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Friday Events: Farm-A-Palouse-A and Farm Tour Presenters

Ana and Ari Alvarez decided to get involved in beekeeping when CCD (Colony Collapse Disorder) began affecting honeybee population at the national level. They attended classes and achieved Journeyman Level certification in Washington State. With the right balance between hands-on experience and remaining open to new or alternative techniques, the Alvarez family decided to start a beekeeping supplies company named BeeManiacs with the goal of helping new beekeepers get started. The Alvarez family is a member of all local beekeeping associations, as well as the WA State Beekeeping Association, Western Apiculture Society, and American Beekeeping Federation. They are also involved in the education committees of all the associations and are usually promoting beekeeping-friendly practices. They also spend their time together volunteering at conferences and beekeeping classes. The BeeManiacs yard hosts a diverse variety of beehive styles, from standard boxes to Top Bar and Warre hives. Planning for Pollinators Part 2: Small-Scale Pollinating Options For The Homestead  (Managing Your Rural Property Track)

Bahme_HeatherHeather Bahme is a US Army Veteran of 22 years that retired in November of 2014. She has four amazing children (three boys and one girl) and is the spouse of a combat Army Veteran that is a survivor of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Currently, Heather is the the North Eastern Washington Regional Coordinator for the Washington Department of Veterans Affairs (WDVA), VetCorps, and is the Traumatic Brain Injury Outreach Coordinator. Finding and Funding Your Education in Ag (Vets on the Farm Track)

Bruck_HoustonAfter graduating from Oregon State University, Houston Bruck started his career with the USDA Farm Service Agency in 2005.  Having been raised on a century farm in the Willamette Valley, he has a deep rooted desire to see family sized farms succeed.  Through his time with the FSA, Houston has been able to come alongside a large variety of both established and beginning farming operations to assist them in plan development and provide financial assistance.  Having started with the Agency in Oregon, Houston and his family moved to Spokane in 2010.  He recently accepted a specialist position in the Spokane state office. Incentives and Resources for Farmers and Veterans to Begin Farming (Vets on the Farm Track)

Burken_BobbyBobby Burken grew up in the giant corn maze known as Iowa.  He enlisted in the Air Force after high school to escape said cornfields, but was promptly sent back into them while stationed in eastern Nebraska. After his military service, Bobby attended college in Wisconsin, majoring in Reclamation, Environment, and Conservation.  Upon graduating, he accepted a job in West Virginia with the Natural Resources Conservation Service.  In 2013, he accepted his current position as a Soil Conservationist in Washington, working with private landowners on everything from soil erosion and quality issues to forest improvement projects.  Outside of work you’d be likely to find Bobby climbing rocks or riding his bike. I Have Property, Now What? (Managing Your Rural Property)

Vicki Carter serves as the Director of the Spokane Conservation District and works with the Upper Columbia RC&D as board support.  Her management experience includes 25 years in human resource management, accounting and financial management, project and program development, and governmental insurance programs.  She serves a board of directors in an agriculturally based county and provides input to policy and legislative matters at local and state levels.  Ms. Carter is active in the veteran’s community of Spokane through her work with Operation Spokane Heroes, RIDE for RED, and the Veterans task force.  She spearheaded Vets on the Farm in 2014 after watching the documentary “Ground Operations:  From Battlefields to Farmfields”. Documentary Screening: “Ground Operations: From Battlefields to Farm Fields” (Vets on the Farm Track)

CasaCano FarmsCasaCano Farms, is owned and operated by Madyson Versteeg and Jorge McConnell. Madyson and Jorge both grew up in Spokane, WA. They gardened in their backyards, cultivated a passion for the environment, and gained inspiration to grow real food. Both earned their B.A. in Environmental Studies focused in Sustainable Food and Farming from the University of Montana, and after several farming internships, moved back to Spokane to start their own farm, CasaCano Farms, in 2014. They recently expanded CasaCano Farms from their rented 6 acres to include 40 acres purchased with a FSA loan. They focus on the health of their farm ecosystem, incorporating livestock and intensive minimal-till vegetable production, while also experimenting with new ways to direct-market produce and proteins. Beyond Farm to Table Tour: Creative Connections between Small Farmers, Buyers, and Brewers

Chastain_CindyCindy Chastain is the Veteran Outreach Coordinator for the National AgrAbility Project. She is responsible for networking with the 20 state and regional AgrAbility projects and other organizations with outreach to farmer veteran clients.  The vision of AgrAbility is to enhance quality of life for farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural workers with disabilities. Through education and assistance, AgrAbility helps to eliminate (or at least minimize) obstacles that inhibit success in agriculture or agriculture-related occupations.  Cindy served 31 years in the US Army, grew up on a family farm in Indiana and has a degree in Animal Sciences from Purdue University.  A tour in Afghanistan on an Agricultural Development team solidified her desire to return home to the family farm. She hopes to reach and help veterans with disabilities begin or continue to farm and ultimately to succeed. AgrAbility (Vets on the Farm Track)

Cowan_JeremyJeremy Cowan is the regional horticulture specialist at WSU’s Spokane County Extension office and serves as a bridge between growers and the university, organizing workshops, farm tours and co-leading the Cultivating Success courses. He also teaches WSU’s vegetable production class in Pullman and has a research program focused on biodegradable plastic mulches, high tunnels and intercropping. The Cowans are establishing a small farm on their 7-acre homestead outside of Spokane where they raise hogs, sheep, laying hens and vegetables. This year, they’re adding a chicken breeding program and will begin selling vegetables through the Local Inland Northwest Cooperative (LINC). Jeremy has plenty of help on the farm: his wife Krista manages the day-to-day operations, while Isobel (5), Liam (2) and newborn Agnes keep them both on their toes, and Carson (13) and Austin (12) help out during the height of the growing season. Better Farming through Plastics: Season Extension, Mulch and More! For the Farm Track)

Devine_MiaMia Devine has over 14 years of experience working in the renewable energy industry, including positions at non-profit organizations, government agencies, and private industry. She is currently a project manager at Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development (Northwest SEED) where she manages the rural renewables program and provides educational workshops on wind and solar technology.  Mia holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Grinnell College and an M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I Have Property, Now What? (Managing Your Rural Property Track)

Elis_DulanieDulanie Ellis has been a filmmaker for the last 25 years.  For many of those years she worked as a Script Supervisor on feature films, television series and commercials in Hollywood.  After the birth of her daughter, she turned to documentary filmmaking and became the Associate Producer on four social justice films with Tell The Truth Pictures, in Ojai, CA. “Mighty Times: The Legacy of Rosa Parks” was nominated for an Academy Award in 2000. In 2002, Dulanie launched her own production company, Walk Your Talk Productions. Concerned about the loss of farmland to development, she began making a series of films that addressed various elements of sustainable agriculture. Producing films about the environmental stewardship of farming, farmland protection and housing for its field workers prepared her for the most compelling story of her career, “Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields”.  In a world full of problems, Ground Operations is a story about solutions. Documentary Screening: “Ground Operations: From Battlefields to Farm Fields” (Vets on the Farm Track)

Ghimire_ShureshShuresh Ghimire is a Ph.D. student in the department of Horticulture, Washington State University at the Northwest Washington Research and Extension Center. His Ph.D. project focuses on biodegradable plastic mulches for vegetable production, yield and quality, as well as mulch biodegradation in the field over time. He completed his M.S. in Horticulture in 2012 from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Better Farming through Plastics: Season Extension, Mulch and More! For the Farm Track)

Hellie_DeanDean Hellie has been the Resource Specialist and District Administrator for the Stevens County Conservation District for the past 10 years.  Duties include working with landowners to utilize their property and natural resources to meet their goals and protect the environment for long term sustainability. He earned Bachelor of Science Degrees from Washington State University in Agricultural Economics and Animal Sciences (Beef Production).  Dean’s additional education in water resources and agricultural technology come from Spokane Community College.  His other work experience in production agriculture has included working with registered cattle operation, feedlot, and irrigated cropping. I Have Property, Now What? (Managing Your Rural Property Track)

Kuber_PaulDr. Paul Kuber is a faculty with WSU Extension serving as a Regional Livestock Extension Specialist in North East Washington.  Dr. Kuber’s academic background has been largely focused on Animal Science with a specific focus on meat processing and production.  Prior to his return to the Pacific Northwest he worked with small farm operations in the state of Ohio as an Extension faculty member in the Department of Animal Sciences with The Ohio State University.  During this time, Dr. Kuber, as part of team, looked at avenues to stream-line opportunities and educate small-scale livestock producers in delivering sustainably raised food animal products to consumers. Raising Chickens and Poultry Processing for Increased Marketing Options (For the Farm Track)

Nathaniel Lewis, Senior Crops and Livestock Specialist, Organic Trade Association, provides staff support to OTA’s Farmer Advisory Council, on-the-ground outreach to OTA’s organic farmer membership, and analysis of policy issues that affect organic crop and livestock producers. Prior to OTA, Nathaniel served as Certification Coordinator for Washington State Dept. of Agriculture’s organic certification program where he gained certification experience in all scopes of organic production. Nathaniel holds a Bachelor’s of Science from The Evergreen State College with a focus in agricultural science and organic chemistry. Organic Trade Association Grain Growers Stakeholder Meeting

Mannhard_PatrickPatrick Mannhard is the Operations Manager for Project Hope. I come from St. Louis, Missouri bringing with him a passion for the outdoor world. He has been farming, and working on social justice issues for Project Hope, Urban Eden, Oxford Gardens and Growing Gardens for the last eight years in Colorado and Spokane. Project Hope is a nonprofit organization which works at creating opportunities for youth through community engagement, job training, and education. Project Hope runs a scatter plot urban farm in the West Central neighborhood of Spokane. Community Garden Roundtable (Managing Your Rural Property Track)

Matthews_BarryBarry Matthews has worked in the restaurant industry since 1966. He started at the Steam Plant in 2002 as Executive Sous Chef. He was promoted to Executive Chef in 2004. He has always used his knowledge of farming and ranching in the business as he was raised in Ellensburg, WA. Barry believes strongly in sourcing from local farms and ranches for his seasonal menus, which he learned through his grandfather, also a chef. He also has a small farm in Spokane Valley where he grows vegetables and herbs to supplement what he buys from area farms. Beyond Farm to Table Tour: Creative Connections between Small Farmers, Buyers, and Brewers

Shannon Meagher and Lorie Arnold own and operate Heron Pond Farms LLC, a small, sustainable family-owned farm providing quality artisan cheeses and heritage pork to local discerning individuals, markets, and restaurants that care where their food comes from and how it tastes.  They are located just south of the Spokane city limits at the base of Tower Mountain. Heron Pond is dedicated to humanely raising healthy, happy, hormone free, nubian dairy goats and large black hogs in a pasture-based setting that encourages the animals to behave naturally. Beyond Farm to Table Tour: Creative Connections between Small Farmers, Buyers, and Brewers

Miller_JamesJames Miller is retired from the Pennsylvania State Police, a graduate of Seattle University with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, a retired Mechanical Engineer, and a sideliner beekeeper. He and his wife, Jenine, have been married for 30 years. He teaches basic and advanced beekeeping class and is a member of West Plains Beekeepers Association and Washington State Beekeepers Association. He has been a beekeeper for over 20 years and is a partner with Jenine in operating a beekeeping supply business, Millers Homestead LLC. Jim is one of a few Certified Master Beekeepers through Washington State Beekeepers Association Masters Program. Planning for Pollinators: Part 2 – Honey Bees, Native Pollinators and Essential Oils (For the Farm Track)

Munts_PatPat Munts has been working on community gardens for the last 11 years in Spokane as the coordinator and facilitator for many of the Spokane region’s community gardens. She also serves as the small farms coordinator for WSU Spokane County Extension and the Spokane Conservation District. As such she has worked with a number of groups to develop and operate over 20 gardens in the region. Additionally, she is a freelance garden writer for a weekly column Spokesman Review, national magazines and is the co-author with Susan Mulvihill of the “Northwest Gardeners’ Handbook”, published in 2015 by Cool Springs Press. She is a WSU Spokane County Master Gardener Emeritus and has maintained her own vegetable garden for over 30 years.  Finding and Funding Your Education in Ag (Vets on the Farm Track) and Community Garden Roundtable (Managing Your Rural Property)

Nelson_JohnJohn Nelson graduated from the University of Oregon and served 5 years in the Army.  After a short stint as a State Trooper, he was invited to farm on a grain farm in Reardan and Bonner’s Ferry, Idaho.  John attended the Washington AgForestry Leadership Education program and completed a Masters of Organizational Leadership degree from Gonzaga University. John served as a director on various Farm Credit boards and Trusts for over 15 years and served 10 years on the Board of Directors for the Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corporation.  During this time he spent 5 years as a farm insurance agent for Country Companies (Country Financial) finishing his work career as an WSU Extension Specialist in the Western Center for Risk Management Education where he worked with various insurance products and farm program education initiatives. John retired to his farm in Reardan last March where he has grain, hay and a few cows to entertain him.  Making Your New Battle Plan: How to Deal with Drought, Fire and Other Forces of Nature (Vets on the Farm Track)

Puhek_PaulandSue1Paul and Susan Puhek have grown up around chickens. They have more than 20 years of practical experience, refining and updating methods used by their parents and grandparents. They have raised many different breeds of chickens. They started with small flocks of hens, producing just enough eggs for family use, progressed to larger flock, enough to produce eggs for sale at a local farmers market, and are expanding to produce enough eggs to help supply a local Co-op. Raising Chickens (For the Farm Track)

Sardinas_HillaryHillary Sardiñas is the Pacific Coast Pollinator Specialist at the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. She has a PhD in Environmental Science, Policy and Management from UC Berkeley, where she studied the contribution of hedgerows to crop pollination in California’s Central Valley. She has a background in ecological restoration and native plant nursery production. Planning for Pollinators Part 1: Creating Pollinator Habitat on Your Farm (For the Farm Track)

Jo Lynne Seufer, USDA-Risk Management Agency, Spokane, WA.  Making Your New Battle Plan: How to Deal with Drought, Fire and Other Forces of Nature (Vets on the Farm Track)

Barry Tee is the Loan Officer for the Spokane Conservation District’s On Site Septic financial assistance program.  Barry has a degree in Agricultural Economics from Washington State University and experience as a lender and small business owner. Maintaining your Septic System (Managing Your Rural Property Track)

Session A – Saturday, November 14, 2015 – 10:30 am – Noon

A1 – Sustainable Beef Production for Beginners

Busboom_JanHeitstuman_MarkWSU MEATs Team: Since 2006, the WSU Meat Animal Evaluation, Analysis and Technology Team has presented beginning and advanced-level Pork, Beef and Lamb programs that strive to help producers add value to their product from “Farm to Plate”.  All stages of the production cycle are addressed in these programsKerr_Susan, including: selecting livestock for carcass merit, genetics, nutrition, health care, recordkeeping, processing and marketing.  Workshop presenters will include Mark Heitstuman, WSU Asotin/Garfield County Extension Director; Dr. Jan Busboom, WSU Meats Extension Specialist in Pullman; and Dr. Susan Kerr, WSU Regional Livestock and Dairy Specialists in Mt. Vernon.

A2 – Medicinal Crops for Farmers

Pilarski_MichaelMichael Pilarski started organic farming in 1972 and he helped form Tilth in 1974.  He has farmed medicinal plants for the past 15 years and also does sustainable wild crafting of medicinals. He is familiar with the plants and growing conditions for the Maritime and Inland Northwest. He is one of the Northwest’s most well-known permaculture teachers and networkers.

A3 – Croptime: Scheduling Vegetable Crops with Degree Days

Andrews_NickNick Andrews is a member of OSU’s Small Farms Program, and the Center for Small Farms & Community Food Systems. He serves Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties and specializes in ecological horticulture. Nick started with OSU Extension in 2005, and was previously an organic inspector with Oregon Tilth, orchard consultant in Hood River, and vegetable entomologist in England and Scotland. His work focuses on ecological vegetable production and beginning farmer training. Nick developed the Organic Fertilizer and Cover Crop Calculator in collaboration with Dan Sullivan and others at OSU. He is now collaborating with OSU colleagues to develop CROPTIME, a degree-day modeling website for vegetable growers.

Noordijk_HeidiHeidi Noordijk is a member OSU’s Small Farms Program and the Center for Small Farms and Community Food Systems and works in the Portland metro area as an education program assistant. Heidi has been working with OSU Extension since 2012, and was previously the crew leader at Sauvie Island Organics a 17 acre vegetable farm, and has been involved in research projects involving apple tree physiology, berry production, and tree fruit entomology. Heidi’s current work focuses on beginning farmer training, ecological vegetable production and managing a 2 acre Learning Farm.

A4 – The Voice of the Market: Best Practices for Selling to Retail Grocers and Restaurants in the Intermountain West

DePhelps_ColetteColette DePhelps, M.S, is a University of Idaho Extension Associate in Community Food Systems & Small Farms.  DePhelps has over 20 years of experience working collaboratively with farmers, sustainable agriculture organizations, government agencies, Washington State University and the University of Idaho to develop, implement and evaluate production, marketing and business planning programs for small specialty crop producers in Idaho and Washington.  DePhelps utilizes a participatory approach to research and educational programming where farmers and end-users (i.e. retailers) are engaged in the identification of research and education priorities and the subsequent development and evaluation of relevant programming.  In addition, she is currently working on expanding semi-direct markets for local and regionally grown produce, market assessments for the expansion of natural food retailing, and the development of farm-to-school programs.

Newman_SorenSoren Newman is a social science research associate in the Office of Grant and Project Development in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences at the University of Idaho. Soren has collaborated on a variety of projects ranging from exploring communities’ capacity to adapt to environmental hazards to engaging stakeholders in wood-based bioenergy development, helping local livestock producers gather feasibility study data, and assessing local and regional food systems. Raised on a farm in Cavendish, Idaho, her interest in understanding how conservation, economic, and social objectives can simultaneously be achieved motivated her to earn a doctoral degree in Natural Resource and Environmental Science from Washington State University. Soren has bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and Sociology from the University of Idaho and a master’s degree in Sociology from Washington State University.

Williams_CindaCinda Williams, M.S., is an Associate Extension Professor at the University of Idaho. She serves as an Area Extension Educator in Community Food Systems for northern Idaho.  Cinda has organized and helped to conduct workshops, farm tours and conferences related to small acreage farming, sustainable and organic production practices and direct marketing for over 20 years with UI Extension.  She has developed numerous publications, curricula and other resources for Idaho farmers. She serves as the Idaho SARE Coordinator for Western SARE, the Idaho state contact for the National Small Farms Program and is co-leader of the University of Idaho Extension Small Farm and Community Food Systems team.

A5 – How to Adapt and Respond to New Produce Safety Rules: Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) & Good Agricultural Practices (GAP)

Kovacs_TriciaTricia Kovacs manages Farm to School and Small Farm Direct Marketing programs at the Washington State Department of Agriculture. She serves as the Washington State Lead for the National Farm to School Network, and is a member of the Washington State University Small Farms Team. She serves as WSDA’s representative to the Governor’s Small Business Liaison Team, and is a leadership team member of the University of Washington Nutrition and Obesity Policy Research and Evaluation Network.  Tricia was the lead author of “A School’s Guide to Purchasing Washington-Grown Food” to clarify state and federal rule for applying a geographic preference in school food procurement for farm to school, and the “Bridging the GAPs Farm Guide” to assist small and mid-sized growers in meeting buyer food safety standards. She was the founding program manager for the Farm to School Program at WSDA, as established by the 2008 Local Farms-Healthy Kids Act.

Ullmann_KarenKaren Ullmann is an outreach and education coordinator for the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s Small Farm Direct Marketing and Farm to School team. Karen is responsible for coordinating Bridging the GAPs II on-farm food safety workshops and educating about current FDA Produce Safety Rules. She has been working with the WSDA for over one year and lives in Seattle.

Session B: 1:30-3:00pm

B1 – Meat Processing in Washington: What’s Working? What’s Not?

Dunlop_BruceBruce Dunlop of Lopez Island Farm, Lopez Island, WA.

Jerry Haun of Haun’s Meat and Sausage, Walla Walla, WA.

Sue Lani Madsen is a community leader who des
cribes herself as a Christian, compulsive entrepreneur and community volunteer. SheMadsen_SueLani fulfills these roles through Children’s Ministry at the Reardan Presbyterian Church; as an Architect practicing with The Madsen Group; as a rancher and co‐owner of Healing Hooves LLC, raising meat goats for targeted grazing to improve the health of the land; founding President and currently serving as Treasurer of the CPoW Livestock Processors Cooperative Association, working to connect local producers and consumers in our regional foodshed; EMT and EMS Captain, Lincoln County Fire District #4; political writer/blogger; and podcast host of Better Health at

Quanbeck_KathrynKathryn Quanbeck is the Program Manager for the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network (NMPAN).  Kathryn develops educational content related to local and regional meat processing issues and coordinates outreach and educational activities for NMPAN. She also provides consultation in business development and management, policy and regulations, and marketing.  She has a master’s degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of California-Davis and was formerly a livestock economist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

B2 – Growing Wine Grapes Organically

Barreca_JoeJoseph Barreca has been making wine for 40 years and growing grapes organically for 29 years on a farm near Rice, WA. He recently opened his own winery, Barreca Vineyards. He specializes in northern climate grapes, mostly French hybrids. They make excellent wines but are not as widely known as the major commercial varieties.

B3 – Measuring Soil Health on the Farm

Brown_TabithaTabitha Brown is a PhD Candidate in soil science at WSU working with Dr. David Huggins and also a soil scientist with the Latah Soil and Water Conservation District in Moscow, ID. She has three years of experience growing and selling vegetable crops through a community supported agriculture program in Moscow, ID. Her recent research activities have focused on regionalizing and integrating soil health testing into traditional nutrient management decision making and demonstrating alternative nutrient testing approaches. Tabitha’s interest in evaluating soil testing techniques, soil health indicators and soil health scoring systems take root at the farm under the innovative curiosity of the farmers she works alongside.

Kahl_KendallKendall Kahl is a soil scientist with a diverse background in small farm productions, community development project management, and small business operations. She completed a M.S. degree in Soil Science from the University of Idaho, where her research involved analyzing soil health and economic potential in organic, reduced-tillage grain cropping systems in the Palouse. Through current employment with Washington State University and the Latah Soil and Water Conservation District, she continues to research aspects of soil health with the intent of working towards putting theory into on-farm practices.

Morrow_JasonJason Morrow was lured into soil science by the irresistible smell of wet earth rich with organic matter, which led him to seek his MS in soil science from Washington State University.  One day he plans on applying the concept of soil health as a farmer, but until then he works as a research associate in the Crops and Soils Department at WSU managing a soil biochemistry lab.

B4 – LINC Foods: A Cooperative Food Hub Approach

Robinette, Beth

Beth Robinette, LINC Foods Co-Founder, operates the Lazy R Ranch, her family’s fourth-generation grass fed beef operation west of Spokane. She studied sustainable agriculture and business and marketing at Fairhaven College at Western Washington University, and earned her MBA in Sustainable Systems at Bainbridge Graduate Institute at Pinchot University with an emphasis on Local Living Economies and Sustainable Food and Agriculture. When she’s not busy connecting Spokanites to awesome local food or chasing cows, Beth loves spending time with her husband, Matt, and their daughter, Audrey. She also enjoys knitting, cooking, and riding her majestic ponies around the ranch.

Williamson_JoelJoel Williamson, LINC Foods Co-Founder, grew up in his family’s rose-growing greenhouse south of Spokane, walking around on stilts under two acres of glass. Joel studied theater lighting design at Eastern Washington University, and toured with theater companies in LA before landing back in Spokane to work in city government and nonprofits. He earned his MBA in Sustainable Systems from Bainbridge Graduate Institute at Pinchot University with an emphasis on Finance and Entrepreneurship. When he is not gleefully driving the LINC Foods truck around, Joel enjoys quality time with his wife Lauren, and their dog Stanley. Joel also loves tinkering with his homebrew set-up and expanding the awesomeness of fruits and grains through the magic of fermentation.

Jackson_DanDan Jackson is a 15 year vegetable farmer living in the city of Spokane Valley.  Specializing in restaurant sales, all of the vegetable varieties have been selected by the best chefs in the area.  The product line created over time thrives in the Spokane climate and is delicious too.  He came to Spokane in 1994 to work at KREM 2 News and developed a career as an award winning television photojournalist.  Once a Coug always a Coug, he studied Broadcast Communications at Washington State University and will miss shooting highlights of Cougar football games.  After splitting duties between farming and television news Dan is now pursuing his passion to work with local food as the Director of Marketing and Sales for LINC Foods.  Now he hopes to perfect his Heirloom Pumpkin Ale with locally malted grains from the Palouse Region.

B5 – Learning from the Land: Farm Internship Programs in Washington State

Henwood_KellieKellie Henwood has been personally and professionally involved in sustainable agriculture in Washington State for over a decade. She has worked for numerous small farms, served on the Tilth Producers board of directors, and has assisted in the creative development of farm intern curriculum and programming. Kellie is the Small Farms Coordinator for WSU Jefferson County Extension and the greater Olympic Peninsula region where she organizes educational workshops for producers, farmers, and manages farm intern programs.

Kane_KellyKelly Kane is the statewide Farm Internship Project Coordinator she is located in Eastern Washington at the Spokane office.  Kelly has been with L&I for over six years and has been a state employee for more than ten years.  She has educated employers on their responsibilities to comply with employment standards and informed employees of their rights when working in Washington.  Kelly has also enforced compliance with these laws.

Lewis_LauraLaura Lewis is the Director of WSU Jefferson County Extension and a member of the WSU Small Farms Team.  She is currently leading the effort to review and fully develop the WSU Cultivating Success Farmer Mentor and Internship Programs statewide.  Her office currently supports and coordinates several Cultivating Success mentor farms located on the Olympic Peninsula

Rome_CleaClea Rome has been the Clallam County WSU Extension Director for the past three and a half years, overseeing Extension programs in nutrition education, small farms, urban horticulture, and 4-H youth development. Clea has lived and worked on the Olympic Peninsula for ten years. Prior to joining WSU Clallam County Extension, she worked with both the US Department of Agriculture and the Clallam Conservation District, working with landowners across Clallam County on a wide range of issues including stormwater management, conservation projects, and economic development for small farms. Clea has a Masters degree in Landscape Architecture from the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and Environment.

Tisa Soeteber is the Agricultural Employment Standards Specialist, she has worked for the state of Washington for eighteen years, twelve of which have been with L&I.  Prior to working with the state, Tisa worked in various agricultural and farm activities in California, Oregon and Washington, including pruning, thinning, harvesting, packing and processing a variety of fruits and vegetables.

Session C: 3:30-5:00pm

C1 – Getting Started With a Small-Scale Dairy

Conway_LorrieLorrie Conway is farm owner and operator of Conway Family Farms in Camas, WA. Along with her husband, Shaun, they are responsible for the day-to-day management and care of the farm. Everything from milking the goats to building the buildings to making the cheese. They pride themselves on being personally responsible for helping usher the freshest, most wholesome products direct to their loyal farm family every day and consider it a privilege to care for their beautiful farm.

Kerr_SusanDr. Susan Kerr was in private mixed animal veterinary practice for seven years, and then obtained a Ph.D. in education. She was employed as WSU-Klickitat County Extension Director for seventeen years and has been the WSU NW Regional Livestock and Dairy Extension Educator since May 2013.

C2 – Creating Healthy Soil and Fertility Using Organic No Till Combined with Year Round Cover Cropping for the Market Gardener

Miller_Gary_Plant_AmyFor the past seven years Amy Plant and Gary Miller have been successfully growing a market garden on San Juan Island, utilizing a continuous system of organic no-till and year round cover cropping. They have developed practical methods and strategies as alternatives to planting into a rolled down cover crop, including direct seeding of small seeded crops. In 2012, they received a Western SARE grant to demonstrate the viability of direct seeding carrots and salad mix into a no-till system. Amy and Gary are currently engaged in improving and deepening our understanding and methods for incorporating year round cover cropping into a no-till system, as well as maintaining their educational website:

C3 – Environmental Footprint of Organic Farming

Adewale_CorneliusCornelius Adewale is a native of Ilesa, an agricultural community in southwestern Nigeria. His farm experience began at the age of six with weeding and harvesting at a cocoa plantation with his grandfather. After the death of his grandfather, he started taking a leading role in the continual management of the farm. He is currently a PhD student in crop and soil science at WSU. Cornelius’s life and career interests relate to global food security, and paths to sustainable agriculture in general. He aspires to be part of teams that develop designs and models that will address some of the sustainability issues in the world’s agricultural and food production systems. With his accumulated experience in agriculture and business management Cornelius was elected into the board of Tilth Producers of Washington in 2012, and as treasurer in 2013.

Dr. Lynne Carpenter-Boggs is WSU faculty specializing in biological soil fertility for organic and sustainable farming. She has studied alternative systems including biodynamics, composting common and unusual materials including livestock mortalities, green manures, compost teas, and many other alternative materials and methods for sustainable agriculture.

Granatstein_DavidDavid Granatstein is Professor and Sustainable Agriculture Specialist with Washington State University in Wenatchee. He has worked on organic agriculture since 1975, with projects on topics such as compost, soils, orchard floor management, climate change, and ecolabeling. He leads the organic trends work that produces annual updates of organic agriculture in Washington State as well as periodic updates of global organic horticulture.

C4 – How to Prepare for your Lender

Knopp_WendyWendy Knopp graduated from Gonzaga University with a teaching degree and a master’s degree in organizational leadership.  She joined Northwest FCS shortly after graduation.  In her current position, she manages the AgVision program, which promotes and educates young and beginning producers.  Wendy works directly with customers and the lending staff throughout our region and is a key leader within Northwest FCS’ Business Management Center.

Dan Schilling, Senior Development Analyst, Washington State Housing Finance Commission.

C5 – Food and Farming Policy Briefing: All you Need to Know to be a Farm Policy Advocate in 2016 

Gray_EllenEllen Gray has been the Executive Director of The Washington Sustainable Food & Farming Network (The Network) since January 2008 ( She currently serves as a co-chair of the Good Food Coalition, a group of organizations and individuals that advocate for policies that advance a more sustainable and just food system in Washington State.  Ellen also sits on the Washington State Food Systems Roundtable, a public private partnership collaborative tasked with setting a twenty-five year vision and action plan for the state’s food system. Ellen has a M.S. degree from the University of Washington and a B.A. degree from the University of Vermont. Ellen has a long commitment to advocacy work and more than thirty years of experience in the non-profit sector. In 2013, she received Advocate of the Year Awards from Tilth Producers of Washington and the Washington State Farmers Market Association. Originally from Vermont, Ellen spent much of her childhood working on either dairy or horse farms and has a deep appreciation for our hardworking farmers. Ellen lives in Mount Vernon, WA.

Taylor-Stanley, ArianaIn addition to her work organizing Tilth Producers members around farm policy issues as Tilth’s Policy Coordinator, Ariana Taylor-Stanley farms with City Grown Seattle, coordinates the Northwest Farm Bill Action Group, and studies for her master’s degree at the University of Washington Evans School of Public Affairs. She also serves on the Delridge Grocery Cooperative board, organizes with the Washington Young Farmers Coalition, and plays folk music in a band called Wren.

Session D: 10:00-11:30am

D1 – Sustainable Pork Production for Beginners

Busboom_JanHeitstuman_MarkWSU MEATs Team: 
Since 2006, the WSU Meat Animal Evaluation, Analysis and Technology Team has presented beginning and advanced-level Pork, Beef and Lamb programs that strive to help producers add value to their product from “Farm to Plate”.  All stages of the production cycle are addressed in these programsKerr_Susan, including: selecting livestock for carcass merit, genetics, nutrition, health care, recordkeeping, processing and marketing.  Workshop presenters will include Mark Heitstuman, WSU Asotin/Garfield County Extension Director; Dr. Jan Busboom, WSU Meats Extension Specialist in Pullman; and Dr. Susan Kerr, WSU Regional Livestock and Dairy Specialists in Mt. Vernon.

D2 – Irrigation Management for Drought

Peters_TroyTroy Peters
is the Extension Irrigation Specialist and Associate Professor of Irrigation Engineering at Washington State University.  He has studied irrigation and water management for over 15 years.

D3 – Ignorance is Bliss? History Repeated for Brassica Black Leg in the Pacific Northwest

Du Toit_LindseyLindsey du Toit grew up in KwaZulu Natal Province, South Africa, where she completed her undergraduate education at the University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg (UNP) in 1991 with a major in plant pathology. Lindsey then completed MS (1995) and PhD (1998) degrees at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), majoring in plant pathology. Lindsey worked as the plant diagnostician for the Plant & Insect Diagnostic Lab at the Puyallup Research & Extension Center of Washington State University (WSU), from 1998 to 2000; before she became an Assistant Professor & Extension Specialist in vegetable seed pathology for WSU in August 2000, based at the WSU Mount Vernon NWREC. Lindsey was promoted to Associate Professor in 2006, and to Professor in 2013. The focus of her vegetable seed pathology research and extension program is on the etiology, biology and management of diseases that affect vegetable seed crops grown in the Pacific Northwest USA. Small-seeded vegetable seed crops such as spinach, brassicas, carrot, onion, radish, and table beet are the focus of Lindsey’s program. She also teaches a graduate course in Field Plant Pathology for the WSU Department of Plant Pathology.

D4 – Leveraging Farmers Markets to Expand Sales

Donovan_ColleenColleen Donovan began working with NGOs in the international development arena (primarily Latin America) in the early 1990s and established the Pacific Northwest Region for Heifer International. From 2003 to 2009, Colleen partnered with farmers and organizations to develop and fund community-based projects supporting immigrant farmers, urban agriculture, youth, Community Food Assessments, on farm poultry processing, and other livestock enterprises. Since 2010, Colleen has coordinated grant-funded farmers market research and educational projects for Washington State University’s Small Farms Program. She has co-authored the “Washington State Farmers Market Management Toolkit” (with Karen Kinney); WSDA’s “Green Book” of direct marketing regulations in 2012 (with Patrice Barrentine and Fred Berman) and in 2014 (with Patrice); and a new report on federal food access programs at farmers markets in WA. Current WSU projects include working with Latino farmers who direct market specialty crops to improve sales; coordinating an effort with market leaders and farmers to explore how to ensure “farmers market integrity” in WA; translating the research into compelling infographics and other farmers market promotions; updating and expanding the Toolkit; and helping to standardize, analyze and distribute farmers market data for WA. Colleen chairs the Farmers Market Action Team and has served on the board of the WSFMA for five years. In 2011, Colleen was selected as the small farms “Advocate of the Year” by the Tilth Producers of Washington. She has a B.S. in Social Sciences from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo; M.A. in Geography from the University of Washington. Colleen shows up at farmers markets everywhere, but lives in Ellensburg, WA.

Karen Kinney is the executive director for the Washington State Farmers Market Association.  For the past 18 years, she has worked to connect Washington farmers with local neighborhoods to sell their farm products at strong farmers markets.  With her community, she opened and managed the Columbia City Farmers Market and was a co-founder of the Neighborhood Farmers Markets that operates seven, successful farmers markets in Seattle.  Throughout her career, Kinney has worked to build relationships between urban shoppers and farmers, expand the opportunities for low income shoppers to use federal food assistance benefits when shopping at farmers markets, and educate policy makers about direct marketing farmers, farmers markets, and low income shoppers.  She received the Tilth Producers 2012 Advocate of the Year award.

D5 – Challenges and Opportunities in Growing New Farm Businesses: Veterans and Socially Disadvantaged Farmers

Hackett_MikeMike Hackett has an extensive agricultural background. He was a career sustainable agriculture WSU Extension field educator, organic certification field inspector, Skagit Valley Food Cooperative fresh produce handler, Osborne Seed Co. field trial evaluator, and lifetime small-scale organic farmer. Mike is a Vietnam combat veteran who is a 3-year worker for Growing Veterans. He is a long-time Washington Tilth Producers member. It is sustainable agriculture, assisting fellow combat veterans to grow healthy local food while finding peace that is Mike’s passion.

Selting_KateKate Selting-Smith is the WSU Extension Latino Small Farms Educator for Northwest Washington, responsible for developing and offering educational programs in whole farm management and business planning for Latino farmers in the Puget Sound area. She is the WSU Cultivating Success instructor for Skagit County where she teaches continuing education and college credit courses in Sustainable Small Farming practices and business planning.  She is fluent in Spanish and has past experience supporting small farmers through work as an Agricultural Extension agent in the Peace Corps in Panama and as manager of farmers markets in Seattle.

Smith_RobRob Smith brings over 10 years of experience working in agriculture in farming, sales and distribution, and farmer training.  From 2004-2013, he worked for a 400+ acre, commercial, certified organic produce farm in the Central Coast of California as Farm and Distribution Manager.  Currently, Rob is the Operations and Incubator Director of Viva Farms, a farm incubator project located in Skagit County, which focuses on working with beginning and socially disadvantaged farmers. 

Wolf_ChrisChris Wolf has been farming and practicing Permaculture in the PNW for the last seven seasons, including the last three with Growing Veterans.  She also has a Master’s in Counseling and a background in counseling and human services.  Chris believes in the mutual healing that people and the earth can offer each other.

Session E: 1:00-2:30pm

E1 – Micro-Dairying on a Biodynamic Farm

Sehmsdorf, HenningHenning Sehmsdorf has owned and operated S&S Homestead, a 50-acre, self-sufficient biodynamic  farm on Lopez Island, WA, for 45 years. They have milked Jersey cows and made their milk into butter and cheese for many years. Until it became illegal, S&S Homestead provided milk shares to the island community and since then have been certified as a micro-dairy producing raw milk and cheese. For the last quarter century, the farm has hosted numerous apprentices and interns, teaches weekly classes for public school students, and offers workshops for college students and the public. The farm has also received grants to carry out on-farm applied research in collaboration with experts in agronomy, soil and animal science from WSU and other institutions.

E2 – Flower Production: The Farmer-Florist Movement

Asmus_EmilyEmily Asmus farms Welcome Table Farm with her family and crew in Walla Walla, WA. The farm is certified organic, draft-horse powered, and direct markets to CSA, farmstand, and farmer’s market. Growing and designing with flowers is her personal farming indulgence.

E3 – State of Organic Seed

Hubbard_Kristina (Kiki)Kristina (Kiki) Hubbard is the director of advocacy and communications for Organic Seed Alliance. She’s worked for more than a decade as a researcher, writer, and organizer on projects involving agricultural biotechnology and antitrust issues in the seed industry. Hubbard currently leads OSA’s advocacy work to promote policies that advance organic seed systems and protect farmers’ rights as seed stewards. She’s the lead author of OSA’s State of Organic Seed report (forthcoming 2016). She lives in Missoula, Montana.

E4 – Our Dangling Carrot? Social Change – Identifying and Reaching Your Audience

Sarah Dublin grew up in the suburbs of Seattle and began her farming career as a work share, thinking that getting paid in the most delicious vegetables she had ever eaten was more than enough.  Over the next several years, Sarah was a farm intern, CSA Coordinator and now has the opportunity to help feed thousands of people as Sales and Marketing Manager at Oxbow Farm and Conservation Center in Carnation, WA.

Dunn_PatrickPat Dunn works at Oxbow Farm in the capacity of Communications Assistant and shares information about Oxbow’s programs and mission with the world. He came to the farm with a background in environmental education and enjoys the challenge of communicating in ways that resonate and inspire. Pat grew up in Upstate New York and has been living in Seattle for two years.

E5 – WSDA Organic Program: ‘Sound and Sensible”

Book_BrendaBrenda Book, program manager, WSDA Organic Food Program, has been with the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s Organic Program since 2002. She oversees all aspects of the agency’s organic certification services and staff. A native of Central Iowa, Brenda grew up on her family’s third generation grain and livestock farm and has been involved in the organic industry since 1996 as farmer, researcher, retail produce manager, farmers market manager and board member. In addition to managing the WSDA Organic Program, Brenda currently serves on the Board of Directors for Tilth Producers.  Brenda holds a B.A. in sustainable agriculture from The Evergreen State College and studied botany at the University of Iowa. Started in 1988 the USDA-accredited WSDA Organic Food Program upholds the integrity of the organic label through certification and inspection of organic crop and livestock producers, processors, handlers and retailers. WSDA, the oldest and largest state certification agency in the country, is entirely fee-funded and currently certifies over 1,100 organic clients and registers 850 material inputs for organic production.

Granatstein_DavidDavid Granatstein is Professor and Sustainable Agriculture Specialist with Washington State University in Wenatchee. He has worked on organic agriculture since 1975, with projects on topics such as compost, soils, orchard floor management, climate change, and ecolabeling. He leads the organic trends work that produces annual updates of organic agriculture in Washington State as well as periodic updates of global organic horticulture.

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