Small Farms Conference offers big chance to learn, network

Owners of acreages and small farms can mix with their peers at the inaugural Iowa Small Farms Conference at Iowa State University Feb. 13.

Owners of small farms and acreages will find a lot to learn and to share at the inaugural Iowa Small Farms Conference Feb. 13 in Ames. Along with a keynote speach from Daniel Salatin of Polyface Farms, the family-friendly conference will feature a trade show, lunch and giveaways.

“The Iowa Small Farms Conference will be a great event for people who are excited to learn more about opportunities on their small farm or acreage,” said Christa Hartsook, small farms program coordinator at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. “With a wide variety of educational options, attendees can get the most out of their day by customizing the conference to fit their specific needs and interests.”

The conference opens with a keynote address from Salatin, a third-generation farmer on Polyface Farms in Swoope, Va. Polyface Farms produces meat and produce for families, retail outlets and restaurants. Salatin has been involved in the farm since he was young and is now fully employed by the farm.

Hartsook said the conference will also feature five educational sessions led by experts who will share a wide variety of information with attendees. She said session topics include orchard establishment, the Iowa Monarch Conservation Consortium, raising ancient grains, small-scale machinery sharing and taking your recipe to market.

A trade show will give attendees a chance to network with companies, and prizes and giveaways will enliven the day, along with an ice cream social, Hatsook said

The conference will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Scheman building on the Iowa State University campus. Early registration is $70 until Jan. 31. For more information or to register, visit the Iowa Small Farms Conference website.


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