Publish Date: Winter 2010

The cover photo and its thumbnail version on this page are not Suncrest peaches. “Not Suncrest peaches,” as in “there are not any buyers for Suncrest peaches,” was something Mas Masumoto heard from fruit buyers about his great tasting traditional Suncrest peaches. This lack of a wholesale market and the need to keep his family farm viable motivated his journey into biologically-based farming and alternative markets for his fruit and eventually to his classic book, “Epitaph for a Peach.”

As a farmer, Masumoto has experienced first hand the forces of conventional wholesale markets on smaller family farms. Finding new methods and new markets to keep a family farm operating is hard work and is also a story worth telling. As a writer he notes, “Economics and business will not adequately explain the work we do – it will take story and art. There is a type of art to our approach to farming – and the power of story captures the emotional and the physical nature of our work.”

David Mas Masumoto is the keynote speaker for the 2010 Oregon Small Farms Conference. He is a third generation farmer from the Central Valley of California. He and his family farm 80 acres of organic peaches and grapes. He is the author of several books in addition to “Epitaph for a Peach,” including his latest entitled, “Wisdom of the Last Farmer: Harvesting Legacies from the Land.”

The line up of sessions for this year’s conference includes:

• WIC Fresh and Frozen Fruit & Veggie Voucher Program
• Creating Successful Farm Internships
• Agri-Tourism as a Value-Added Enterprise on Your Farm
• Alternative Poultry Feeds Part II
• The Business of Farmers’ Markets
• Funding Successful Energy Improvement Projects
• New Tools for Marketing Your Products
• Small Scale Grain Production
• It’s a SNAP!
• Farmers as Writers
• Farmers’ Market - Public Health Partnerships: Solutions for Healthy Eating
• Alternative Meat Marketing Strategies
• Cover Crops for Soil Fertility and the Bottom Line

    The invited capnote speaker is Congressman Kurt Schrader. He was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2008 representing Oregon’s 5th District. Congressman Schrader currently serves as a member of the House Committee on Agriculture. He is a veterinarian and farmer who lives with his wife Martha on their Three Rivers Farm in Canby.

    The 10th annual Oregon Small Farms Conference is Saturday, February 27, 2010 on the campus of Oregon State University. For more information or to register go to: http://smallfarms.oregonstate.edu/ or see page 8