16 exhibitors, “Hank” Will, beekeeping, BUB Ranch, buying station, Caleb Arthur, don’t be afraid to fail, editorial director, Garden Tools, Grant Gillard, have a 3-year plan, honey, lunch, Mariann Hyslop, Mark Kennedy, Mayor Jack Pahlman, Missouri Sun Solar, Morgan County Seed, Mother Earth News, no till organic farming, Oscar Will III, Ozark Farmers Cooperative, seminars, several state draw, sheep and goat grading, Small Farm Conference, social media marketing, soil health, solar energy, Sun Solar, Ted Keller, West Plains MO
Will spoke about growing up in Bismarck, N.D., amid agricultural seed growing and farming. Talking to farmers, he said that if you have the drive and the passion to do something to —Do what you want to do and don’t be afraid to fail. He advised farmers to make sure you have a three-year plan and that if things go well to work on a longer range plan.
He talked about victory gardens through the war years and how it helped to feed the troops. He said you could start urban gardens by using vacant city lots.
Discussing marketing small farm produce he said it was a good idea to have a good story to go along with the produce.
In order to keep food costs down he told farmers to keep the produce as local as possible and to help re-invest in the community.
Because gardening is labor intensive there are advantages and disadvantages, but once things are going well Will suggested looking into selling to restaurants. Will is editorial director of Ogden Press, Mother Earth News, and Grit magazines.
The conference, which drew 395 people from states as far away as Indiana, Georgia, Iowa, Tennessee, neighboring Arkansas Oklahoma and Kansas, listened to seminars on many subjects including fruit production, solar energy, soil health, no till organic farming, social media marketing, and agriculture tourism. All of them were very informative, and the information was useful for those who have few to lots of acres.
To view the full agenda of presentations, click HERE.
There were 16 exhibitors ranging from feed for livestock, honey products, newspapers, Mother Earth News and Grit Magazine and many more. To view the list of vendors, click HERE.
All in all it was a good two days and helpful to the small and big farmers.
The conference, “Bringing Back the American Small Farm,” was sponsored by Ozark Farmers Agriculture Cooperative, University of Missouri Extension, West Plains, and Missouri State University-West Plains.The conference has already been scheduled for Jan. 26 and 27 at the Civic Center 2017.
To view the flyer for the event, click Bringing Back the American Small Farm – Flyer.
— Mariann Hyslop
— Hill ‘n Holler photos by Mariann Hyslop