Michigan Family Farms Conference to feature nurturing resilient farms in 2020 and beyond

The 17th annual Michigan Family Farms Conference will be Feb. 8, 2020, in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Headshot of Pakou Hang
Keynote and executive director emeritus of the Hmong American Farmers Association, Pakou Hang. Photo by Pakou Hang.

The Michigan Family Farms Conference is celebrating 17 years of providing education, networking and professional development opportunities to small- and medium-scale farms in Michigan. This year’s conference will be Saturday, Feb. 8, 2020, from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. at the Kalamazoo Valley Community College Texas Township campus, 6767 West O Ave. Kalamazoo, MI 49003.

The conference will feature a keynote address, “We Were Made For These Times,” by Pakou Hang, executive director emeritus of the Hmong American Farmers Association. Pakou will share her analysis of past social movements and what light they may shine on our understanding of the current troubles facing small family farmers. What does our past teach us about what is to come, and how should we meet that uncertain future?

The conference will feature six educational tracks on a wide variety of topics relevant to small- and medium-scale farms. Topics include:

  • Design Your Vegetable Crop Rotation
  • Growing Industrial Hemp in Michigan
  • Unique Strategies for Farm Labor
  • A Path Towards Financial Resiliency
  • Managing Farm Stress
  • And much more!

View the full agenda with the complete list of topics.

Families are encouraged to attend the conference, and a special youth education session will be provided throughout the day with fun, agriculturally focused activities for the kids.

In addition to the educational sessions, participants will have the opportunity to visit over 35 exhibitors and register for a USDA farm number.

Register online or view the conference schedule. Register now, as discounted early registration fees end Dec. 31, 2019.

Discount tickets are available to military veterans in limited quantities. To inquire about a discounted ticket, contact Adam Ingrao, MSU Extension’s veterans’ liaison, at ingraoad@msu.edu or 517-355-3923.

As a key collaborator, Michigan State University Extension educators provide leadership through the conference planning process and expertise to support a diverse selection of educational content for conference attendees.

This work is supported by the Crop Protection and Pest Management Program 2017-70006-27175 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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