January 26, 2007

Small Farm Conference returns to Midwest in 2007

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — The 2007 Midwest Small Farm Conference will take place on Feb. 10 at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds in Crawfordsville, Ind. Throughout the day, eight seminars will feature topics of interest to operators of small farms that currently use, or are transitioning to, organic production methods.

The conference, sponsored by Purdue University Cooperative Extension Service and Sustainable Earth, will include Purdue professor Rick Foster's presentation on insect ecology and a business planning session by the Purdue Extension New Ventures Team.

"Basically, my presentation is about Integrated Pest Management (IPM), or the concept of managing insects from a total systems approach rather than relying on pesticides," Foster said. "In other words, it focuses on natural insect predators and working with the immediate environment. It's a program that we've been working on for more than 30 years."

Farmers at the forefront of production, processing or marketing will make the other presentations. These will cover topics that include restoring farmland with biodynamic agriculture, converting an old orchard to organic production, managing forages in a grazing system, the two worlds of food, making your own biodiesel fuel and operating an integrated livestock farm business.

Conference doors open at 7:30 a.m. and the event will run from 8:25 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Registration is $45 per person or $65 per family and may either be done by mail or at the door the day of the conference. Preregistrations postmarked by Feb. 6 receive a $10 discount. An organic lunch prepared on-site will be available for $8.

More conference information is available by logging onto the Sustainable Earth Web site at http://www.sustainableearth.net, or by contacting Steve Bonney, program coordinator, at (765) 463-9366, sustainableearth.steve@verizon.net.

Writer: Jennifer Stewart, (765) 494-6682, jsstewar@purdue.edu

Sources: Steve Bonney, (765) 463-9366, sustainableearth.steve@verizon.net

Rick Foster, (765) 494-9572, rfoster@purdue.edu

Ag Communications: (765) 494-2722;
Beth Forbes, forbes@purdue.edu
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