Small Farms, Big Conference

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Got a small family farm or thinking about starting one? With workshops, presentations and tours designed to up your agriculture savvy, the three-day Florida Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference, presented in part by the University of Florida’s (UF) Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) from August 2-4, will be a hands-on educational experience you won’t want to miss. Here are a few highlights:

Farm Tours
There are two farm tours scheduled on Friday, August 2 including a full–day option traveling to Lake Meadow Naturals, Nine’s Mine Ranch Beef, and Linden Hollow Sheep Farm. Lunch, as well as bus transportation departing at 9:45am from Osceola Heritage Park’s Exhibition Building, is included in the $65 registration fee.

Alternatively, the Fruit and Vegetable Tour will feature a back stage glimpse of The Land Pavilion at Disney’s’ EPCOT as well as a visit to Long & Scott Farms to learn about agri-tourism. Buses depart at 1pm Osceola Heritage Park’s Exhibition Building. Cost is $85.

Workshops
There are a bevy of workshops and presentations spanning all three days of the conference and covering everything from food safety to beekeeping. Additional topics include using social media, hydroponic gardening, raising goats, and growing blackberries.

For a full list of program offerings and session details, visit www.conference.ifas.ufl.edu/smallfarms/details.html.

Keynote Speaker
The conference will officially kick off on Saturday, August 3 at 9am with a keynote address by Annie Novak, founder and director of Growing Chefs, a field-to-fork food education program. Novak is also the manager of the Edible Academy and the co-founder and farmer of Eagle Street Rooftop Farm in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. Her address, as well as most of the workshops, will take place inside Kissimmee’s Osceola Heritage Park.

More Info
For more information about the agenda, registration fees, and sponsorship opportunities, please visit www.conference.ifas.ufl.edu/smallfarms.

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