2012 22.4 Growing Forward: Holistic Management of Organic Farms

Tilth Producers of Washington 38th Annual Conference
November 9-11, Fort Worden State Park, Port Townsend, WA

Join us on the Olympic Peninsula for the Tilth Producers annual conference at Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend. More than 600 farmers, researchers, advocates, and organic industry representatives will convene for three days of educational and networking events focused on Washington organic and sustainable agriculture.

We have a great line up of expert growers, researchers and educators sharing their expertise on organic farm practices and issues, plus a Beginning Farmer Series planned in conjunction with Washington Young Farmers Coalition. The full program is online at tilthproducers.org/schedule, but here’s a sneak peek at the weekend.

WSU Symposium, Seeding the Future

Friday features a one-day Washington State University Symposium, Seeding the Future: Ensuring Resiliency in our Plant Genetic Resources, focused on germplasm issues and management. Consolidation has intensified in the international seed and germplasm industry, while support for public repositories and plant breeding programs has decreased. The result has been a reduction in genetic diversity and a decline in local germplasm management. There is a concern that large-scale, high-input breeding efforts are not producing varieties bestsuited for organic and low-input farms. Please join us for this important discussion about shared plant resources and to learn how you can have a greater influence on the future of our food system.

  • Mechanics and Holistic Management
  • Friday sessions also include a hands-on Farm Mechanics Workshop with expert mechanics Grant Gibbs and Albert Roberts, and an Agricultural Policy Briefing Session.
  • Keynote speaker Allan Savory will provide inspiration and describe the Holistic Management decision-making framework in his plenary Small Farmers Leading the World through New Approaches to Agriculture

Workshop topics at a glance

  • Farming Land You Don’t Own-Kathryn Gardow and Marko Colby
  • The Mobile Meat Processing Unit: Successes & Failures, Cheryl Ouellette and George and Eiko Vojkovich
  • Feeding and Grazing Poultry and Small Ruminants, Eric Zakarison and Diana Ambauen-Meade
  • Growing Organic Berries, Terry Carkner and Tom Walters Protecting Organic Integrity in the Face of GMOs, Kristina Hubbard and Jared Zystro
  • Cultural Methods of Organic Weed Management, Ian Burke and Chris Benedict
  • Raising & Grazing Quality Grass for Dairy and Beef Production, Roger Short and Andrew Dykstra
  • Learning Off the Land: Developing Farm Internship Programs, Laura Lewis and Tom Thornton
  • Innovative Small Farm Financing, Tim Crosby, Mark Bowman, Jae Easterbrooks, and Japhet Koteen
  • Essential Recordkeeping for Farm and Business, Melissa Barker and Brad Jaeckel
  • Winter Cover Cropping and Reduced Tillage in Organic
  • Vegetable Production, Colin Barricklow, Genine Bradwin, and Doug Collins
  • Tools and Implement Use for Organic Production and High Tensile Fencing 101, John Gunning, Jesse Hopkins, and Liam Shaw
  • Opportunities and Adventures in Mushroom Growing, Alex Winstead
  • Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices Certification, Chuck Dragoo and Emily Thomson
  • The Bugs and Slugs That Ate Washington State, Todd Murray
  • Hands On Seed Saving, Caitlin Moore
  • Traditional Chacuterie, Brandon Sheard

Getting social

Social events include a welcome reception and cider tasting, trade show, an intergenerational trivia mixer, showing of the films Food Stamped and Symphony of the Soil, a square dance with The Tallboys, yoga for farmers classes, a wine and cheese tasting, and of course—delicious organic meals.

Registration and Scholarships

We hope you’ll join us in Port Townsend! Scholarships and volunteer work exchange are available; see tilthproducers.org for more information. Remember to register by October 19th to avoid a late registration fee!

Tags: 2012 Conference, Schedule Preview