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Focus on Farming offers ag sessions, trade show

Nov 10th, 2014 | Category: Features

The annual Focus on Farming conference returns Thursday, Nov. 20, highlighting agriculture education and information. The day includes 24 workshops across six industry tracks, a 17,000 square foot indoor trade show, and a lunch prepared with local ingredients.

This year's Livestock Production sessions include Mobile USDA Livestock Processing Units, USDA Grass Fed Certification, Working Effectively with Your Processor: Getting Local Meat to Local Markets, and Mobile Poultry Processing.

This year’s Livestock Production sessions include Mobile USDA Livestock Processing Units, USDA Grass Fed Certification, Working Effectively with Your Processor: Getting Local Meat to Local Markets, and Mobile Poultry Processing.

This year’s conference goes “back to the farm” thanks to a partnership with the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe, which will host the 11th annual event. Focus on Farming is made possible through the partnerships and sponsorships of organizations including the Snohomish Conservation District, Pierce County, King County, Washington Sustainable Food and Farming Network, Snohomish County Parks and Recreation, Snohomish County WSU Extension and RMA (Risk Management Agency).

The keynote speaker is renowned sustainable agriculturist Fred Kirschenmann, who shares an appointment as Distinguished Fellow for the Leopold Center and as President of the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. His previous appointments include tenure on the USDA’s National Organic Standards Board and the National Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production. He also manages his family’s 1,800-acre organic farm in North Dakota – a farm that has been featured in National Geographic, Business Week and Gourmet Magazine.

Joining the conference for an evening of entertainment is Susie Oberdahlhoff, presenting “Kids, crops, sows and cows: Life happens, learn to bounce,” is sure to resonate with those in the audience trying to juggle farm life with relationships, parenting and everyday life. Susie weaves her four Ps of prosperity throughout her stories and reminds people of the importance of learning to bounce through life’s twists and turns.

Sessions are outlined by track and include:

Business of Farming/Marketing: Government Contracting & Produce Program Opportunities (Panel Discussion); What’s New for You in the 2014 Farm Bill?; Certification Workshop: Benefits of Being a Certified Minority and/or Women-Owned Business; and Working Effectively with Your Processor: Getting Local Meat to Local Markets.

Hot Topics: Growing and Malting New Varieties of Local Grain; Growing Asian Medicinal Herbs in the Northwest; NW Regional Seed Systems; and Hard Cider for Good Times.

Livestock Production: Mobile USDA Livestock Processing Units – What’s in it for me?; USDA Grass Fed Certification; Working Effectively with Your Processor: Getting Local Meat to Local Markets; and Mobile Poultry Processing.

Nursery/Greenhouse: Grafting Vegetables; The New Invasives; Native Plants and Water Quality – Opportunities to Tap into – and the Pros and Cons; and Neonicotinoids.

Regionalizing Our Food: Building Local Food Economy and Increasing Access Through Food Hubs; Mapping the Bioregion and its Foodsheds: A Participatory Exercise; Western Washington Climate Change Assessment: Farmer Insight Needed; Strengthening Washington’s Food Systems – Challenges and Opportunities

• Sustainable Ag Education (SAgE): Agroecology Fundamentals; Intercropping Methods for Resilient Production; Temperate Agroforestry Systems and Practices; and Environmental Services of Farmland Habitat.

The trade show includes many local, regional and national vendors. Breakfast items will be served by the Biscuit Box, with lunch made by local chefs using local ingredients.

Registration for the day is $60 per person. For more information about the Focus on Farming conference and agriculture in Snohomish County, contact Linda Neunzig at (425) 388-7170 or linda.neunzig@snoco.org. Registration and program information is available online at www.focusonfarming.org.

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