The Second Annual Indiana Small Farm Conference is set for Feb. 21-22, 2014.
With more than 30 sessions and numerous networking activities, this conference provides small farmers with several opportunities to learn and interact with other farmers, producers, extension educators, researchers and students.
Session topics include: Marketing/Processing, Livestock Production, Crop Production and Small Farm Management. There will also be a trade show, Purdue says.
Keynote speakers this year will be Sarah Beth Aubrey, Founder of Aubrey's Natural Meats; Diana Prichard, Owner of Olive Hill Farms; and Tom McConnell, Program Leader of West Virginia Small Farm Center.
There also are two full days of speakers, workshops and sessions along with an offering of pre-conference workshops on Thursday, Feb. 20.
Pre-conference workshops include a Growing Organic and Meat and Dairy Processing/Direct Marketing Tour. Growing Organic is an all-day workshop that will cover many questions fruit and vegetable growers have about growing organically. Organic certification, pest, and soil management will be covered by certifiers, organic farmers and Purdue specialists.
The livestock pre-conference tour will feature two operations that market directly to the consumer. Tours of Traders Point Creamery in Zionsville will be the first stop. They are a family-owned organic dairy farm and artisan creamery and restaurant. You will tour the dairy that feeds the creamery and have lunch in the restaurant. Moody's Meats in Ladoga will be the afternoon tour. The Moody family produces chicken, beef, hogs, lamb, corn, soybeans, oats, rye, hay, wheat and spelt. The livestock is processed at the Ladoga facility, which is included on the tour. Discussion will touch on producing meats to satisfy consumer desires.
The Purdue Small Farm and Sustainable Agriculture Team was formed several years ago as a collaborative effort to support the growing number of small and alternative farming operations Their goal is to engage researchers, educators and farmers to help foster this diverse and growing community.
For more information, visit www.ag.purdue.edu.