2011 PFI Annual Conference Sneak Peak
Farming Without Subsidies: New Zealand’s Journey
Mike and Sharon Barton, Lake Taupo Basin, New Zealand
Farmers in New Zealand used to have a variety of federal agricultural subsidies, including agricultural price supports, low-interest loans, and disaster relief. Then, in the 1980s, New Zealand changed all that, in a move endorsed by the country’s farming organizations. Now government assistance to agriculture is primarily in the form of funding for agricultural research.
For our Friday evening keynote address (note the new time for the keynote this year), Mike and Sharon will talk about this sometimes painful shift to farming without subsidies and how the New Zealand experiment now works well for this nation where 90 percent of total farm output is exported and most of the food consumed is domestically produced.
Cheese and Crackers: Done Locally
Lois Reichert, Donna Prizgintas, Earl Hafner, Tomoko Ogawa
Iowans are making some superb cheeses! Learn from cheese maker Lois Reichert about the basic chemistry of cheese making and how different milks affect cheeses. To accompany the tasting of goat cheese, PFI staffer Tomoko Ogawa will serve crackers she made using Iowa-grown small grains. Chef Donna Prizgintas and farmer Earl Hafner will talk about how to access and eat Iowa-grown small grains.
Scaling Up Your Vegetable Operation
Jean-Paul Courtens and Jody Bolluyt
Roxbury Farm in Kinderhook, New York, has scaled up from 30 CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) members to more than 1,100 shares located throughout the Hudson Valley, including New York City. Jean-Paul Courtens and Jody Bolluyt will talk about how they did it, including appropriately scaled equipment, crew management, harvest systems, crop rotation, and farm organization. With their production systems, they manage the farm with 11 employees during peak season.
Ridge-till, Strip-till, No-till, Oh My!
Ron Rosmann, Jeff Longnecker, George Schaefer, and Rob Stout
Reducing tillage can not only help decrease soil loss but also can decrease farmers’ energy use. But what tillage alternatives exist and which one fits your farm best? Learn from four farmers using conservation tillage in very different ways in their farming system: Ron Rosmann (ridge-tiller and organic crop and livestock production), Jeff Longnecker (strip-tillage, cover crops in corn and soybeans and beef cattle), Rob Stout (no-tillage and hog manure in corn and soybeans), and George Schaefer (conventional and organic no-till and organic crops and beef cattle).
Farmville – for Real!
Andy Larson, Rick Hartmann, Susan Jutz, Sean Skeehan, Jill Beebout, Tim Daley, Jerry Peckumn, Ryan Herman, and Dan Specht
This is a working session for those who want to farm or are in their first years of a new enterprise. Come work with Andy Larson to define your values, draw your vision, identify milestones, add your resource inventory (things you have, things you need, where you’ll get them), and define your goals. Have your plan analyzed by an expert farmer in your enterprise, and, if you choose, put your plans on display for other conference attendees. Expert farmers will come in for the last half (3-4:30 pm) to individually consult with beginners in their enterprise and provide advice and support.
Pasture Fencing and Watering Basics
David Petty, Jess Jackson, and Jason Schmidt
Everything you need to set up the necessary infrastructure for a rotational grazing system! What fence design options are there? Which fence materials work best for which systems or conditions? How do you design and set up a watering system for rotational grazing? We will hear from Jason Schmidt of Schmidt Fencing about fence design and materials options. David Petty will share his experiences from his farm – what fencing and watering systems he has used and how well (or poorly) they have worked. Jess Jackson of NRCS will fill us in on different grazing systems and how to fit fence designs and materials to your system, plus options for stock watering systems on pasture.
Ruminating on Minerals
Vegetable Equipment for Farms 10-50+ acres
Biological Farming: For the Soil’s Sake, For Your Sake and for the Consumer’s Sake!
Scenarios of Your Future
Pastured Poultry System Potluck
Know Your Cuts of Meat
Soil Fertility Practices on Roxbury Farm
Busy All the Time, Never Overwhelmed
Farming with Nitrogen Limits: A New Zealand Perspective
Health Insurance and Rural Folks
Toward Energy Self-Sufficiency On-Farm
Making Milk Without Grain
Turtle Farm Succession: A Work in Progress
Don’t Give Weeds a Chance
Portion Patrol: Efficient CSA Distribution
Plus Cluster Meetings
Talk with farmers who grow what you grow: Field Crops, Poultry, Livestock, and Fruits and vegetables, plus a gathering of beginning farmers and a session for Friends of the Farmer (nonfarmers).
And U-Pick Sessions
Back by popular demand! From glyphosate resistance to selling your products to schools: YOU choose the topic for this session.
And so much more!