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Focus on Farming: Ag trends, sessions, trade show, and more

Nov 2nd, 2018 | Category: News

MONROE – During this year’s Focus on Farming, titled “Connect, Innovate, Grow,” participants will find a mix of topics, ideas, and speakers focused on helping expand the opportunities, sustainability, and economic viability of the region’s farms and forestlands. The conference will be held Thursday, Nov. 8 at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe. The lunchtime keynote speaker, Mike Pearson, who is host of PBS’s “Market to Market,” will take an in-depth look at the way agriculture will be changing in the next 20 years, particularly how technology will transform farming. His address is titled “The Four MegaTrends in Agriculture.”

Focus on Farming offers seven different tracks, including: how to get started in farming; what the future holds for selling local food; how to sell local meats; disease management in tomatoes; and Microsoft’s new project FarmBeats, working on AI & IoT solutions for agriculture.  Also, learn how drone technology can be used on your farm with a morning keynote address and workshop.

Also new this year will be a session titled, “Latino Farming and Business Empowerment.” This session will feature a panel discussion with Alex Perez of Northwest Agriculture Business Center, Rob Smith of Viva Farms, and Kate Smith of WSU, representing just a few of the organizations that have recently pooled their resources to empower and motivate farmers. Juan Farias of Farias Farm will share his experiences on the receiving end of these training and mentorship efforts, and what it has meant to his operation.

Focus on Forestry IV, sponsored by the Sierra Pacific Foundation, will feature workshops to help landowners manage timber lands, choose and work with loggers, get the necessary permits, as well as manage for secondary forestry products such as herbs. If you have a forest plan, or are developing a forest plan, bring your ideas for onsite help and come ask questions.

A trade show will also be available, including products ranging from tractors to greenhouses, along with a gourmet luncheon prepared by area chefs from local fingredients. Visit for more information and registration links. Sponsors of Focus on Farming XV include the King Conservation District, Snohomish County Parks and Recreation, Snohomish County Farm Bureau, WSU Snohomish County Extension, Sno Isle Library, Snohomish County PDS, Scratch and Peck, and Snohomish County. For more information on Focus on Farming, visit, or contact Linda Neunzig, Snohomish County Agriculture Coordinator,, 425-388-7170.


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