Category Archives: Events

IL Specialty Growers, Agritourism, and Organic Conference Information

Important Information Regarding the ILLINOIS SPECIALTY GROWERS, AGRITOURISM, AND ORGANIC CONFERENCE on January 7 – 9, 2015 in Springfield, IL:

There are two Organic tracks on the 8th and 9th, which include a myriad of topics including Grain production, Sundry issues, Vegetable production, Fruit production, Soil and Fertility, and Livestock and Forage systems.  If you have been looking for a great place to learn more about organic agriculture and to network with other farmers, you should come and join us at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield at this ever-growing conference!

There will also be a Farmer-to-Farmer Idea Exchange on Thursday, Jan 8th hosted by Illinois Organic Growers Association (IOGA)!  Facilitators will be Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant, University of Illinois, and Marnie Record, Illinois Organic Growers Association.  We would like to know what are the issues most important to your farming operation so that we can focus on what matters most during the Idea Exchange.  Please submit topic ideas to Marnie Record at so that IOGA can plan for an inspired learning session.  Please encourage your fellow farmers and friends who are planning on coming to the conference to register and submit topics for the idea exchange. 

Here is more information you will need to know:

  • IOGA will be holding the Annual Business Meeting at 4:00 PM on Jan 8th at the Conference.  This will be a chance to collectively reflect on 2014 and plan for 2015.  Members will have the opportunity to share ideas for moving forward and to elect the 2015 Governing Board.  If you are a member, considering becoming a member or just interested in what will happen in 2015, please plan on attending.
  • Are you planning on becoming a member of IOGA or renewing your membership for 2015?  If you register before or at our business meeting on January 8th at the conference, you will be entered into a drawing for a rebate of your conference registration.  That’s a good deal!  For more information on becoming a member of IOGA, please visit
  • Registrations after December 26, 2014 will require on-site registration at an additional cost of $15/person so make sure you register online today!
  • For the full conference program and registration information, please visit:

Call-in to the IOGA Annual Meeting on January 9

IOGA’s annual meeting will be held on Thursday, January 9, from 4:00 to 5:00 PM at the Illinois Specialty Crops, Agritourism, and Organic Conference. If you are at the conference, please join us! Everyone is welcome to attend–learn more about IOGA and provide your input on priorities for 2014. Only members can vote for the 2014 Governing Board.

We would love to have you attend in person, but if you cannot, you may call in to the meeting, courtesy of UI Extension’s teleconference service via phone or computer:

  • To join the conference call as a participant via telephone call 888-983-3631 and when prompted to do so, enter the conference ID 9250261, followed by the pound sign (#). Please call in 5 minutes before the meeting starts.
  • You can also join via computer. You can join a Microsoft Lync 2010 meeting or conference call from a computer that does not have Lync 2010 or Microsoft Lync 2010 Attendee communications software installed. When you open the email meeting request on a computer that does not have Lync installed, click the Join online meeting link You will see two choices: Join the meeting and Are you a guest to this meeting? Click on Sign in here instead and type in your name (first and last and county). You must check the Install Lync Web App plug-in.
  • You will also encounter some security prompts, so please acknowledge and allow them. Also, if you are joining by computer, please plan to join at least 15 minutes ahead to make sure that you can get through the entire process before the meeting is scheduled to start.

We hope to see or hear you!

On-Farm Composting Workshop on September 10

University of Illinois Extension in conjunction with Illinois State University, the Department of Agriculture, and funded through a Conservation Innovation Grant from the Illinois Natural Resources Conservation Service, is offering an On-Farm Composting Workshop and Field Day on Tuesday, Sept. 10, in Sycamore, Ill.

The field day will go from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., starting at DeKalb Farm Bureau at 1350 W. Prairie Drive in Sycamore and followed by a field tour at Art Bingham’s farm in Clare.

“Livestock producers and horse stable operators looking for alternative manure management ideas should attend,” said Ellen Phillips, a U of I Extension local food systems educator. “Organic and local food growers will be able to increase their composting knowledge as well.”

  • the benefits of composting
  • the basics of making compost
  • Illinois EPA regulations related to composting
  • permitting and local siting requirements
  • compost facility site development
  • uses for compost and quality control
  • marketing of compost

During the afternoon, field day participants will tour an actual composting operation and will hear practical information from experienced compost operators, including information on composting techniques.

Advance registration is $15 per person by Sept. 3. The cost to register in person at each workshop is $20. Phillips said walk-ins are welcome but that lunch will not be guaranteed. The registration form is available at

For more information regarding the program, contact Phillips at 815-732-2191 or Bethany Macarus at 815-758-8194.

News from IL Organic Growers Association: Upcoming Summer/Fall Field Days

We are excited to share with you the 2013 Summer/Fall Field Days that are now available for registration.  Providing an array of learning opportunities, these field days will cover a wide variety of beneficial topics. See here for more detailed descriptions.

Saturday, June 15, 8:00-10:00 am
SIU Center for Sustainable Farming, Carbondale, IL

Organized and operated only by volunteers, the Local Organic Gardening Initiative of Carbondale (LOGIC) has raised beds, a hoop house, and permaculture site. Visit the center for a tour of their work, followed by a visit to one of Carbondale’s two Farmers’ Markets! Cost is free. Pre-registration is requested here, but walk-ins are welcome.

Saturday, July 13, 3:00-7:00 pm
Living Waters Farm, Strawn, IL & South Pork Ranch, Chatsworth, IL (Livingston County)

Beginning the afternoon at Living Waters Farm in Strawn, IL, see a variety of vegetable farming methods. After your visit at Living Waters Farm, you will travel to South Pork Ranch in Chatsworth, IL to see animal production. Learn how these two farms have thrived by working together with other local producers, and then branching out to become independent, successful businesses.

You can register here.  Cost is free to CISFN members, $5 for non-members.

Sunday, July 21, 1:00-5:30 pm
Tomahnous Farm, Mahomet, IL & Blue Moon Farm, Urbana, IL

Have the opportunity to to tour the farms of two 15-year veterans, Lisa Haynes of Tomahnous Farm and Jon Cherniss of Blue Moon Farm, providing you an overview of their planning, management and marketing approaches. Cost is free. Pre-registration is requested but walk-ins are welcome.

Thursday, August 27, 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Sandy Ridge Farm, Tampico, IL (Whiteside County)

MOSES, in collaboration with IOGA and the University of Illinois, joins the Shrock family on a tour of more than 1,200 acres of row crops and two livestock operations. They will share how they manage their crops and improve soil quality to achieve high yields and a quality product.

You can register here.  Cost is $30 if you pre-register, $40 for onsite registration, and includes lunch served by the Shrock family. The deadline for pre-registration is August 23.

Saturday, September 7, 1:00-4:30 pm
Two Roads Farm, Assumption, IL (Christian County)

Just starting with our with organic corn and soybean production, considering making the transition to organic, or just wanting to know more about what is involved? Gary McDonald, Director of Organic Resource Advisor, will provide a practical “how to” on moving from conventional to organic production of corn and soybeans. Hear from a farmer panel that will give their first-hand experiences of moving to organic production and be available for questions from the audience. Cost is free. Pre-registration is requested but walk-ins are welcome.

Monday, September 16, 12:30 – 4:30 pm
PrairiErth Farm, Atlanta, IL (Logan County)

Get all of the information you need to take your farm to the next step. PrairiErth Farm produces vegetables, poultry, beef, pigs, and variety of value-added products. See how farming can be a viable career opportunity, while learning to build synergy between diverse production systems, enticing customers with a wide range of products.

You can register here.  Cost is free.

Saturday, September 21, 1:45-4:30 pm
PrairiErth Farm, Atlanta, IL (Logan County)

Want to know what it takes to scale up production on your farm with equipment? Hans Bishop of PrairiErth Farm will showcase specialty crops equipment that he uses to reduce hand work, improve efficiency, and employee job satisfaction.

You can register here. Cost is free to CISFN members, $5 for non-members.

Spring 2013 Field Days

IOGA has the following field days scheduled for spring 2013:

Getting Started with Treatment-Free Beekeeping
May 18 at Acbees Apiaries near Waverly, IL
12:30 – 4:00 PM

The Illinois Organic Growers Association and University of Illinois Extension are co-sponsoring a hands-on field day, Getting Started with Treatment-Free Beekeeping, on May 18, 2013, near Waverly, IL, southwest of Springfield. The host and presenter will be Arvin Pierce, Acbees Apiaries, who has been a treatment-free beekeeper for 10 years.

During the first half of the afternoon, Arvin will present a general introduction and overview of life in and around the hive: basic facts and photos about the queen, workers, and drones, and their responsibilities and place in the function of the hive. He will also provide information about what it takes to begin beekeeping, including different types of hives, urban beekeeping, swarms and hive removal, hive products, apitherapy, and disappearing bees. For the second half of the afternoon, the group will move to the bee yard, where participants can see what goes on in a hive firsthand. Those willing will be given the hands-on opportunity to get into the hives.

Program details:

  • 12:30 – 1:00 Registration
  • 1:00 – 2:30 Discussion on Introduction to Beekeeping
  • 2:30 – 4:00 Hands-on demonstration at the hive
  • 4:00 – 5:00 Opportunity, for those interested, to help with or watch the removal of bees from a log.

Important: Wear closed shoes and long pants, and bring a long sleeve shirt. A few veils will be available for those who want to get into the hives.

Registration and the presentation will take place at the Lowder township building, near Waverly, 16969 Ayers Street, Waverly, Illinois 62692. The hives are around the corner on the northern edge of the village of Lowder, 16813 Lowder Road, Waverly, Illinois 62692.

There is no cost to attend, but registration is required. To register click here or contact Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant at, 217-782-4617.

On-Farm Composting Workshops / Field Days
May 21 at Western IL University, School of Agriculture Livestock Center & Compost Facility
May 28 at Tempel Farms Organics, Lake County
Both days, 8:30 AM – 2:00 PM

The Illinois State University, Department of Agriculture in conjunction with University of Illinois Extension and IOGA, and funded through a Conservation Innovation Grant from the Illinois Natural Resources Conservation Service is offering two Composting Workshops/Field Days this spring.

Workshop participants will tour an actual composting operation and hear practical information from experienced compost operators. Participants will receive information and materials on:

  • the benefits of composting
  • the basics of making compost
  • Illinois EPA regulations related to composting permitting and local siting requirements
  • compost facility site development
  • uses for compost and quality control
  • marketing of compost

The cost is $15, including lunch, if pre-registered by May 20. Walk-ins are welcome, at a cost of $20, but lunch is not guaranteed. You can print and mail a registration form. For phone inquiries, call Paul Walker at (309) 438-3881, Duane Friend at (217) 243-7424 or Ellen Phillips at (630) 445-9989.

News from IL Organic Growers Association: Educational Events, Growers Sought, Land Available

Dear Illinois Organic Grower:

We had a very successful conference Jan 10-11. Thanks to all who presented, attended workshops, came to our annual meeting, and/or stopped by our booth. Annual meeting notes will be sent out next week. In the meantime, here are some more upcoming events, people looking for organic producers, and other items of interest.

Webinar on the new USDA Microloans
January 31st at 3:00pm

This free webinar will help you decide if this funding option is right for your farm operation. Jeffrey E. Koch, Farm Loan Chief from the Illinois Farm Service Agency, will explain the new USDA Microloans and other funding options currently available for growers interested in selling to schools and other wholesale markets. To register, go to

Missouri Organic Association Annual Conference
February 7-9, 2013, Springfield, MO

In addition to informative organic educational sessions and the Missouri Organic Associations vendor market, the conference will feature workshops on solar panels, making your own bio-diesel fuel and more. Visit for more information.

Stateline Fruit & Vegetable Growers Conference
Feb 11, 2013, 8:30 to 4:00 PM, Rockford IL
$40 if preregistration required by February 7; late registration is $50

IOGA Administrative Committee member Ellen Phillips will present a session on Organic Soil Amendments. Liz Maynard, Extension Specialist with Purdue University, will be the keynote speaker. She will discuss last year’s cantaloupe contamination in Indiana – how it happened and how to prevent it from happening again. Other session topics include insect and disease control for fruits and vegetables, use of high tunnels, drought issues, crop storage, produce safety tips, social media, and more. For a full listing of conference workshops and registration brochure, see To register online, click here.

Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association annual conference
February 16-17, Granville, OH

See for information workshops, trade show vendors, and other conference activities, and to register.

MOSES Organic Farming Conference
February 21-23, 2013, La Crosse, WI
Registration deadline: February 13

The MOSES Organic Farming Conference is the largest conference in the U.S. about organic and sustainable farming. The MOSES Conference offers more than 70 workshops taught by experts in their fields, inspiring keynote speakers, and a trade show with more than 170 exhibitors open exclusively to conference attendees. See for registration and more information.

Publication: Crop Rotation on Organic Farms

Several people at the ISCAOC were interested in a publication we gave away as a membership prize: Crop Rotation on Organic Farms: A Planning Manual provides an in-depth review of the applications of crop rotation-including improving soil quality and health, and managing pests, diseases, and weeds. It is published by SARE. You can download it for free or purchase a hard copy for $24:

Help Wanted Listings on IOGA web site

We are launching a Help Wanted section on our web site. You can post help wanted listings via comments on this page. Help wanted can include positions that are any combination of full-time, part-time, temporary, paid, or volunteer. Comments are moderated and will be reviewed by IOGA staff before being posted. See As the section grows, we will publicize it to sustainable agriculture programs at universities throughout the state, in addition to our newsletter.

Seeking organic popcorn producers

We received a request for organic popcorn producers in Illinois. If you are interested, please contact:

Alan Solomon
320 Washington Ave. 5E
Brooklyn, NY 11205
(917) 862-7910

Seeking organic farmer for land in Will County

From Regina Rust, “I am part of a family farm based in Indiana who is interested in organic farming. We have 80 tillable acres in northern Illinois in Will County that we have been cash renting for conventional farming and would now like to switch to organic farming for environmental reasons. We are looking for an organic farmer to work with helping us accomplish this.” If interested, please contact Regina directly at

eOrganic webinars in January

New Webinars in January: Ancient Grains, Organic System Plans, Pecan and Peach, GMO Crops

Register now for new eOrganic webinars in January! Advance registration is required, and the webinars are free and open to the public. Topics include ancient grains, developing an organic system plan for row crops, pest and disease control in pecan and peach, and the coexistence of GMO, organic, and non-GMO crops. Find out more information and register at the links below.

  • January 7, 2013: Developing an Organic System Plan for Row Crop Production, by Beth Rota, independent consultant for the University of Missouri. This presentation details how to develop an organic system plan for crop production to comply with the USDA National Organic Standard, with special attention to organic row crop production. The presenter will cover what must be included in organic system plan and the basic steps to organic certification. Register at
  • January 8, 2013: The “Ancient” Grains Emmer, Einkorn and Spelt: What We Know and What We Need to Find Out, by Frank Kutka and Steve Zwinger of North Dakota State University, Julie Dawson of Cornell, and June Russell of Greenmarket, Grow NYC. A team of researchers from the NIFA OREI project Value-added grains for local and regional food systems will focus on the so-called ancient grains–einkorn , emmer and spelt–including their origins and attributes, current and potential uses and markets, and what we know so far about how to grow them. The team will also give an overview of the project’s current work on developing best management practices for these grains, dehulling options, and identifying varieties and landraces with superior yield, flavor, or nutritional content. This webinar is for those interested in specialty grains, including farmers, consumers, bakers, chefs, millers, and other grain processors. Register at
  • January 10, 2013. Live Broadcast from the Illinois Specialty Crops, Agritourism and Organic Conference: How Can Organic, Non-GMO, and GMO Crops Coexist? Lynn Clarkson, Clarkson Grain. How can organic, non-GMO, and GMO crops coexist? That is the puzzle that USDA’s Advisory Committee on Biotechnology & 21st Century Agriculture (AC21) has been asked to answer. AC21 Committee member Lynn Clarkson, President of Clarkson Grain in Cerro Gordo, IL will discuss AC21′s work and the issues at stake. Of special concern is adventitious presence, the term used for low levels of unintended material in seed, grain, or feed and food products. Clarkson will review the arguments underlying the battles between GMO and non-GMO farmers over adventitious presence and explore potential compromises to minimize adventitious presence in organic, non-GMO, and selected GMO crops. Register at
  • January 29, 2013: Organic Methods for Control of Insect Pests and Diseases of Pecan and Peach, by David Shapiro-Ilan and Clive Bock of the USDA-ARS Fruit and Tree Nut Research Laboratory in Byron, GA. A number of insect pests and diseases can cause severe damage in orchard crops such as pecan and peach. Drs. David Shapiro-Ilan and Clive Bock from the USDA-ARS Fruit and Tree Nut Research Laboratory in Byron GA will provide information on organic solutions to control the key insect pests and diseases of pecan and peach. Based on their own research as well as others, Shapiro-Ilan and Bock will discuss organic approaches that are currently available as well as prospects for the future; some of their research results are applicable to other cropping systems as well. Register at

Find all upcoming and archived eOrganic webinars at

Organic Track at IL Specialty Growers, Agritourism, and Organic Conference Jan 10-11, 2013

Come join us at the IL Specialty Growers, Agritourism, and Organic Conference at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Springfield on January 10-11, 2013. Below are descriptions of the sessions in the two organic tracks. Click for a full conference program including times, non-organic sessions, and January 9 pre-conference workshops. Submit this form by December 28, 2012 to pre-register. On-site registration costs an additional $15.

Become an IOGA member by December 31, 2012, and you will be entered into a drawing for a rebate of your conference registration (register for the conference first, and the rebate will be awarded at the annual business meeting on January 10).

Thursday, January 10

Organic keynote session: How can organic, non-GMO, and GMO crops coexist? Lynn Clarkson, President, Clarkson Grain, Cerro Gordo, IL. USDA AC21 Committee member Lynn Clarkson will discuss the AC21 committee’s work, review the arguments underlying the battles between GMO and non-GMO farmers over the presence of unintended material in seed, grain, or feed and food products (“adventitious presence”, and explore potential compromises to minimize adventitious presence in organic, non-GMO, and selected GMO crops.

Organic Growing 101 for New Growers and Those Interested in Learning More.

  • Welcome. Dave Bishop, PrairiErth Farm, Atlanta, IL
  • The Basics of Organic Agriculture: Principles and Practices. Wes Jarrell, Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery, Champaign, IL
  • The Basics of Organic Certification: How to Get Started. Maury Wills, Wills Family Orchard, Adel, IA and Bureau Chief, Organic Certification Program, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
  • The Basics of Organic Weed Control: Cramped Capital Cultivation. Marty Gray, Gray Farms Produce, Watseka, IL
  • An Organic Farmer’s Perspective. Hans Bishop, PrairiErth Farm, Atlanta, IL

IOGA business meeting. Please come and help shape our newly forming association. Tell us what you want to see IOGA do in 2013 and elect the 2013 Governing Board.

Friday, January 11

Organic Soil and Fertility

  • Precision Cover Cropping in Organic Systems. Joel Gruver, Western Illinois University.
  • This presentation will explore opportunities to increase benefits and minimize challenges experienced when cover cropping through greater precision in cover crop management. Specific practices that will be discussed include targeted placement of cover crops and subsequent cash crops using precision planting equipment, designing cover crop mixtures, fertilization of cover crops and no-till planting systems.

  • Weeds: Treat the Symptom or Cause? Gary McDonald, Springfield, IL. Learn simple steps that will increase a crop’s chance to out-compete and win over weeds by incorporating a system involving: tillage techniques, timely planting, row cultivation, crop rotation, cover cropping, crop selection and the dreaded “Go-No Go” decision.
  • Optimizing Cover Crop Benefits with Diverse Mixtures and Alternative Termination Methods. Sam Wortman, U of I. Cover crop mixtures are an appealing option for farmers, as increasing species diversity has been shown to increase resource-use efficiency, stability, resiliency, and productivity of plant communities. In this session, Professor Wortman will present results from a 3-year study on spring-seeded cover crop mixtures and mechanical termination methods in eastern Nebraska and preliminary results from a study on fall-seeded cover crop mixtures in east central Illinois.
  • On Farm Composting for Farm Compost Use. Leslie Cooperband, Prairie Fruits Farm and Creamery, Champaign, IL. Covers the basics of on-farm composting, simple compost quality evaluation and recommendations for use in different cropping systems.

Organic Grain and Vegetables

  • GMO Testing 101. David Bane, Midwest Organic Farmers Cooperative, Sidney, IL. This presentation will briefly inform about GMO testing rationale and methods, and also offer an update on activities aimed at labeling foods containing GMO ingredients in Illinois.
  • Getting Steamed for Pest Control. Jeff Kindhart, U of I. Soil pasteurization, although certainly not a new technology, can be an extremely useful tool in the quest for disease and weed control in high tunnels. It provides effective control for both organic and conventional producers alike.
  • Avoiding and Managing Key Insect Pests in Organic Production of Vegetables. Rick Weinzierl, U of I. Understand insect life cycles and the practices that can be used to limit damage from major insect pests of vegetables.

Fruits and Berries

  • Direct Marketing of Non-Traditional Berries: Expanding the Production and Palette of Possibilities for Midwest
    Growers and Eaters.
    Erin Schneider, Hilltop Community Farm, La Valle, WI. Learn, glean, and share perspectives on how and where different fruits such as currants, honeyberry, elderberry, and saskatoon might fit into your farm’s product offerings and the role that learning with other farmers and eaters plays in growing and sustaining a farm. Resources, handouts on agroforestry, plant lists, and direct marketing of fruit crops will be provided.
  • Tips for Raspberries, Currants and Strawberries. Janet Gamble, Farm Manager/Educator, Turtle Creek Gardens, Delavan, WI. Introductory session on cultural aspects of raising these fruits on a small scale to supplement your CSA or market garden. We will be discussing establishment, propagation, pest and disease prevention and marketing.
  • Managing Insects in Organic Apple Orchards. Maury Wills, Wills Family Orchard, Adel, IA and Bureau Chief, Organic Certification Program, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship. Identify strategies to maximize management of primary apple pests while meeting organic requirements. Understand how using insect monitoring and establishing action-level thresholds are even more important to the organic apple grower. The strengths, benefits and limitations of organic management practices will be reviewed. Create your own organic management strategy that includes a plan for enhancing biodiversity on the farm and a plan for use of insect-specific products and tools.

Organic Livestock Systems

  • Raising Pastured Swine with Unique Finishing Options for Market/Consumer Appeal. Chad Wallace, Oak Tree Organics, Ashland, IL.
  • Includes information on how to finish pastured pork on fruit and nuts, and what advantages this approach provides when marketing your product.

  • Watering Without the Electric Bill: Solar, Wind, and Other Renewable Options. Jay Solomon, U of I Extension. Essential for livestock and crop growth, water access can be a limitation due to cost or unavailability of electricity. Creative approaches to providing water to meet these needs will be explored.
  • Pastured Poultry Production. Kyle Cecil, U of I Extension.
  • This discussion will provide information that will help identify characteristics of alternative poultry production, explain the opportunities and challenges associated with pasture based production systems as well as discuss the equipment and practices that facilitate getting birds off to a good start. Most examples will focus on broiler production.

General Organic

  • Drought Resources and What’s New with Organic Crop Insurance. Sharon Hestvik, USDA Risk Management Agency, Washington, DC. An update will be presented on the federal crop insurance program for organic producers as well as other tools that producers can use to manage risk on their organic farms.

Webinar: NOP and NRCS Requirements

The standards set up by the National Organic Program, which task operators to actively maintain or improve the soil, water and biodiversity of their land, are often complicated, confusing even the most experienced farmers and ranchers.   To this end, the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) is hosting a webinar entitled ‘Links between Biodiversity Requirements of Organic Systems and NRCS Practice Standards’ this upcoming Thursday, September 27. The webinar promises to “help operators meet…NOP requirements” and “will include include those standards protecting resources, providing conservation buffers, and supporting wildlife habitat.” Specifically, the panelists will be discussing NRCS Conservation Practice Standards, which help teach operators how to meet NOB requirements.

The seminar panelists will be Jo Ann Baumgartner, the director of the Wild Farm Alliance, Jim Riddle, founding chair of the Winona Farmers Market and the International Organic Inspectors Association, and Tom Broz of Live Earth Farm. The webinar will occur on the 27th at 1pm Eastern, 12 Central. The price is free, but registration is required. Do not fear, however, because registration can be found right here, and it’s quick and easy, too!

6th National Small Farm Conference

On September 18-20 the USDA will be hosting the 6th National Small Farm Conference in the Downtown Marriott in Memphis, Tennessee, and registration for the event is now open. The theme of this year’s conference is “Partnering for Success of Small Farmers and Ranchers” and over 800 people from places such as land-grant universities, community-based organizations, foundations, farming communities are more are expected to attend. If you’re interested you can find more information here, but some of the more pertinent info is this; the price is $295 before August 24, $345 after, and a credit card is needed to guarantee a room at the Marriott itself.