BISMARCK – Food safety, extending the growing season, business planning and tips to market specialty crops are among the topics to be covered at the 12th annual meeting of the North Dakota Farmers Market & Growers Association (NDFMGA) & Local Foods Conference, Friday and Saturday, Feb. 5-6, at the Cambria Hotel and Suites, 825 E. Beaton Dr., West Fargo, ND.
The two-day conference, sponsored by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture and the NDFMGA, attracts growers, processors, marketers and others from across the state.
“The conference includes in-depth sessions on production practices, business development and marketing,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “There will be plenty of opportunities for participants to network with each other.”
Following welcoming remarks by Goehring, Friday’s keynote speaker will be Adam Montri, hoophouse outreach specialist from the University of Michigan. He will be discussing how to use high tunnel greenhouses to maximize profits and extend the growing season. Adam will also be presenting Saturday afternoon on irrigation practices for specialty crops.
Saturday will start with a presentation by Lynda Annoreno, founder and manager of the Fresh Start Farmers Market in Baudette, MN, and a University of Minnesota farmers market coach for northwestern Minnesota. She will speak about how producers can better place a value on the specialty crops they are selling.
Break-out sessions throughout the two days will address agritourism, using social media, virtual farm tours, business planning to secure financing, cover crops, selecting vegetable varieties and much more.
NDFMGA will hold its annual meeting and banquet Friday evening.
A pre-conference workshop will introduce Veggie Compass, a software package containing whole-farm profit management tools designed to help growers improve on-farm decision making and financial planning.
Some of the speakers for the conference are funded by a specialty crop grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The event is open to the public. Registration is $55 per person and includes all sessions and meals. A single day registration is $35. Registration information is available at http://www.nd.gov/ndda/events/12th-annual-ndfmga-local-foods-conference.
See https://www.facebook.com/events/900834943356710/ for more info as well