accepting SNAP dollars. In this session, you will learn what the current rules are for accepting SNAP for CSAs, the different ways farmers in Oregon are processing SNAP payments, and what recommendations are being made to USDA FNS to make this process easier. SNAP brings more than 1 billion in federal food dollars to Oregon each year. Find out how you and other Oregon farmers can capture a piece of the pie and help make good food accessible to Oregonians of all incomes. Sarah Broderick, Zenger Farm
Pasture Management 201: Strategies for Experienced Graziers
Responsive management is the grazier’s most important tool for extending the grazing season and increasing forage quality. This panel discussion with experienced dryland and irrigated livestock producers will delve into their goals, obstacles, successes, and innovations in fine-tuning forage production and integrated grazing strategies. Kathy Panner, Umpqua Valley Lamb & Country Natural Beef; Cory Carman, Carman Rancg; Gene Pirelli, OSU Extension Animal Scientist; Mylen Bohle, OSU Extension Agronomist.
On-farm Composting & Clean Water
This session introduces methods for creating high quality compost while protecting the environment. Topics include: how to design and locate a compost operation, insights from an on-farm composter, and an introduction to the new OSU Extension Composting Manual and website. Dan Sullivan, Gathering Together Farm; Nick Andrews, OSU Small Farms Program; Will Gehr, Organic Recycling Systems.
2:50 pm to 3:10 pm - Break
3:10 pm to 4:30 pm
Visual Soil Assessment in Pastures & Cultivated Crops
Learn how to evaluate soil health in pastures and cultivated crops. Graham Shepherd will describe his Visual Soil Assessment methods. Teresa Matteson will describe soil quality projects in Oregon. Graham Shepherd, Bioagronomics; Teresa Matteson, Benton Soil & Water Conservation District.
Basics of Artisan Cheese Making
Oregon is nationally known for its artisan cheeses and cheesemakers. Come learn about the artisan cheese sector in Oregon, regulatory and food safety aspects of small-batch cheesemaking, and the basics of starting a cheesemaking business. Lisbeth Goddik, OSU Dairy Extension Specialist; Oregon cheesemaker
Seed Saving on the Farm
Session provides an overview on how to collect seed from your own farm. Many farmers save their own seed in order to reduce input costs in the spring and to increase productivity with regionally adapted varieties. Experienced farmers will discuss their methods of seed-saving and the impacts of the practice on their farm.
What is AgrAbility and How can I Help?
AgrAbility projects support a continued agricultural lifestyle for farmers and ranchers with injuries or illnesses. AgrAbility provides education related to safety, injury prevention and available services, farm assessment and modification, and networking. Learn about equipment modifications and ergonomics, the national AgrAbility project and AgrAbility in Oregon. Participants will exchange ideas to help shape a workable program for Oregonians. Nancy Krusen, Elena Durham, Eric Spence, AgrAbility Oregon at Pacific University.
Managing Breeding for Pasture-based Production
A successful on-farm breeding program matches animal genetics to specific farm conditions and market demand. This session, focused on pasture-based production, will address tips and tools for reproduction management, developing breeding goals, purchasing breeding stock, and implementing a long-term selection program. Speakers will discuss implementing a breeding program in the context of whole farm planning. David McKibben, Mck Ranch
Should I Think About Using a Distributor?
This session will provide producers with a thorough understanding of the services that distributors provide, the fees charged, and the expectations they have of their suppliers. Two distributors, one from the Northwest and one from the Midwest, will help workshop participants to think through the possibilities and challenges of selling their products in the diverse market channels that often prefer working with distributors rather than individual producers. Larry Lev, OSU Extension Agricultural Economist.
From Field to Jar: Value-added Consideration for Growers & Market Managers
You’ve dreamed up a great value-added product and flipped through the regulations. But how do you actually go about processing your harvest and selling it from a vendor table at the farmers’ market? This session is for both growers and market managers interested in value-added products. A panel of experts will discuss the ins and outs of processing regulations, production options, and market guidelines. Oregon Farmers’ Market Association.