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Winter conferences offer resources, connections

Dec 4th, 2017 | Category: Community

Winter conferences have been scheduled, offering a chance for the public to learn skills and resources, and connect with community.

The 2018 Cattlemen’s Winterschool and Country Living Expo is coming up Saturday, Jan. 27, 2018 at Stanwood High School. Participants will have 180 classes to choose from focused on skills and practical living, all taught by local instructors. There are 60 new classes this year including cast iron cooking, livestock behavior and low stress handling, attracting barn owls, tiny house design, back yard forest habitat, bovine reproduction and nutrition, creating a website for your business, and sourcing low carb hay for horse owners.

Trent Loos will be the keynote speaker at the Country Living Expo on Saturday, Jan. 27 at Stanwood High School.

Trent Loos will be the keynote speaker at the Country Living Expo on Saturday, Jan. 27 at Stanwood High School.

Hosted by the Stanwood FFA, the Country Living Expo & Cattlemen’s Winterschool is presented by WSU Extension, Livestock Master Foundation and the Tri-County Cattlemen’s Association.

Early bird registration is $70 for adults through 2017 (then $75) and a sponsored student rate of $10 for youths 12-18 years old. Full student rate is $40 for those not needing a scholarship. Registration includes five classes, coffee and breakfast pastries, choice of prime rib or vegetarian lunch. Some classes have a materials fee, but there is no charge to attend the trade show.

This year’s keynote speaker is Trent Loos, a sixth generation United States farmer with a passion for local agriculture. He currently has a radio listening audience of 4 million and can be heard on more than 100 stations across the country. Trent brings his humorous dialog while speaking to both agriculture groups and non agriculture groups across the country.

Other special events include the Chicken and Duck Egg Weigh Off sponsored by Conway Feed and Fiber Palooza. Entries for the Weigh Off are open to everyone, and the egg can come from your own flock, a neighbor’s, or be purchased. The owner of the largest chicken and duck egg will win 100 pounds of  Conway Feed All Natural Layer Pellets. There will also be drawings for free feed for everyone who enters an egg in the weigh off.

Now in its third year, the Fiber Palooza will feature fiber entries of sheep, alpaca, llama, rabbit or goat. Prizes are awarded in all fiber categories.

To register and view classes, visit For more information, call Skagit County Extension at (360) 428-4270 ext 0.


Master Gardener Conference: Resilient Gardening in Western Washington, the 22nd annual Whatcom Gardening Conference brought to you by WSU Master Gardeners, will be held Thursday, Feb. 8. This full day garden conference will focus on food gardening, sustainability, community connections, native pollinators and habitat, gardening in small spaces, youth gardening, as well as a community garden panel. Keynote Speaker Gail Langellotto, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Horticulture at Oregon State University, and statewide Extension Master Gardener Program coordinator.

The conference meets at Bellingham Technical College Settlemyer Hall, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Registration information will be posted at, or contact Beth Chisholm at Raffle, vendors and lunch included. Student scholarships are available upon request.


Farm to Table Trade Meeting: Sustainable Connections presents its annual Northwest Washington Farm to Table Trade Meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 20 from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Bellingham Technical College, 3028 Lindbergh Ave.

This year’s theme is “The Future of Local: The Power of Storytelling and Collective Marketing.” This one-day conference for food and farming businesses of all kinds, includes a locally sourced seven-course lunch with the BTC Culinary Arts program and the NW Chefs Collective. Registration information will be available at


Whatcom County Small Farm Expo: The Whatcom Conservation District and Whatcom County Public Works will host their 3rd annual Whatcom County Small Farm Expo on Saturday, Feb. 24 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Northwest Washington Fairgrounds. The goal of this free event is to bring farmers and industry experts together for learning and networking, and to connect rural landowners with resources. Designed to be an informal meet-and-greet and networking event, visitors can engage with vendors, experts, veterinarians, and producers, and learn about resources to help improve and expand healthy agricultural and livestock production.

The Keynote Speaker will be Dr. David R Montgomery, professor of geomorphology at the University of Washington and author of Growing a Revolution: Bringing our Soil Back to Life, The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health, and more.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information see, or contact Aneka Sweeney at

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