Jane Kuhn - Jan 23, 2018

Farming Conferences to Pique Your Interest in 2018

In need of inspiration? New ideas? Or the opportunity to learn about some of the latest trends in the farm business?2018 is full of diverse small-farm conferences happening all over the country.

With its cold and wet weather, January is a popular month for many agricultural-themed conferences -- and Tend will again be a sponsor later this week at the EcoFarm Conference in Monterey, California. If you’re heading to EcoFarm, you can get more information about Tend Smart Farm by visiting their booth or attending their presentation this Friday.

If you’ve missed out on the recent January symposiums or haven’t yet gotten your fix of education and networking, there are still plenty of opportunities for any interest and local. Check out the list below for some of this year’s key conferences and symposiums.

Most events listed are geared toward diversified, sustainable, and/or organic growers. They are organized chronologically and topically, and unless otherwise noted, all conferences take place in 2018:

1) Organic Seed Growers Conference
February 14-17 | Corvallis, OR
This biennial conference is the largest organic seed event in the U.S. and focuses ongrowing techniques, trade, research, and policy.(Specifically for the next generation of seed growers, the Student Seed Symposium takes place July 26-29 also in Corvallis, OR)

2) Our Farms Our Future
April 3-5 | St. Louis, MO
You don’t want to miss this special event-- happening only once every decade, Our
Farms Our Future convenes diverse farmers to explore “innovative, sustainable
solutions to agriculture’s most pressing dilemmas.” The conference serves as a platform to examine the progress of sustainability in agriculture thus far while also looking closely at its future path.

3) Cultivating Change Summit
June 20-22 | Des Moines, IA
This Summit brings together LGBT employees, executives, and allies who are working
toward an “equitable industry environment for LGBT agriculturalists everywhere.” A
global conference that aims to facilitate sharing strategies and best practices for
creating inclusive environments throughout the food, fiber, and natural resource industry.

4) Sustainable Agriculture Education Association Conference
July 27-29 | Univ. of Hawaii - West O’ahu
The SAEA conference strives to foster national dialogue to advance learning and
teaching within sustainable agriculture programs, primarily focused on University level
and adult education programming. This year’s theme highlights indigenous knowledge,
decolonization, and socio-ecological resilience in food systems education.

5) Black Farmers & Urban Gardeners Conference
November 2018 | Location TBA
Hosted by the Black Urban Growers (BUGS) organization, this national event brings together “Black farmers, food justice advocates, educators, chefs, and concerned members of Black communities to share best practices and build a stronger network of Black leadership in the movement for food justice and food sovereignty.”  

6) Women in Sustainable Agriculture Conference
November 2019 | Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
The national conference is hosted by a different regional women’s network every few
years. The next national conference isn't until 2019, but there are several regional
gatherings happening this year:
 Mid-Atlantic Women in Agriculture | February 8-9 | Dover, DE
 Nebraska Women in Agriculture | February 22-23 | Kearney, NE
 Women Changing the Face of Agriculture | March 9 | Champaign, IL
 Illinois Women in Agriculture | March 16 | Rock Island, IL
 Where Women Gather | June 28-30 | New Haven, CT
 ISU Extension Women in Ag Conference | November TBA | Ames, IA
 Women in Agriculture | November TBA | Washington, Oregon, Montana, Idaho & Alaska

7) Regional Farmers Market Conferences
 Washington State Farmers Market Association | February 2-4 | Blaine, WA 
 Iowa Farmers Market Association | February 3 | Des Moines, IA
 Indiana Farmers Market Vendor Workshop | February 13 | West Lafayette, IN
 Colorado Farmers Market Association | March 2-3 | Montrose, CO
 Michigan Farmers Market Conference | March 6-7 | East Lansing, MI
 New Mexico Farmers’ Marketing Association | March 9-10 | Santa Fe, NM
 Vermont Farmers Market Conference | March 29 | South Royalton, VT
 Virginia Farmers Market Conference | November 2018 | Richmond, VA

8) Regional Small/Organic Farm Conferences
 Nevada Small Farms Conference | February 2-3 | Sparks, NV
 Sierra Harvest: Sustainable Food & Farming | February 9-11 | Grass Valley, CA
 New Mexico Organic Farming Conference | February 16-17 | Albuquerque, NM
 NOFA- VT Winter Conference | February 17-19 | Burlington, VT
 MidWest MOSES Organic Farming Conference | February 22-24 | La Crosse, WI
 OSU Oregon Small Farms Conference | February 24 | Corvallis, OR
 Indiana Small Farm Conference | March 1-3 | Danville, IN
 CA Small Farm Conference | October TBA | California

Feel free to post additional conferences you might be looking forward to in the comments section below!

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Jane works as a Field Production Specialist at the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, where her days are filled with tractor work, irrigation coordination, orchard care, and educating apprentices and interns. Her favorite way to end a long day's work in the sun, is running down the hill to Mitchell's Cove and jumping in the Pacific.


D'Lynda Fischer

Apr 23, 2018 at 10:30 PM

I would love to have you add the Soil & Nutrition Conference being held in Southbridge, MA on December 1 and 2, 2018 hosted by the Bionutrient Food Association.

Jack Kittredge

May 20, 2018 at 2:10 AM

You might want to list the NOFA Summer Conference in Amherst, Massachusetts on August 10-12, 2018. Details at www.NOFASummerConference.org

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