Here you will find session descriptions and presentation slides from the 2013 Conference Sessions. Click on the title of the event to download presentation slides in PDF format. Please note that not all sessions had slides that were used or that could be shared.
This session introduced GAPs (Good Agricultural Practices) for food safety and the steps involved to getting a third-party food safety audit.
Atina Diffley is an organic farmer, consultant, and public speaker. She is the co-author and lead trainer for Wholesale Success: A Farmers Guide to Selling, Postharvest Handling and Packing Produce. She is also author of the 2012 memoir, “Turn Here Sweet Corn: Organic Farming Works.”
Safe and effective practices in cleaning, cooling, storing, packing, and transporting produce.
This session explored marketing principles and strategies as well as how sorting and packaging affect successful marketing. Also covered will be the importance of a food safety plan.
This session highlighted strategies effective for small farmers for marketing via social media and internet sales and marketing.
Marketing Strategies from a Producer Perspective
Linda Chapman, Nathan Fingerle, and Jeff Hawkins discussed marketing their products in a variety of ways including direct to consumers, to restaurants and chefs, and to institutions.
What are food hubs and what is the current status of food hub development around the state. The Central Indiana food hub and the Wabash Valley food hubs were represented.
Crop Production Track
Scale Appropriate Technology
Picking the right tool for the job includes not only the type of tool, but also the size of the tool. Martin Diffley discussed how to select the appropriate tool for different types and sizes of operations.
While there can be many challenges to small-scale grain production, with any challenge comes opportunities. In this session, Patty Reding and Anna Welch discussed how they have made the most of those opportunities, as well as other possibilities for small grain production.
Vegetable Varieties for Indiana
Selecting vegetable varieties adapted for your climate and soils can reduce the labor and inputs needed to grow a crop, as well as provide the potential for increasing yields. This panel of researchers and farmers discussed the varieties they’ve trialed, the characteristics or traits to they look for in vegetable varieties, and give suggestions on varieties adapted for Indiana.
As the demand for locally grown produce has increased and weather patterns have begun to fluctuate significantly, many farmers are exploring high tunnels as a possible option for season extension. This session discussed the economics of high tunnels, the availability of NRCS funding for their construction, and vegetable varieties adapted for high tunnel production.
Backyard Fruit Production
A person does not need a large orchard or farm to grow fruit. Learn how Kay Grimm and Sue Spicer, owners and operators of Fruit Loop Acres, are growing an abundance of fruit using permaculture methods in the heart of Indianapolis. They discussed how to grow different types of fruit along with management and labor requirements.
Permaculture is an approach to growing food that balances all the communities in an ecosystem: humans, plants, animals, and the living soil. It promotes the relationships between these actors through design principles. Keith Johnson explained these relationships and how to design a landscape that fosters them.
Specialty Crops for High-End Restaurants
Get insights from both a chef and farmer on how to grow for and sell to restaurants. Daniel Orr discussed a chef’s needs, while David Robb talked about the details of growing for restaurants:
- What to grow, prep, and pack
- Invoicing and getting paid
- Delivery and logistic considerations
Urban agriculture has become an increasingly popular way for individuals, organizations, and municipalities to address issues related to food access, social justice, education, and urban planning. This presentation explored ways in which urban agriculture has affected the landscape of Indianapolis, which paths remain to be explored, and how particularly successful approaches might be replicated elsewhere.
No-Till Vegetable Production
Learn the in’s and out’s of no till vegetable production. This session covered the benefits and challenges of no-till and the conditions you need to successfully practice no-till.
Small Farm Management Track
What are the important financial records that small farms need to keep? Alan Miller discussed basic record-keeping and how to use basic financial statements such as an income statement and balance sheet for small farms.
Jessica Ervin with Indiana Certified Organic discussed how to create an organic system plan. Also, the session helped with identifying resources and where to get assistance.
Farm System Design
Tamara Benjamin led a discussion showing how designing sustainable farming systems must take into account social, economic, as well as biophysical factors. She explored how all of these components are essential in order for a farm to maximize its potential. Amanda Beheler and her daughter, Phoebe, participated in the discussion by using their small acre farm as a model for design.
As small farm operations grow and expand their operations, families begin to find out their labor isn’t enough and hiring outside labor is the next step. This session shared how to begin the process, where to find potential labor, and the do’s and don’ts of the hiring process. A local small farm producer shared their experiences – good and bad of utilizing hired labor in their operation.
Equipment Maintenance and Operation
Small farms seek ways to control costs. One way is to buy and use old, well-used farm equipment. In most cases, there will need to be repair and refurbishing done. What should be taken into consideration before purchasing used equipment? Then, how should the equipment be maintained to keep it in good operating condition?
Dave Swenson, Iowa State University