The small farms category is the fastest growing demographic in agriculture in Indiana. Some in the state would like to see this growing sector evolve into a small farm culture or society statewide so the very first Small Farm Conference has been created for March first and second. Steve Engleking of Purdue Extension in LaGrange County is also the Indiana Small Farms Coordinator. He explains a great variety of producers would benefit by attending.
“Small farm is a philosophy and even folks who have larger farms may have small farm enterprises with their FFA or 4-H members and things like that. Perhaps a commodity farm wants to diversify and put in a high tunnel and have a produce operation for some family members. With that in mind they have small farm enterprises even within a larger commodity farm.”
Engleking believes the conference offers many topics to address the varied needs of small farm producers.
“We have five different tracts and 45 breakout sessions that we’re going to have,” he explained. “The tracts are organized around marketing and processing, livestock production, crop production, small farm energy and then small farm management, and we’ll have some safety with that. But people can jump around from tract to tract. We want people to have a robust offering of things that will fit their needs.”
Among the points of emphasis for the conference is the importance of locally produced foods to Indiana communities. The event on March 1st and 2nd is at the Hendricks County Fairgrounds in Danville and the early registration deadline of February 20 is here. Late registration will be accepted for an extra fee. Registration, hotel information and the conference schedule is available online.
Listen to the full HAT interview:Steve Engleking small farms
Indiana dairy farmers will get timely information when attending one of 3 free regional dairy meetings. The Indiana Dairy Producers, Purdue University Extension and the Indiana Forage Council, are sponsoring the meetings in Northwest Indiana at The Farmstead Inn in Shipshewana, in Goshen at the Elkhart County Fairgrounds Community Center and the Back 40 Junction Restaurant in Decatur. The meetings will run from 9:30 to 2:30 March 4th through 6th and include lunch.
Calf Management Considerations, Antibiotic Residue Avoidance, “Keeping Your Cows out of Court,” and a Dairy Outlook are on the schedule. More details are online or call Dr. Mike Schutz at Purdue at 765-494-9478.