WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Organizers of the Indiana Small Farm Conference remind farmers that it’s never too early to learn new skills before the growing season.
“The longest, busiest days will come soon enough,” says Tamara Benjamin, deputy head of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Diversified Agriculture Specialist for Purdue Extension and conference organizer. “The Indiana Small Farm Conference is a great way to learn about what’s new and next steps in production, marketing and other areas to get the most out of your efforts in 2021 and for years to come. “
With speakers Richard perkins and Dan and Julie Perkins, the ninth annual conference and trade show takes place March 4-6, featuring live and on-demand content through the interactive Microsoft Teams app. All content will remain available to participants after the end of the conference.
Registration is open, and the fee to attend the three days of the conference is $ 35 per person. This year’s conference offers several avenues, from which participants can choose the sessions that best suit their farming operations and goals:
- Advanced Livestock, with a focus on pasture renovation and management, as well as breakout sessions on beef, goats, sheep and poultry.
- Advanced vegetable production, with panels on leafy greens, soil health and cover crops, and content on updating crops / growing techniques on demand.
- Beginning farmer, who will help newcomers prepare for success through sessions on stand development and business diversification.
- Farm Business & Marketing Plans, with suggestions from successful vendors to increase sales, presentations on e-commerce and tax benefits and more.
- Regenerative Agriculture, with a panel of growers and a presentation by Ray “The Soil Guy” Archuleta, a soil scientist with over 30 years of experience.
- Urban Agriculture, with a variety of sessions covering urban farms, soil health, pest management and community engagement.
A youth trail will offer sessions on jobs in agriculture and small farms to middle and high school audiences. On March 5, an Exploring Agriculture and Small Farm Careers panel will feature interactive discussions on careers in horticulture, organic farming, animal husbandry, agricultural entrepreneurship and more. Saturday’s demo sessions will include presentations on beekeeping, horticulture, livestock management and more. the Purdue Ag Ambassadors and Purdue chapter of Minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources and Allied Sciences (MANRRS) discuss their experiences in collegiate agriculture.
“It’s exciting to see the next generation, including students at Purdue Agriculture, take the lead on Saturday,” said Benjamin. “The future of agriculture depends on inspiring young people to think about what they can accomplish now and in the years to come. “
The Purdue Extension Farm Stress team will also provide pre-recorded on-demand videos and resources related to mental health, including resources specifically related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With the unique challenges of 2020 added to the existing stress for agricultural professionals, it was essential to offer targeted content on mental health and well-being,” says Benjamin.
The 2021 Indiana Small Farm conference begins March 4, with on-demand availability for virtual tours of Indiana farms such as Four Flag Farm, Liberty Valley Farm and Maple Hills Farm. Testimonials from farmers on how they persevered through COVID-19 will also be available upon request.
The main speakers of the 2021 conference are:
- Richard perkins (12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. EST, March 5) is co-owner, director and lead designer of Ridgedale Farm AB in Värmland, Sweden, author of the internationally renowned book Regenerative agriculture, and producer of the series “Make small farms work. “Combining dynamic pedagogy and down-to-earth pragmatism, it promotes a philosophy of permaculture in agriculture – design strategies to take advantage of the resilient patterns and characteristics of natural ecosystems. He will explain how focusing on regenerative agriculture can enable small agricultural businesses to be resilient, entrepreneurial and profitable.
- Dan and Julie Perkins (12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. EST, March 6) Perkins’ Good Land Farm, an organic vegetable farm on 20 hectares in DeMotte. After balancing a career in soil and water conservation with farming on the side, the Perkins family made the transition to full-time farming in 2019. Dan and Julie will discuss their experiences in “The Beautiful , sometimes chaotic, take the dirty and so satisfying labor hand of the earth.
Suppliers can also participate in a virtual trade show, for which they will receive their own designated channel to engage with attendees throughout the conference. Vendor registration is $ 70, which includes access to all conference sessions. Sellers interested in exhibiting can register here.
Due to the popularity of the Indiana Small Farm Conference, payment by credit card is highly recommended. Attendees will receive Microsoft Teams login credentials for the conference only after payment has been received.
If you have a question about registration, send an email [email protected].
If you need special accommodation to attend the conference, or have any questions about the conference itself, send an email [email protected] or call 765-494-8490.
A detailed conference program will be available several days before the event, and currently scheduled sessions are subject to change. For more information or to register, visit the Indiana Small Farm Conference website.
Follow the call on Twitter and Instagram at @SmallFarmPurdue or on Facebook at @PurdueExtensionSmallFarms, with the hashtag #PurdueSmallFarms.
Writer: Nick Rogers, 765-494-0948, [email protected]
Sources: Tamara Benjamin, 765-496-1930, [email protected]
John Hawley, 812-926-1189, [email protected]
James Wolff, 260-481-6826, [email protected]
Agricultural communications: 765-494-8415;
Maureen Manier, Head of Department, [email protected]