Together at the Farm: U.P. Local Food Conference to be Held

Renowned Small Farm and Organic Expert, Eliot Coleman to Speak at Local Food Conference

The Together at the Farm: U.P. Local Food Conference is slated for July 30, 2016, at the Michigan State University (MSU) Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center in Chatham, Michigan. This inaugural event will feature keynote speaker Eliot Coleman, a nationally renowned expert in the small farm and organic arena. Coleman will also provide two breakout sessions, in addition to a presentation at a separate dinner program.

Coleman has been involved in organic farming since 1966 and has 50 years experience in field and greenhouse vegetables, rotational grazing of livestock, and range poultry. He is the author of several books including The New Organic Grower  and Four Season. With his wife, Barbara Damrosch, he owns and operates Four Season Farm, a year-round market garden in Maine, where they produce exceptional food, study how to make their production practices more sustainable every year, and design scale-appropriate equipment to aid other small farmers in achieving greater efficiency. In 2016, Eliot received a lifetime Leadership Award from the James Beard Foundation.

The conference offers a diverse line-up of morning and afternoon presentations and hands-on sessions. Ranging in topics certain to pique the interest of consumers, policy makers, teachers, farmers, institutional purchasers of local food, health professionals and more. A few highlights include cooking with local food and food preservation, composting, winter production, season extension, beekeeping, fibers, local sourcing, school gardening, local food policy, permaculture, and small farms tools and implements. The full agenda, session descriptions, media pass requests, vendor and sponsor information, in addition to the registration link can be found at

This conference qualifies for MAEAP Phase 1 credits and has specific sessions that qualify for SCECH credits and Master Citizen Planner Credits. Together at the Farm is hosted by the U.P. Food Exchange, MSU Extension, Marquette Food Co-op, Western Upper Peninsula Health Department and MAEAP.

As any local food conference attendee would hope, a locally sourced and prepared lunch will be provided as part of the cost of attendance.  Registration for the conference is $85 and includes the morning keynote, breakout sessions, and lunch.  The conference will run from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. The dinner program will run that evening from 6-8 p.m. and will cost $35. Attendees can also enjoy a complimentary barn dance with entertainment by All Strings Considered from 8-11 p.m.

If you have questions about the conference in general, please contact Michelle Walk at 906-440-4732 or  If you have questions regarding registration, sponsorships, or media passes, contact Betsy Braid at 517-884-7081 or

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