8th Annual Michigan Family Farms (MIFFS) Conference

When: January 15, 2011 Where: Lakeview High School, Battle Creek, MI Why: This year’s conference is entitled “Rising to the Challenges- Local Farms, Local Food, Local Pride". Come and discuss challenges and growth opportunities for family farms. Connect with other growers and great resources, network, and learn about organic certification, hoophouses, agritourism and local markets, urban school gardening, food safety, niche marketing, alternative energy, CSAs and much more!  Don Coe of Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay, MI. is this year’s keynote speaker.  He will share how he transformed his vineyard into one of the most successful agritourism destinations in the state. Exhibits and displays will be set up for your enjoyment to connect you to government agencies, nonprofits and agricultural groups and organizations.



Possible Sessions of Interest Related to Organic:

  • Becoming Organically Certified: Steps and Strategies – Vicki Morrone, C.S. Mott Group at MSU; Lee & Laurie Arboreal, Eaters’ Guild Farm and CSA – Getting an organic certification for your farm isn’t always easy, even if you’re already using organic growing methods. Check out some steps and strategies to successfully getting that certification.
  • Food Safety: It Matters – Shelly Hartmann, True Blue Farms – Food safety is a hot topic in agriculture right now, for large and small farms alike. Learn how it affects your operation and how to get GAP certified.
  • SARE Grant Writing – Dale Mutch, Dean Bass, MSU Extension- Preparing a Farmer/Rancher Grant Learn to prepare a Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) proposal to do research, marketing or demonstration projects on your farm.
  • Hoophouses: Economic Realities and Cost-Share Opportunities – Dr. John Biernbaum, Adam Montri, MSU Dept. of Horticulture; Steve Law, USDA NRCS- It takes more than cost-sharing and discounts for a hoophouse to make you money. Learn how to be successful and who can help you get there.
  • Hoophouses: Talking about Structures – Dr. John Biernbaum and Adam Montri, MSU Dept. of Horticulture – Thinking about adding a hoophouse to your farm and expanding your growing season? This is the place to start. Learn about structures themselves here.
  • And Much More! http://www.miffs.org/mffc/2011/2011MFFCbrochure.pdf.

*To be an exhibitor, contact MIFFS. You must be an exhibitor to sell any products or goods of any kind.

How:
Registration deadline is January 7, 2010 (Registration includes keynote speaker, lunch featuring local foods, and sessions). Cost: $30/each for members, Adults- $35/each non members, Children- $25/each (up to 16yrs old). Register online at the MIFFS website http://web2.canr.msu.edu/miffs/registration.cfm.

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