11th annual local foods conference slated for Feb. 6-7
Weed control, product labeling, hops production and beekeeping are among the topics to be covered at the 11th annual meeting of the Farmers Market & Growers Association (NDFMG) & Local Foods Conference, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 6-7, at the Baymont Inn and Suites (formerly the Seven Seas), 2611 Old Red Trail, Mandan.
The two-day conference, sponsored by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and the NDFMG, attracts growers, processors, marketers and others interested in local foods from across the state.
“The conference includes sessions on production practices, business development and marketing,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “There will be plenty of opportunities for participants to network with each other.”
Following welcoming remarks by Goehring, Friday’s keynote speaker address will be by Lynda Annoreno, founder and manager of the Fresh Start Farmers Market in Baudette, MN, and a University of Minnesota farmers market coach for the northwestern Minnesota. She will speak on involving local businesses and organizations in farmers markets.
Saturday’s speakers include Fred Kirschenmann, fellow and former director for the Aldo Leopold Center and as president of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. Kirschenman, who also oversees management of his family’s 3,500-acre certified organic farm in North Dakota, will speak on practical strategies for sustained farming.
Break-out sessions both days will address new plants pests and diseases, backyard beekeeping, vegetable variety trials, and alternative energy.
NDFMG will hold its annual meeting and banquet Friday evening.
A pre-conference workshop is available to introduce Veggie Compass, a software package containing whole farm profit management tools designed to help growers improve on-farm decision making and financial planning. The workshop is limited to 15 people. Preregistration is required.
Partially funded by a specialty crop grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the event is open to the public. Registration is $55 per person and includes all sessions and meals. A single day registration is $35. Registration information is included in a conference brochure available at http://www.nd.gov/ndda or by calling 701-328-2659.
–North Dakota Department of Agriculture
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Producers who have relocated their cattle out of state for winter feeding this year should consider having a weed management protocol in place when the cattle return, say North Dakota State University Extension specialists.