January 25, 2016  

Extension, ag industry experts lead small farm workshops

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - This year's Purdue Extension Indiana Small Farm Conference begins with a series of preconference workshops on direct marketing, woodland management, hops cultivation and other topics.

The daylong workshops will be offered March 3, a day before the conference opens at the Hendricks County Fairgrounds in Danville. Extension and industry experts will lead each workshop.

Workshop topics:

* "Producing Meat for the Local Communities on a Small Farm." Owners Erick and Jessica Smith will lead a tour of This Old Farm, 9572 W. County Road 650 S in Colfax, 40 miles northwest of Danville. The Smiths will discuss how they process and market locally sourced meats from a network of 20 farms. The tour begins at 9:30 a.m. Participants provide their own transportation to the farm. Cost is $60, or $50 for those who register before Feb. 14. Lunch is included.

* "Making Markets Work for Your Farming Enterprise." Participants will learn how to increase sales at farmers markets and food stands as well as online and through wholesale arrangements with restaurants, schools and other institutions. Workshop presenters are small business development specialist Maria Marshall and Extension educator Heather Strohm. Cost is $60, or $50 for those who register before Feb. 14. Lunch is included.

* "Getting the Most Out of Your Woods." Forestry specialist Lenny Farlee and wildlife specialist Brian MacGowan will discuss strategies for managing woodlands to maximize income and biodiversity. Participants will learn how to identify and control invasive species, land management practices that benefit wildlife, techniques to control wildlife damage, and income opportunities for rural land. Cost is $25.

* "Starting and Sustaining a Small Acre Farm in Indiana." Experienced and beginning farmers will explain business planning for small and mid-sized farms, including how to boost production and profitability. Representatives from the Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program will discuss farmer/rancher grant opportunities. Cost is $60, or $50 for those who register before Feb. 14. Lunch is included.

* "Gaining New Knowledge to be Successful on Your Hop Farm." Sessions will focus on hop production systems and marketing. Participants will learn about hop varieties and trellis systems, as well as the costs and benefits of growing hops and collaborative marketing opportunities among Indiana brewers and consumers. Cost is $60, or $50 for those who register before Feb. 14. Lunch is included.

The 2016 Indiana Small Farm Conference will be March 4-5 at the Hendricks County Fairgrounds, 1900 E. Main St., Danville. Cost of the conference is $120, or $100 by Feb. 14. Keynote speaker is Mary Dee Berry, founder of the Berry Center, an organization focused on land use, farm policy, farmer education, urban agriculture education and local foods.

For more information, or to register for the workshops or conference, go to https://ag.purdue.edu/extension/smallfarms/Pages/default.aspx

Writer: Darrin Pack, 765-494-8415, dpack@purdue.edu 

Source: James Wolff, 260-481-6434, jmwolff@purdue.edu

Agricultural Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Keith Robinson, robins89@purdue.edu
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