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Coming up: San Juan Islands Agricultural Summit, Farm-to-Table Trade Meeting, and Women in Ag

Jan 31st, 2015 | Category: News

Three conferences are available this month to farmers, business owners, community advocates, and interested members of the public to further connections and spread information about local resources.


Farm-to-Table Trade Meeting

The annual NW Washington Farm-to-Table Trade Meeting takes place Monday, Feb. 9 at St. Luke’s Education Center in Bellingham from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., offering connections for local farmers, fishers, food producers, regional buyers and others. Participants from Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan, Island and beyond are welcome to attend. There will be formal and informal networking opportunities including speed networking and afternoon producer/buyer consultations. Updates about local projects will also be discusses, including food hubs, meat processing, farm-to-school, and wholesale buying/selling best practices. Trade tables showcasing local food and products will be on display throughout the day. Registration includes lunch from the NW Washington Chefs Collaborative featuring chefs Mataio Gillis from Ciao Thyme, Mica Christensen from Keenan’s at the Pier, Josh Silverman, previously of Dashi and Nimbus, and Gabriel Claycamp from Skagit Valley Meats. The day will end with producer/buyer consultations and an ice cream social. To view an agenda and purchase a ticket, see


Women in Ag Conference

The 4th Annual Women in Agriculture Conference takes place on Saturday, Feb. 21. “Put Your Best Boot Forward” is the theme for 2015. Held in multiple locations across the Northwest region, including Mount Vernon and Everett, this event broadcasts one national speaker followed by local panelists at individual locations. This year’s main speaker is Emily Asmus, of Welcome Table Farm in Walla Walla, WA, growing produce, flowers and plants ( Local panelists include farmers and those working in agricultural related businesses or support services, who will share their experiences.

Local farmers, supporters and anyone interested in farming are welcome to attend. Early bird registration costs $25 through Feb. 13, then increasing to $30, and includes a light breakfast, lunch, handouts and more. Tickets are available at For more information, see or contact Donna Rolen at or (509) 745-8531.


San Juan Islands Agricultural Summit Feb. 

The San Juan Islands Agricultural Summit will be held this year on Lopez Island, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 27-28. The two-day event features a keynote by internationally renowned writer Gary Nabhan, as well as a talk from award-winning author Thor Hanson about his newly released book, The Triumph of Seeds. Prior to the keynote address, The “Taste of Lopez” will feature food and wine from the Lopez Island community.

Attendees can choose one of the hands-on workshops on Friday, Feb. 27:  humane, on-farm slaughter with Farmstead Meatsmith workshop; and biochar production and kiln demos. New workshops this year are baking with local grains with Jonathan Bethony McDowell, resident baker at the Washington State University Research and Extension Center Bread Lab in Mt. Vernon, and writing your own farm plan with experts from the SJ Islands Conservation District.

A total of 24 sessions will be available on Saturday, including farmland changing hands, funding for farmers, connecting with organic seed markets, building soil fertility, growing nutrient-dense vegetables, rules and regulations for value-added production, pollinator health, local grain production and end-uses, malting, tips on marketing and more. Session leaders include experts from WSU Small Farms Team, NW Agriculture Business Center, NW Agriculture Research Station, Organic Seed Alliance, regional seed companies, and local farmers.

The Organic Seed Alliance will be coordinating a session entitled:  State of Organic Seed Listening Session: Building Capacity & Integrity of Organic Seed.  This offers an opportunity for growers to provide their perspectives on how best to build the availability, quality, and integrity of organic seed. “Markets & Models for Seed Production” will be led by Brian Campbell of Uprising Seeds (Whatcom), and Caitlin Moore, of Olympia Seed Exchange.

In addition, a trade show and seed swap will take place Saturday. Display tables are available free of charge to ag-related businesses and non-profit organizations.  Anyone interested in tabling can e-mail

For more detailed information about the 2015 San Juan Islands Agricultural Summit schedule and to register, visit


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