Jan 16, 2019Sustainability is theme of Michigan Family Farms Conference
The annual Michigan Family Farms Conference will take place Saturday, Feb. 9, at Kalamazoo Valley Community College (KVCC) in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
This year’s conference, “Tools for Agricultural Success – What’s in Your Shed?” is a forum for beginning, small-scale and culturally diverse farmers to network, learn, and build sustainable family farms. An energizing, hands-on event customized for this important audience, the conference features 21 breakout sessions plus a youth track to engage the whole family. Topics include food safety, marketing, the Farm Bill, soil health, racial equity, seed saving, selling to wholesale markets, and much more!
Melvin Parson, founder of We the People Growers Association in Ypsilanti, will deliver this year’s keynote address titled, “Changing the Soil.” As an urban farmer and social justice champion, Melvin will tell his inspiring story of how the gift of a small plot of land and supportive friends turned into an organic agribusiness supplying 15 Southeast Michigan restaurants. Melvin will share how “changing the soil” can lead to life-affirming and fruitful results for yourself and your community, and how he is building a sustainable farming system to support a workforce of men and women returning home from incarceration.
In addition to the great networking and learning opportunities the conference provides, an extended session titled “Menus that Matter – How Chefs Can Be Farmers’ Best Friends,” is being offered that includes a tour of the KVCC Food Innovation Center which features a farm, food hub, and education center and the Culinary and Allied Health facility. Early registration is encouraged, as spots are limited.
Adult registration fees are $45 and $15 for students and youth participants. A group discount is also available for four registrants to encourage all members of the farm or business to attend.
Thank you to this year’s sponsors and planning partners, including Michigan Food & Farming Systems, Kalamazoo Valley Community College, Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) Program, USDA NRCS, USDA FSA, MSU Extension, MSU College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, MI Department of Agriculture & Rural Development, FoodCorps, Detroit Public Schools, Michigan Public Health Institute, MSU Center for Regional Food Systems, Michigan Good Food Fund, Taste the Local Difference, National Immigrant Farmer Initiative, Michigan Farmers Market Association, and Greenstone Farm Credit Services.
Learn more about the conference or register now at www.miffs.org.