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Tuesday, October 22
 

11:00am CDT

Registration Opens
Tuesday October 22, 2019 11:00am - 11:00am CDT
Courtyard

11:30am CDT

Light Refreshments Available
Tuesday October 22, 2019 11:30am - 1:00pm CDT
Courtyard

12:30pm CDT

Plenary and Opening Remarks
Welcome to Minnesota and the upper Midwest! Our opening plenary panel and speakers will share the current state of the agricultural sector here in the region, market trends and challenges affecting farm viability, emerging farm business models and opportunities on the horizon. We will kick off the conference with a strong sense of what is happening in agriculture in the region as it relates to farm viability, with representatives of a diverse set of agricultural communities and support organizations. 
Welcome:
    Jan Joannides, Renewing the Countryside, Minnesota
    Ela Chapin, Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program
Opening Plenary:
    Patrice Bailey, Minnesota Department of Agriculture
(Facilitator)
    Dan Cornelius, Intertribal Agriculture Council, Wisconsin
    Bev Durgan, University of Minnesota Extension
    Kate Edwards, Wildwood Farms/Renewing the Countryside, Minnesota
    Fred Kirschenmann, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Iowa

    Sarah Lloyd, Wisconsin Farmers Union

Speakers
avatar for Ela Chapin

Ela Chapin

Program Director, VT Farm & Forest Viability Program
Ela Chapin has been the Program Director for the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board's Farm & Forest Viability Program since 2006. She has been instrumental in facilitating expansion of the program, improving and creating new partnerships and driving significant quality improvement... Read More →
avatar for Dan Cornelius

Dan Cornelius

Technical Assistance Specialist, Intertribal Agriculture Council
Dan Cornelius, a member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, has worked as the Intertribal Agriculture Council’s Technical Assistance Specialist for the Great Lakes Region since April 2011. He has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Puget Sound in history and a J.D. from... Read More →
avatar for Jan Joannides

Jan Joannides

Executive Director, Renewing the Countryside
Jan Joannides is the Executive Director and co-founder of Renewing the Countryside. For the past  fifteen years, she has been an advocate and organizer for rural communities and citizens who are working to stimulate economic growth and enhance their communities through sustainable... Read More →
avatar for Patrice Bailey

Patrice Bailey

Assistant Commissioner, Minnesota Department of Agreculture
MDA Assistant Commissioner Patrice Bailey heads up the EFWG. His passion; advocating for ag and building bridges to underrepresented communities, brings emerging farmers together to a space of shared learning and resources.
avatar for Fred Kirschenmann

Fred Kirschenmann

Professor/Distinguished Fellow, Iowa State University/Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture
Fred Kirschenmann is a professor in the Iowa State University Department of Religion and Philosophy and holds a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Chicago. A longtime national and international leader in sustainable agriculture, Kirschenmann shares an appointment as... Read More →
avatar for Beverly Durgan

Beverly Durgan

Dean, University of Minnesota Extension
Bev Durgan, University of Minnesota ExtensionBeverly R. Durgan has dedicated her career to connecting Extension and research with the citizens of Minnesota. As Dean of University of Minnesota Extension, Durgan leads a team of more than 800 employees who deliver practical and useful... Read More →
avatar for Kate Edwards

Kate Edwards

Farmland Access Navigator, Renewing the Countryside
Kate Edwards, Wildwood Farms & Renewing the Countryside, Minnesota Kate Edwards owns and operates Wild Woods Farm, a 7-acre vegetable farm in Johnson County, Iowa. She runs a vegetable Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) that feeds 200 families in her community. While her grandparent... Read More →
avatar for Sarah Lloyd

Sarah Lloyd

Director of Special Projects, Wisconsin Food Hub Cooperative/Wisconsin Farmers Union
Sarah Lloyd farms with her husband Nels Nelson on the 350-cow Nelson dairy farm in Wisconsin. She works off-farm as the Director of Special Projects for the Wisconsin Farmers Union (WFU). This work includes; support for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmers, organizing for... Read More →


Tuesday October 22, 2019 12:30pm - 1:30pm CDT
Summit Room

1:45pm CDT

BS! WTF? (The Balance Sheet! What’s the fuss?)
The balance sheet provides a wealth of information about a business and is woefully under-appreciated by most farmer/entrepreneurs. It can quickly clarify many details of a business: 1) The accuracy of the bookkeeping system. If there are mistakes, they show up in the balance sheet and it can be a signal that the other reports aren’t accurate. 2) Cash flow. Not just, “where did the cash go?” but also, “what are my cash needs in the near future?” 3) Can you get a loan? 4) The long-term health of your business. In this session, we will use examples of actual farm balance sheets and discuss how the "secrets" of the balance sheet will tell your clients exactly what is going on in their business.

The learning objectives are:
- Understand the basics of the balance sheet and why it’s such an important management tool.
- Understand how the balance sheet can help farmers manage their cash flow
- Understand the nuances between cash flow and profitability, and how the balance sheet can clarify that.
- Understand how the balance sheet can clarify how farmers can build wealth and equity.

Moderators
avatar for Julia Shanks

Julia Shanks

Principal/Author, The Farmer's Office
Julia Shanks – business coach, entrepreneur and author – works with food and agricultural entrepreneurs to help them achieve and maintain financial sustainability. She gives her clients the tools they need to launch, stabilize and grow their ventures. She is a frequent lecturer... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Ted LeBow

Ted LeBow

Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Kitchen Table Consultants


Tuesday October 22, 2019 1:45pm - 3:00pm CDT
Oak Room

1:45pm CDT

Capital Plus Business Assistance Equals Viability
Securing the right kind of capital for a business is critical, but capital alone is not enough for business viability. This workshop will explore capital combined with business technical assistance strategies that prioritize long-term business viability, strengthen the local food economy, and create economic opportunity. It will also highlight the role alternative financing can play in enabling limited-resource farmers to operate sustainable and equitable farm businesses. Using real case study examples, there will be a discussion of how coupling customized technical assistance and finance into a package adapted to the unique needs of each borrower has impacted business viability and reduced investment risk.

Learning Objectives:
-Learn strategies and lessons learned
-Understand the details of how alternative financing models work
-Gain insight to ways to implement strategies in your work

Moderators
avatar for Charlene Andersen

Charlene Andersen

Farm and Food Lender, New Hampshire Community Loan Fund
Charlene advocates for farmers, fishers, food producers and value chain businesses that focus on strengthening the local food system, by providing financing and technical assistance to these entrepreneurs. Charlene facilitates key skill strengthening opportunities and the right expertise... Read More →

Speakers
GM

Gary Matteson

V.P., Young, Beginning, Small Farmer Programs and Outreach, Farm Credit Council
Gary Matteson works for Farm Credit’s trade association in Washington, DC as Senior Vice President, Beginning Farmer Programs and Outreach. This includes policy work on local foods, sustainable agriculture, and direct-to-consumer agriculture. He frequently speaks to beginning farmers... Read More →
PD

Paul Dietmann

Senior Lending Officer, Compeer Financial
Paul Dietmann is a Senior Lending Officer in the Mission Financing group at Compeer Financial, a member-owned rural lending cooperative and Farm Credit System institution serving Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Paul and his colleague, Sai Thao, are responsible for Compeer’s... Read More →
RW

Rose Wilson

Owner, Rose Wilson Consulting
Rose Wilson, owner of Rose Wilson Consulting, has provided market development and business strategy services for more than 15 years to over 300 clients in the farm and food sector. Clients range from national NGO’s such as Healthcare Without Harm to state agencies such as Massachusetts... Read More →


Tuesday October 22, 2019 1:45pm - 3:00pm CDT
Mezzanine B/C

1:45pm CDT

Collaboration is Key to Successful Farm Transitions: Minnesota Examples of Work on the Ground
When it comes to farm transitions, collaboration is positively affecting Midwestern farm families.  How do collaborations happen?  What is necessary to keep the collaboration going and healthy? Attendees of this panel discussion will hear from different Minnesota organizations using a variety of approaches to assist in the transition and estate planning process, and are invited to come prepared to interact and ask critical questions.  

Learning Objectives:
-Understanding of farm transition in the context of Minnesota's rural economy and landscape
-Gathering of ideas for how inter- and intra-organizational collaborations can improve access to and quality of farm transition resources to farm family
-Comparing and contrasting different approaches to farm succession

Moderators
MR

Megan Roberts

Extension Educator, University of Minnesota Extension
Megan Roberts is a UMN Agricultural Business Management Extension Educator focused on farm transition planning and women in ag. Her recent research focuses on farm stress. Previously, she was an agribusiness instructor at South Central College. Megan holds bachelor's and master's... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Jan Joannides

Jan Joannides

Executive Director, Renewing the Countryside
Jan Joannides is the Executive Director and co-founder of Renewing the Countryside. For the past  fifteen years, she has been an advocate and organizer for rural communities and citizens who are working to stimulate economic growth and enhance their communities through sustainable... Read More →
JM

Jim Molenaar

Instructor, MN Farm Business Management
Jim Molenaar is a Farm Business Management Education Instructor at St. Cloud Technical and Community College and has served as the coordinator for farm succession/transition efforts for Minnesota State College and Universities FBM programs. Jim provides a perspective of farm succession... Read More →
KS

Karen Stettler

Farm Beginnings Program Organizer with a Land Access Focus, Land Stewardship Project
Karen Stettler has worked in LSP’s Farm Beginnings program for over 20 years, 8 of which have been focused on Land Access and Farm Transitions. Karen has worked individually and in group settings with retiring farmers as they are beginning their farm transition planning. She has... Read More →


Tuesday October 22, 2019 1:45pm - 3:00pm CDT
Laurentine Room

1:45pm CDT

Farm Succession Planning 101
This workshop is an opportunity for those with limited business planning experience to learn about how to support farm succession planning. This introductory session will provide an overview of the transfer planning process while highlighting key concepts – such as feasibility, timeline, and transactional consideration – as well as common mistakes. While farm business planning can be complex and challenging, this workshop will provide the framework, resources, and encouragement for those hoping to engage in this rewarding work.

Learning Objectives:
-Understand the basic steps in the farm succession process.
-Understand common challenges that planners face and how to address them.
-Recommend resources and further learning opportunities.

Moderators
avatar for Sam Smith

Sam Smith

Farm Business Director, Intervale Center
Sam brings a passion for farming and food systems to his work at the Intervale. He grew up in Southern Vermont, went to UVM, and received a MBA in Sustainability from Antioch New England. He has worked as both a livestock and vegetable farmer, and been involved in the Vermont agricultural... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Jack Hornickel, Esq.

Jack Hornickel, Esq.

Jack provides legal services to farm businesses that sell in the GrowNYC Greenmarkets, a network of 50+ farmers markets throughout New York City. A graduate of Vermont Law School, Jack specializes in land use, conservation, and farm succession planning and takes great pride in working... Read More →
avatar for Benneth Phelps

Benneth Phelps

Director of Farmer Services, Dirt Capitol Partners
Benneth joined Dirt Capital Partners in 2016 as the Director of Farmer Services to further develop and refine the company’s approach to investing in land in partnership with farmers, and the company’s organizational culture and infrastructure. Previously, Benneth was Loan and... Read More →


Tuesday October 22, 2019 1:45pm - 3:00pm CDT
Portside Room

1:45pm CDT

Land Access Roundtable
*Workshop Change* | Unfortunately, due to travel challenges, Stephanie is no longer able to attend this workshop. In her place, Holly Rippon-Butler will share a bit about Stephanie's work with the Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust and lead a roundtable discussion about wealth, power, and land. We will discuss who controls the land and what it means, followed by conversation about land access and transition strategies (both programmatic and policy-based) that organizations are implementing around the country to address this challenge. Bring your examples and questions. Stephanie will be at the conference tomorrow (Wednesday) and we are finding other ways to share the content of her presentation. Stay tuned!

----

Original description:

This session focuses on the direct correlation between wealth redistribution, increased access to land, and healing justice for Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color (BIPOC). Through the intersecting lenses of decolonization, physiology, anti-oppression, and economics, we will share models of land access that restore harmony, reconfigure power, and reconnect the mycelial network of BIPOC land stewards to their purpose. This session will briefly illuminate the effects of colonization on the body, mind, and spirit, followed by explorations of 5 land access models employed to rebalance power and heal relationships. We will make space for small group discussion; the processing of challenges and barriers; and collective inquiry. By uplifting grass-roots models for land access currently changing the landscape of wealth redistribution, participants will walk away with knowledge of accessible, action-oriented solutions.

Moderators
HR

Holly Rippon-Butler

Land Access Program Director, National Young Farmers Coalition
Holly grew up on her family’s multi-generation dairy and beef farm in Upstate New York, where she continues to farm with her parents. From her first job at a nearby apple orchard to positions with local and national land conservation organizations, Holly has focused her work on... Read More →

Tuesday October 22, 2019 1:45pm - 3:00pm CDT
Summit Room

1:45pm CDT

Connect with Colleagues – Business Advising Roundtable
Do you run a program that provides business development training and support to farmers? This roundtable is a forum for program managers, farm business advisors and consultants to get to know how their colleagues from across the country provide business services to farmers. Program managers and business advisors will each introduce their work, and share what they feel they do well, and what their biggest challenges are. Attendees will be able to identify individuals that they want to connect with during networking opportunities at the conference, and beyond.

Learning Objectives:
-What specific skills do different programs focus on?
-How are programs structured?
-What are models for funding programs?
-What are best practices for delivering business development training and support to farmers?

Moderators
avatar for Tanya Murray

Tanya Murray

Organic Education Specialist, Oregon Tilth
Tanya Murray is an Organic Education Specialist at Oregon Tilth. She works through a partnership with Oregon State University’s Center for Small Farms and Community Food Systems to develop and deliver educational programming aimed at supporting farmers to run more viable businesses... Read More →

Speakers
DR

Dave Renn

BFR Program Director, Farm Link Montana
Dave Renn is the BFR Program Director at the Community Food and Agriculture Coalition. He leads training and technical assistance for farm business planning, micro-finance programs, and the Farm Link Montana website. Dave has a BA in Geography from the University of Oregon, and a... Read More →
avatar for Ela Chapin

Ela Chapin

Program Director, VT Farm & Forest Viability Program
Ela Chapin has been the Program Director for the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board's Farm & Forest Viability Program since 2006. She has been instrumental in facilitating expansion of the program, improving and creating new partnerships and driving significant quality improvement... Read More →


Tuesday October 22, 2019 1:45pm - 3:00pm CDT
Mezzanine A

1:45pm CDT

Beginning Farmer Technical Assistance: Local, Regional, and National Best Practices
The tools and resources used to educate previous generations of farmers may not be the most applicable for digital natives or other young people drawn to farming. This panel will provide a biosketch of young farmers and then dive deeper into how one-on-one projects, regional collaborations, and national coalitions provide resources to strengthen the business opportunities of a new generation of farmers. Join Intervale Center's Nikki Lennart to learn more about the processes and tools that help direct service providers guide beginning farmers through business planning, land access, financing and more. Representatives from the Beginning Farmer Resource Network of Maine will present on systems that help service providers to specialize in one area of farmer technical assistance while collaborating with other local service providers to make sure beginning farmers receive comprehensive support. The National Young Farmers Coalition will discuss technical assistance materials that are broadly relevant to beginning farmers and service providers and can be used nationally. Attendees are welcome to bring ideas and questions on how to transform resources to truly provide beginning farmers with the tools they need. 

Moderators
CF

Cara Fraver

Business Services Director, National Young Farmers Coalition
In the past two years, Cara has managed the delivery of 57 business services workshops in the areas of food safety and federal credit to more than 1700 young farmers. She authored guidebooks for farmers, including Farm Service Agency Loans: The Ins and Outs of Growing a Farm with... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Tori Jackson

Tori Jackson

Professor of Agriculture & Natural Resources, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Professor Jackson is an Extension Educator covering Androscoggin and Sagadahoc Counties and specializing in beginning farmer education and farm business management. She provides one-on-one consulting with beginning farmers in the early stages, and continues relationships with them... Read More →
NL

Nikki Lennart

Farm Business Specialist, Intervale Center
As Farm Business Specialist at the Intervale Center, Nikki works one-on-one with beginning farmers in their business development and land access across Vermont. A Midwest native and no stranger to farming, Nikki graduated from the University of Wisconsin and earned a master’s degree... Read More →
MP

Michael Parker

Land Access Program Associate, National Young Farmers Coalition
While managing the BFRDP-funded farmer training project, Laying the Groundwork: A Land Affordability Calculator & National Land Access Training Series to Help the Next Generation of Farmers Succeed, Michael Parker planned and delivered 23 land access training workshops, reaching 500... Read More →


Tuesday October 22, 2019 1:45pm - 3:00pm CDT
Mainstreeter Room

3:30pm CDT

Building Resilience through Cash Flow Monitoring
To decide if a business idea is good, we generally calculate its return on investment. Yet in doing so, we make the implicit assumption that our cash at hand will always be sufficient to get us through periods of low revenue. That is quite risky, especially in the food sector where investment return cycles are long and seasonality is important. Everyday, food businesses close shop, not because their long-term growth was slow or their business idea wasn’t strong, but because they faced unexpected cash crunches. The goal of this workshop is to help food businesses build resilience by learning to surf the choppy waters of cash flow. We will review techniques to design cash flow models, project different types of revenues and expenses, and calculate key indicators such as minimum cash in hand, need-based coverage ratio, and cash runway. We will also discuss how to factor in expansion ideas like hiring staff or buying equipment, creating scenarios that can be compared based on cash flow.

Learning Objectives:
-Learn how to monitor their cash flow efficiently
-Understand how to measure the true risk associated with business viability
-Understand how to build contingency against unexpected cash crunches.

Moderators
avatar for Anjali Oberoi

Anjali Oberoi

Founder & Principal, Bernoulli Finance
Anjali Oberoi is an incurable chocoholic, food enthusiast, and environmentalist with extensive experience in finance and operations. She founded Bernoulli Finance to help ecologically-minded companies organize and use their financial data for better decision making. Anjali sits on... Read More →

Tuesday October 22, 2019 3:30pm - 5:00pm CDT
Mezzanine B/C

3:30pm CDT

Farm Business Planning 1: Assessing the Farm's Health
“Consult a doctor before starting exercise.” We see this message at the start of a new year when resolutions abound. We are told this so that we can understand our own health and what we can and cannot do to make ourselves better. To truly move forward on farm businesses we need to understand the health of the farm so we can address weaknesses or create our business plan. Typically, we use farm financial statements and other assessments to identify strengths and weaknesses. Part one of Farm Business Planning will discuss how to assess and interpret the farm’s health and provide resources for assessing farm health and understanding how to move forward.

Learning Objectives:
-Assess internal farm health with financial statements
-Assess management skills
-Assess external forces

Moderators
avatar for Curtis Mahnken

Curtis Mahnken

Extension Economist, CFFM, University of Minnesota
Curtis Mahnken joined the Center for Farm Financial Management in 2010 as an Extension Economist. Prior to arriving at the center, he spent four years with the University of Kentucky as an Area Extension Specialist in Farm Business Management. While at UK, he authored the 2008 Dairy... Read More →

Speakers
KC

Kevin Channell

Farm Business Specialist, Intervale Center
Kevin began his career in agriculture raising organic produce as an apprentice through NOFA-VT in 2004. Near the end of 2005 he and his wife co-founded a diverse organic farm in Fairlee, VT called Your Farm. They grew the farm through direct to market sales and a CSA. In 2010 they... Read More →


Tuesday October 22, 2019 3:30pm - 5:00pm CDT
Portside Room

3:30pm CDT

Filling the Truck to Reach New Markets
Regional food systems rooted in viable small and mid-scale farms are growing. Increasingly, demand for local food and supporting regional communities is a priority for households and institutions with sustainability and community-oriented goals. Hear from three leading market connectors about the role food hubs and accelerator programs play to efficiently connect small and mid-scale farms with new market channels. This session will share cutting edge work happening in Wisconsin, Oregon, and California to build viable regional food systems that link farmers with values-aligned customers. Panelists will discuss logistics and transportation issues and their work directly with farmers to scale.

Learning objectives:
-Learn about innovative models in three states that are helping farmers to reach new markets, including key challenges and opportunities
-Understand the logistics, transportation and infrastructure required to distribute agricultural products locally and regionally
-Understand financing needs of cooperative and social enterprise business entities directed by and serving farmers

Moderators
TN

Thomas Nelson

Director, Kitchen Table Advisors
Thomas has devoted his life to building sustainable food systems that drive the economic viability of rural farming communities. As regional director at Kitchen Table Advisors, Thomas supports small sustainable farms and ranches as they build their businesses. He is also the president... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Tracy Harding

Tracy Harding

General Manager, Capay Valley Farm Shop
Tracy is Capay Valley Farm Shop's first general manager and is thrilled to be working in a thriving rural food hub with agricultural producers who have been at the leading edge of organic agriculture. Farm Shop’s mission is well aligned with her more than 20 years experience in... Read More →
avatar for Maia Hardy

Maia Hardy

Agriculture of the Middle Manager, EcoTrust
Maia oversees the Agriculture of the Middle Program at Ecotrust where she assists farmers, ranchers, and fishermen with scaling their businesses in a meaningful and regenerative way. She has nearly a decade of experience working at the intersection of community development and agriculture... Read More →
avatar for Sarah Lloyd

Sarah Lloyd

Director of Special Projects, Wisconsin Food Hub Cooperative/Wisconsin Farmers Union
Sarah Lloyd farms with her husband Nels Nelson on the 350-cow Nelson dairy farm in Wisconsin. She works off-farm as the Director of Special Projects for the Wisconsin Farmers Union (WFU). This work includes; support for Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmers, organizing for... Read More →


Tuesday October 22, 2019 3:30pm - 5:00pm CDT
Laurentine Room

3:30pm CDT

Creative Adaptations of Land Access Models
Land access models presented at national conferences don’t always apply directly to our particular circumstances at home. A large farm in Vermont is not the same as a large farm in Iowa. Threats to farming range from industrial waste to housing development to dicamba drift, depending on the region of the country. Population density and history determine more than most models consider. People of color, new Americans and the working poor face layers of challenges. Even the definition of “farm” can be radically different. This session provides case studies from a wide variety of organizations adapting different models to help farmers gain access to land. The Sustainable Iowa Land Trust, Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust, Renewing the Countryside and the Latino Economic Development Center will tell their stories of adopting a model and then adapting it to their circumstances.

Learning Objectives:
-What factors should be considered when adopting a land access model?
-Learn tips and tricks for adapting a model
-Gain the ability to recognize the dramatic differences in farming and land access challenges across the country.

Moderators
avatar for Suzan Erem

Suzan Erem

Executive Director, Sustainable Iowa Land Trust
Suzan Erem is a co-founder and Executive Director of the Sustainable Iowa Land Trust, a statewide conservation organization that permanently protects working lands to grow healthy, clean table food. Suzan's career has spanned two professions - writer and organizer. She has written... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Kate Edwards

Kate Edwards

Farmland Access Navigator, Renewing the Countryside
Kate Edwards, Wildwood Farms & Renewing the Countryside, Minnesota Kate Edwards owns and operates Wild Woods Farm, a 7-acre vegetable farm in Johnson County, Iowa. She runs a vegetable Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) that feeds 200 families in her community. While her grandparent... Read More →
avatar for Stephanie Morningstar

Stephanie Morningstar

Co-Director, Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust
she/herOneida, Turtle ClanHerbalist, scholar, student, and Earth Worker dedicated to decolonizing and liberating minds, hearts, and land- one plant, person, ecosystem, and non-human being at a time. Stephanie grows medicines and food, teaches in her community, and is always learning... Read More →
JV

Jaime Villalaz

Greater MN Ag/Business Development Director, Latino Economic Development Center
Jaime joined LEDC in early 2010 as business consultant providing technical assistance to Latino businesses and 2011 he started to work with Latino farmer groups and organize them as cooperatives. He has worked and incorporated sole proprietorship and partnership farms in Minnesota... Read More →


Tuesday October 22, 2019 3:30pm - 5:00pm CDT
Victorian Dining Room

3:30pm CDT

Legal and Practical Overview of Farm and Ranch Succession Planning: Preparing your Clients
This session will examine three different aspects of working with farmers and ranchers on succession and transition planning: 1) the legal framework for succession and transition planning, 2) a succession and transition self-assessment tool, and 3) on-the-ground perspectives from a practitioner.
Legal framework: We will open the session with an overview of the farm succession process from a legal perspective and provide guidance on how to assist farm or ranch business owners in preparing to meet with their attorney. We will provide an overview of some commonly used legal tools in succession planning so you can help familiarize your clients with them to ensure that the legal part of the succession planning process is efficient and productive.
Self-Assessment Tool: The second part of the session will focus on a self-assessment tool you can use for one on one work in in small groups. The self assessment tool is designed to help existing farm or ranch business owners evaluate their need for structures and procedures to ensure their business can continue during either a short term absence or permanent departure of the primary operator. This tool also sets the existing business owners up to ask the right questions of their legal and financial advisers. We will walk through the high-level purpose of each of the parts of the seven-part tool discussing how you could use the tool to help your client set goals and plan next steps to make their business resilient and ready for short or long term change of management.
Practitioner's Lessons Learned: The third part of the session will examine the experiences of a practitioner in working one on one with farm and ranch families and the evolution of her methodology away from a one-on-one model and towards a group/cohort model.

Moderators
SS

Susan Stokes

Attorney, Lind Jensen Sullivan & Peterson
Susan Stokes is a shareholder at Lind Jensen Sullivan Peterson. She previously served as Assistant Commissioner at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Executive and Legal Director of Farmers' Legal Action Group. Susan has practiced agricultural law for the past 17 years and... Read More →

Speakers
LS

Liya Schwartzman

Central Valley Program Coordinator, California FarmLink
Liya Schwartzman has been working in partnership with farmers on behalf of California FarmLink since 2010. She has supported hundreds of farmers and ranchers in accessing land, securing strong tenure agreements, exploring financing, and facilitating farmland and business succession... Read More →
avatar for Poppy Davis

Poppy Davis

Programs and Policy Adviser, C2C Consulting
Poppy Davis is a business and policy adviser to farmers, ranchers, fishers, food entrepreneurs, and nonprofits and local governments. She works with organizations around the country to provide training and technical assistance on topics including business formation, finance, accounting... Read More →



Tuesday October 22, 2019 3:30pm - 5:00pm CDT
Oak Room

3:30pm CDT

Farmer Mental Health: Being a Supportive Service Provider
Organizations that work directly with farmers need to be aware of the issue of mental health and how farmers are uniquely impacted. In this facilitated discussion, attendees will get an overview of the work that is happening around the country, federal policy in relation to farmer stress and mental health, and discuss how we can better serve our farmers in relation to mental health.

Learning Objectives:
-Understand the national overview of the current state of farmer mental health work
-Understand the current federal policy around farmer stress and mental health
-Discuss strategies for how we can better serve our farmers in relation to mental health

Moderators
CA

Caitlin Arnold

National Chapter Coordinator, National Young Farmers Coalition
Caitlin Arnold supports all of Young Farmers' farmer-led chapters around the country. Before joining Young Farmers, Caitlin spent ten years farming vegetables and organizing with farmers. Caitlin hails from Washington state and holds a Master of Science in Sustainable Food Systems... Read More →

Speakers
AH

Alicia Harvie

Advocacy & Farmer Services Director, Farm Aid
Alicia is Farm Aid’s Advocacy & Farmer Services Director and guides the organization’s advocacy, research, farmer services and policy-related activities. Alicia was born in Exeter, New Hampshire and grew up in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, with the state’s beautiful rural landscape... Read More →
ML

Maddie Lutkewitte

Hotline Manager, Farm Aid
SM

Scott Marlow

Senior Policy Specialist, RAFI-USA
Scott Marlow is Senior Policy Specialist at the Rural Advancement Foundation International – USA, a non-profit organization based in Pittsboro, NC. Previously RAFI’s Executive Director, Scott also directed RAFI's Farm Sustainability program, providing in-depth financial counseling... Read More →


Tuesday October 22, 2019 3:30pm - 5:00pm CDT
Mainstreeter Room

3:30pm CDT

Different State Programs that Support Farm Viability
This panel will discuss opportunities for public funding that can support farm viability, using detailed examples from New York, Vermont and Minnesota. Attendees will gain a better understanding of how these funds work, how they can utilize these funds to enhance farm viability in their state and how to obtain these funds. Panelists will also discuss some of the challenges in administering public funds.  

Learning Objectives:
-Understand how these funding opportunities were originally allocated and how they relate to farm viability.
-Share ideas on how these funding opportunities can be duplicated in other states.

Moderators
DW

David Weinand

Livestock Supervisore, Minnesota Department of Agriculture
David attended the University of Minnesota and received both a bachelors and masters in Animal Science. He has worked for the Minnesota Dept. of Agriculture for the past 19 years and has administered several different grant programs during his tenure.

Speakers
TE

Todd Erling

Exec Director, HVADC
With an academic background in environmental design and planning from Miami University and the Pratt Institute, years of experience in community and economic development, and growing up in the family orchards, Todd brings a holistic approach to agribusiness development. Todd lives... Read More →
AW

Abbey Willard

Ag Development Division Director, Vermont Agency of Agriculture
Abbey's work focuses on increasing local food procurement in Vermont and supporting community-based food system collaborations within the state and New England region. Her current efforts involve increasing local food purchases in state government, expanding the amount of locally... Read More →


Tuesday October 22, 2019 3:30pm - 5:00pm CDT
Mezzanine A

5:00pm CDT

Cash Bar
Tuesday October 22, 2019 5:00pm - 6:00pm CDT
Summit Room

6:00pm CDT

Dinner
Tuesday October 22, 2019 6:00pm - 7:30pm CDT
Summit Room
 
Wednesday, October 23
 

7:30am CDT

Continental Breakfast
Wednesday October 23, 2019 7:30am - 8:30am CDT
Portside Room

8:30am CDT

Plenary Panel: Farmers as Entrepreneurs
Unprecedented change is upon us in Agriculture. A five year farm recession, variability in weather and the political climate are pushing farmers to explore new business models to ensure their future viability. At the same time, consumer food preferences are changing at an unprecedented rate. Survival in this business environment requires the ability to adapt quickly and fail fast forward to address customer needs with profitable products and to create a farm business that can work financially. This is the domain of entrepreneurs; it is not the domain of farmers who grow what they know and do the same thing every year as efficiently as possible. How are we adapting to this new environment?
Tera Johnson, Food Finance Institute, Wisconsin
Jen Riemer, Riemer Family Farm, Wisconsin
David Bachhuber, Lovefood Farm, Wisconsin
Ed Eiffler Jaramillo, Shared Ground Farmers' Cooperative, Minnesota
Rodrigo Cala, Cala Farm, Minnesota

Speakers
avatar for Tera Johnson

Tera Johnson

Director, Food Finance Institute
Tera Johnson, Food Finance Institute, Wisconsin Tera Johnson is a serial entrepreneur whose mission is to create the next generation of environmentally and economically regenerative food and farming businesses. The founder of teraswhey® and host of the Edible-Alpha® podcast... Read More →
JR

Jen Riemer

Owner, Riemer Family Farm
Jen Riemer, Riemer Family Farm Jen and Bryce Riemer are family owners of Riemer Family Farm in Brodhead, Wisconsin. Jen and Bryce moved back to the family farm a decade ago seeking the opportunity to raise their family and their food in accordance with the land and their faith. Together... Read More →
avatar for David Bachhuber

David Bachhuber

Owner, Lovefood Farm
Lovefood Farm is a family business, owned and operated by David and Abby Bachhuber, along with their 10 year old daughter, Soleia. David and Abby started their farm 5 years ago with a devotion to the land, a passion for science, and a whole lot of love for growing healthy flavorful... Read More →
EE

Eduardo Eiffler

Shared Ground Farmers' Cooperative
avatar for Rodrigo Cala

Rodrigo Cala

Founder/Trainer, Cala Farm
Rodrigo Cala, Cala Farm, MinnesotaRodrigo was born on a small family farm in Mexico City, and moved to Minnesota in 2004. In 2005, he joined the Minnesota Food Association where he successfully completed the Big River Farms Immigrant & Minority Farmer training. The training is focused... Read More →


Wednesday October 23, 2019 8:30am - 9:30am CDT
Summit Room

9:45am CDT

Farm / Ranch Business Curriculum and Assessment Tools
This session will explore several different uses for the Farm and Ranch Business Health Assessment (BHA) and the companion tools which include the Farm and Ranch Business Readiness Assessment for people not yet in business; the Farm and Ranch Business Skills Self-Assessment for Trainers; and the Farm and Ranch Business Skills Curriculum Guide. The BHA and related resources are divided into eight sections covering business entities, land tenure and environmental regulations, accounting, taxation, labor and contractors, regulatory and accounting issues related to production and marketing, credit, insurance, and business planning and continuing education. Hear from Consultant Poppy Davis along with representatives from the National Farmers Union and Farm Credit Council on how these resources relate to local lending programs for young and beginning farmers and ranchers. This session will be interactive with questions from the audience and panelists. It is also a useful session for anyone lending to farmers or ranchers, and for farmers and ranchers who want to understand their own business health.

Learning Objectives:
-Introduce the tools and the farmbiztrainer.org website
-Generate a conversation about how to use these tools to support business and financial training
-Support people who work with farm and ranch business owners on finance and business development and profitability.

Moderators
avatar for Poppy Davis

Poppy Davis

Programs and Policy Adviser, C2C Consulting
Poppy Davis is a business and policy adviser to farmers, ranchers, fishers, food entrepreneurs, and nonprofits and local governments. She works with organizations around the country to provide training and technical assistance on topics including business formation, finance, accounting... Read More →

Speakers
EL

Emma Lindburg

Education Coordinator, National Farmers Union
Emma Lindberg is the Education Coordinator for the National Farmers Union (NFU) in Washington, DC. In this position, Emma assists in the planning, scheduling, and implementation of youth and adult education programs on a national level. These programs include general farm education... Read More →
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Gary Matteson

V.P., Young, Beginning, Small Farmer Programs and Outreach, Farm Credit Council
Gary Matteson works for Farm Credit’s trade association in Washington, DC as Senior Vice President, Beginning Farmer Programs and Outreach. This includes policy work on local foods, sustainable agriculture, and direct-to-consumer agriculture. He frequently speaks to beginning farmers... Read More →


Wednesday October 23, 2019 9:45am - 11:00am CDT
Mainstreeter Room

9:45am CDT

Farm Business Planning 2: Building Toward Success
Once we know the health of the farm and what strengths or weaknesses we have, we can begin to prescribe a plan for the farm to move forward. In Part 2 of Farm Business Planning, we will discuss how a business planner can effectively address weaknesses, capitalizing on strengths and help you identify resources that help you facilitate the completion of a solid farm business plan for your client. Business planning is both art and science. The process by which you build and sustain rapport with your client, empower them with financial literacy, and effectively motivate them to implement changes is just as important as the final plan you help them put into action. In fact developing a relationships that enhances business acumen is essential to the eventual execution of the plan. Come and learn and share your ideas as we discuss resources and engagement methods that are useful in the farm business planning process. Then we will give you resources to help you write your living business plan.

Learning Objectives:
-Learn how to create long range plans
-Improve facilitation skills
-Understand the relationship between farmer and business planner

Moderators
KC

Kevin Channell

Farm Business Specialist, Intervale Center
Kevin began his career in agriculture raising organic produce as an apprentice through NOFA-VT in 2004. Near the end of 2005 he and his wife co-founded a diverse organic farm in Fairlee, VT called Your Farm. They grew the farm through direct to market sales and a CSA. In 2010 they... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Curtis Mahnken

Curtis Mahnken

Extension Economist, CFFM, University of Minnesota
Curtis Mahnken joined the Center for Farm Financial Management in 2010 as an Extension Economist. Prior to arriving at the center, he spent four years with the University of Kentucky as an Area Extension Specialist in Farm Business Management. While at UK, he authored the 2008 Dairy... Read More →


Wednesday October 23, 2019 9:45am - 11:00am CDT
Mezzanine A

9:45am CDT

Wholesale: Succeeding in a Competitive, Commoditized Environment
Rose Wilson of Rose Wilson Consulting will present a summary of findings from the recent NOFA Local Food Wholesale Market Assessment and Industry Update. Sure to pique your interest is the evolution of local food sales from direct-to-consumer to direct-to-retail and increasingly to wholesale sourcing through traditional distributor supply chains. The implications of this change are a commodification of the local food category. How does this impact our producers? How can we help them compete, survive and thrive? If wholesale is here to stay, what tools and best practices can your farmers adopt? Participating on our panel will be 1) Rose Wilson, Rose Wilson Consulting, presenting the margin waterfall calculator to help producers identify the projected price they might receive based on the retail price of a product and the distribution channel selected. 2) Local Food Marketplace presenting technological tools for producers engaged in all types of wholesale. 3) Christine Quane, Regional Food Hub Director, Eastern Market Partnership, describing the Basket To Pallets wholesale readiness program EMP has developed to support farmers engaged in, and entering, wholesale. 4) Thaddeus McCamant, Central Lakes College, presenting on best practices for profitability in the direct-to-consumer environment supporting farmers in circumventing wholesale altogether! 5) Ken Meter, Crossroads Resource Center, concluding the discussion with a summary of his findings on the negative consequences of the commoditization of the local food system and a suggestion for tests community farmers and community food system leaders can use to strike a balance between selling to nearby and distant wholesale markets.

Moderators
RW

Rose Wilson

Owner, Rose Wilson Consulting
Rose Wilson, owner of Rose Wilson Consulting, has provided market development and business strategy services for more than 15 years to over 300 clients in the farm and food sector. Clients range from national NGO’s such as Healthcare Without Harm to state agencies such as Massachusetts... Read More →

Speakers
KM

Ken Meter

President, Crossroads Resource Center
Ken Meter is one of the most experienced food system analysts in the U.S. Over 48 years in inner-city and rural community capacity building Ken has promoted local food networks in 141 regions in 40 states, 2 provinces, and 4 tribal nations. He developed a $9.85-million plan for local... Read More →
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Thaddeus McCamant

Farm Business Management Instructor, Central Lakes College
Thaddeus is a Specialty Crops Management Instructor at Central Lakes College. His primary job is educating direct market fruit and vegetable growers. He works with both new and experienced producers, discussing fertilization, soils and pest management. In recent years, Thaddeus has... Read More →
CQ

Christine Quane

Regional Food Hub Director, Eastern Market
Christine connects growers to wholesale buyers using every imaginative logistical option available. Her work intersects with Farm to School, Farm to Table, Farm to Hospital and Farm to Institution. Christine piloted Grow Eastern Market (GEM), a local food brokerage program; Mighty... Read More →


Wednesday October 23, 2019 9:45am - 11:00am CDT
Oak Room

9:45am CDT

Communicating Across Generations
Ensuring good communication across generations matters whether you’re buying, selling, leasing, or expanding a farm business. Being able to articulate your vision can be challenging. This workshop will answer the question, "What types of skills does a farmer need to describe their farm vision in a clear, compelling way, no matter who they are interacting with?"

Learning Objectives:
-Gain a better understanding of farmer typology & learning stages
-Learn about typical characteristics of generations and their preferred communication styles. -
-Practice effective communication with a partner using "I" statements, the ladder of inference, and active listening skills.

Moderators
avatar for Tori Jackson

Tori Jackson

Professor of Agriculture & Natural Resources, University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Professor Jackson is an Extension Educator covering Androscoggin and Sagadahoc Counties and specializing in beginning farmer education and farm business management. She provides one-on-one consulting with beginning farmers in the early stages, and continues relationships with them... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Abby Sadauckas

Abby Sadauckas

Maine Field Agent, Land For Good
Abby is an organic livestock producer on a second-generation farm and the Maine Field Agent for Land For Good. Her professional work combines her experiences as a new farmer with her work as an agricultural service provider. Abby has worked for the University of Maine Cooperative... Read More →


Wednesday October 23, 2019 9:45am - 11:00am CDT
Mezzanine B/C

9:45am CDT

Farmland for the Next Generation: A Skills-based Educational Introduction to Land Access
This introductory land access session is a unique opportunity for agricultural service providers to learn how to use American Farmland Trust’s Land Access Trainer (LAT) Curriculum, which provides a skills-based educational approach to help beginning farmers and ranchers tackle the complex and multi-faceted process of finding and securing suitable land to start or expand their operations. This session will provide an introduction to land access and the importance of engaging educational approaches to effectively support beginning farmers and ranchers. Led by certified AFT land access trainers, it will be highly interactive with participants directly engaging in a comprehensive land access decision making process through a hands-on business and personal goals activity and follow-up discussion on how to apply these strategies in their own work and programming.

Moderators
JF

Julia Freedgood

Assistant Vice President of Programs, American Farmland Trust
Julia Freedgood is a senior advisor and director of Farms for the Next Generation at American Farmland Trust (AFT). She is a national expert in farmland protection, agricultural viability, and food systems who heads AFT's efforts to support the future of farming. She leads AFT's efforts... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Monica Rainge

Monica Rainge

Director of Land Retention & Advocacy, FEDERATION OF SOUTHERN COOPERATIVES/LAND ASSISTANCE FUND
Monica A. Rainge, an agricultural lawyer, serves as the Director of Land Retention and Advocacy for The Federation of Southern Cooperatives/ Land Assistance Fund. Attorney Rainge leads the development and implementation of regional land retention and advocacy initiatives which support... Read More →
LS

Liya Schwartzman

Central Valley Program Coordinator, California FarmLink
Liya Schwartzman has been working in partnership with farmers on behalf of California FarmLink since 2010. She has supported hundreds of farmers and ranchers in accessing land, securing strong tenure agreements, exploring financing, and facilitating farmland and business succession... Read More →
avatar for Suzanna Denison

Suzanna Denison

Program Manager, Farms for the Next Generation, American Farmland Trust
Suzanna Denison is a passionate advocate for farmland access and preservation. She directed the Western North Carolina (WNC) FarmLink program, which was a partnership facilitating successful relationships between farmers looking for land to farm, and landowners aspiring to keep their... Read More →



Wednesday October 23, 2019 9:45am - 11:00am CDT
Summit Room

9:45am CDT

Adoption of Innovative Climate Strategies - Barriers, Opportunities, & Business Viability
As the impacts of climate change intensify and both carbon sequestration and climate adaptation grow as agricultural policy priorities, the number of producers attempting to adopt innovative, biologically intensive on-farm strategies and production systems (such as intensive low- or no-till cover cropping; agroforestry systems; annual/perennial and annual/livestock integrations; intensive biological pest controls; and more) is increasing across the country.  These carbon farming and climate adaptive systems, however, face significant barriers to adoption and challenges to successful incorporation into business models.  Although many biologically intensive approaches have been shown to improve farm viability and profitability long term, their initial adoption often requires changes in management, equipment, skills, land use, and/or markets that can negatively impact profitability in the short term.  This panel will share stories from the field of some of the greatest challenges faced and opportunities discovered by producers working at the leading edge of the industry's biological, environmental, and climate adaptive practices.  We will focus on how service providers can best support producers seeking to transition beyond standard best practices into these systematically beneficial, yet often seemingly higher-risk systems.

Moderators
CS

Connor Stedman

Principal, AppleSeed Permaculture
Connor Stedman is an ecological designer, farm planner, and educator who works to mitigate climate change while growing viable farm businesses and economies. He is a lead designer and consultant with Terra Genesis International and an affiliate instructor and advisor with the University... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Lindsay Rebhan

Lindsay Rebhan

Owner, Ecological Design
Lindsay Rebhan is co-owner of Ecological Design, a woman-owned land planning and design firm.   A specialist in agroecology, land use, farm design and land management, Lindsay works with farmers, land owners, food nonprofits, and organizations to increase the natural wealth of land... Read More →
avatar for Jane Jewett

Jane Jewett

Associate Director, Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture
avatar for Hannah Breckbill

Hannah Breckbill

co-farmer, Humble Hands Harvest
Humble Hands Harvest is a worker-owned cooperative on 22 acres. We grow organic vegetables, grass-finished lamb, pastured pork, and are establishing nut and fruit polycultures. Our land access story is unique and inspiring, and we hope to pass along the gifts we've been given.
KS

Kent Solberg

Livestock and Grazing Specialist, Sustainable Farming Association of MN
Kent is a farmer, educator, consultant, contractor, land manager and Master Grazier from central Minnesota working through the Sustainable Farming Association, Dairy Grazing  Apprenticeship, Minnesota Dairy Initiative and Understanding Ag on organic production and transitions, alternative... Read More →


Wednesday October 23, 2019 9:45am - 11:00am CDT
Portside Room

9:45am CDT

Building a Community of Practice
The National Farm Viability Conference is a great place to meet your peers, share your ideas, learn new skills and build your professional network. Wouldn’t it be great if those activities could continue once the conference is over? In this session we will explore possibilities for building ongoing peer to peer support networks. In the first half of the session we will hear from John Fisk of the Wallace Center regarding their experiences building a support network among food hub practitioners, and from Dorothy Suput of the Carrot Project and executive committee member of the Blueprint Project, on efforts to support farm viability practitioners in the northeastern US. The latter half of the session will feature group discussions focused on ways we might build similar networks in other regions, or even a national network. Come prepared to share your vision for a community of practice: What might this community look like? How might you benefit from such a network? What do you have to offer? What steps would you be willing to take to make that vision a reality?  Working together, we can increase our collective impact and better serve the needs of our clients.

Moderators
avatar for Rich Schwartz

Rich Schwartz

Independent Consultant, Alder Street Consulting
Rich Schwartz, MBA, is an independent consultant based in Portland, Oregon providing business support services to agricultural producers, businesses, organizations and governmental agencies at the intersection of food production, sustainability and social justice. Rich has a longstanding... Read More →

Wednesday October 23, 2019 9:45am - 11:00am CDT
Victorian Dining Room

9:45am CDT

Mentoring Programs that Build Effective and Meaningful Mentorships
A mentorship places an experienced farmer in a position to positively influence those starting their farming journey. A mentorship is formed between two farmers who are each operating on different farms. Because they are working on separate farms, there are fewer opportunities to create a strong relationship to optimize learning. Beginning farmer programs have found ways to use mentoring programs to support beginning farmers by aiding in facilitating and matching mentors that align with each other’s farming vision and goals. The panelist will share how they operate their mentoring program and what lessons they have learned, along with successes realized.

Moderators
avatar for Greg Padget

Greg Padget

Next Generation Director, Practical Farmers of Iowa
Greg joined Practical Farmers of Iowa in 2016. He oversees the Next Generations programming ensuring resources, events and learning opportunities are available for beginning farmers and farmers looking to transition their farm and land. He manages the Savings Incentive Program and... Read More →

Speakers
JN

Jennifer Nelson

Humble Pie Farm; MOSES
Jennifer has been supporting organic farmers and teaching since 2005. She and her husband co-own their family flower farm in Plum City, Wis. She has worked with Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) leading their farmer-to-farmer mentoring program.
KS

Karen Stettler

Farm Beginnings Program Organizer with a Land Access Focus, Land Stewardship Project
Karen Stettler has worked in LSP’s Farm Beginnings program for over 20 years, 8 of which have been focused on Land Access and Farm Transitions. Karen has worked individually and in group settings with retiring farmers as they are beginning their farm transition planning. She has... Read More →


Wednesday October 23, 2019 9:45am - 11:00am CDT
Laurentine Room

11:15am CDT

Panel on Mission-Oriented Investment Capital
“Mission-Oriented” investment entities seek to generate positive social and/or environmental outcomes in addition to a financial return (also known as: Impact; Values-Aligned; Triple Bottom Line; Socially Responsible; etc). While this segment of the investment world is expanding quickly, especially for funding food and agriculture enterprises, it is also quite diverse and can be difficult to navigate.

This interactive session will (1) educate attendees about the breadth and diversity of mission-oriented capital providers with panelists representing three mission-oriented investment entities: California Farmlink, Turus Mara, Dirt Capital; and (2) walk through a recent mission-oriented financing transaction from the perspective of the recipient of the financing -- The Main Street Project, a Minnesota-based organization that is expanding its poultry-centered regenerative agroforestry model to a 100-acre property in Northfield, MN.

Attendees should leave the session better prepared to evaluate if/when/how a mission-oriented capital provider may be appropriate for a particular project or client, what questions to ask up-front to help determine “fit”, and common red or yellow flags to keep in mind when discussing projects with mission-oriented investors.

Speakers
avatar for Jacob Israelow

Jacob Israelow

Managing Director, Dirt Capital Partners
Jacob founded Dirt Capital Partners as a platform to channel private investment in support of farmland access, conservation and long-term land security for sustainable farmers. The company’s innovative approach has been featured at the New York Times Food for Tomorrow Conference... Read More →
JR

Julie Ristau

Executive Director, Main Street Project
Julie is the Executive Director at Main Street Project in Northfield MN. Main Street Project serves as a regional training and demonstration hub. We focus on approaches to resilient, regenerative agriculture that provide economic opportunity for new farmers—including immigrants—while... Read More →
avatar for Catherine Van Dyke

Catherine Van Dyke

Loan Officer, California FarmLink
Catherine has been a part of California FarmLink’s loan team since 2016. In her current role she underwrites loans, assists in program development, and provides technical assistance for farmers related to business development, loan readiness, and financial literacy in both Spanish... Read More →
avatar for Sara Atkinson

Sara Atkinson

Investment Analyst, Turas Mara
Sara Atkinson is an investment analyst at Turas Mara, a Minneapolis-based investment company founded by Richard Cargill and focused on bringing sustainable solutions to food, agriculture, and water. She is responsible for the research, development, and implementation of investment... Read More →


Wednesday October 23, 2019 11:15am - 12:45pm CDT
Portside Room

11:15am CDT

"JEDI" in the Workplace
As agricultural service providers, we have a responsibility to acknowledge the deep inequities underpinning our food and farming system. We should also recognize the opportunities afforded from building a more inclusive and equitable culture within our respective organizations. How are we held accountable to each other, and the communities we serve? How do we acknowledge that our shared experience as professionals may be distinct from the farm businesses and communities with which we collaborate? Join California FarmLink as we offer an open discussion and joint learning space on how to approach a conversation on Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) within our organizations.

Speakers
avatar for Iris Nolasco

Iris Nolasco

Central & Southern Coast Program Coordinator, California FarmLink
I work with many Latinx farmers who are looking for land to farm on, and improving or starting a farming business. I assist in education, and linking, writing land tenure agreements, and currently diving deeper into diversity and racial equity work.


Wednesday October 23, 2019 11:15am - 12:45pm CDT
Mainstreeter Room

11:15am CDT

Business and Financial Tool-Share Roundtable
Four panelists will briefly present unique tools used in their financial and business planning work as service providers: The Veggie Compass/OGrain Compass /Livestock Compass (cost of production spreadsheets); MTF’s new online relational enterprise budgeting Whole Farm Calculator; a successful benchmarking framework for livestock operations; and the Opportunity Map (a business planning tool for full enterprise evaluation/decision-making). We will compare and discuss each tool’s utility and features, and then launch a general discussion on tool sourcing and sharing, reviewing common needs, successes and failures experienced by panelists and participants. We will explore commonalities in the business and financial tools we each use and discuss needs in order to better our collective work. We invite the audience to come prepared to share a tool or two of their own in this open source, collaborative roundtable discussion; we encourage you to bring handouts/examples to help in your sharing.

Learning objectives:
-Encourage a free, open exchange amongst colleagues of practical resources for business and financial advising
-Introduce new tools to participants that might help their work
-Broaden the style of exchange that’s possible amongst a group of peers.

Moderators
avatar for Olivia Tincani

Olivia Tincani

Educator & Consultant, Olivia Tincani & Co, LLC
Olivia Tincani is a food and agriculture business consultant and educator with 17 years of experience in the field. Her work focuses on farmer and rancher training, business, financial and strategic planning, curriculum development, whole animal supply chains, and communications... Read More →

Speakers
AF

Alex Fouliard

Farming for Wholesale Project Manager, Maine Farmland Trust
Alex manages the Farming For Wholesale (FFW) business planning program, ensuring that farmers' experience in the program helps them achieve their goals. She is a technical assistance provider in the program, specializing in business planning and cost of production analysis. She has... Read More →
JH

John Hendrickson

Outreach Program Manager, Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems
John Hendrickson coordinates research and training programs in organic and sustainable specialty crop production, marketing, and profitability at the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His work focuses on the economics of small-scale... Read More →
BM

Betsy Miller

Farm management educator, University of Vermont Extension
Betsy Miller is a farm management educator for University of Vermont Extension. Working with the Farm Viability program for over twelve years Betsy has had the opportunity to assist various types and sizes of farms in completing business plans, conducting cash flow and enterprise... Read More →


Wednesday October 23, 2019 11:15am - 12:45pm CDT
Mezzanine A

11:15am CDT

Getting Financially Naked: A Case Study of 4 Farms
The Financial Roundtable Program, designed by KTC, enrolls small groups of farmers of the same ilk into a collaborative, expert-led, financially focused business program. Each meeting leaves participants and their businesses further supported with practical tools they can immediately implement, new ideas on achieving financial decision making clarity through opportunity assessment protocols, and a subject matter expert workshop on a topic of the group's choice. This roundtable is an opportunity for farm business owners to gain commiserators, collaborators, and even business partners for their future success. This roundtable is structured to open channels of communication and facilitate candidness among participants. Every roundtable participant benefits from the KTC facilitator(s) who have farm and business ownership experience and a benchmarking/metric process to stimulate constructive competition and conversations. Sharing everything in a structured format enables our producers and local supply chains to grow faster and stronger, and helps a region’s organizational managers build and grow their operational and financial acumen.

Learning objectives:
-Use farmer case studies to explore how benchmarking key ratios across businesses evokes an engaging financial conversation and problem solving
-Provide insight to help any business owner get better at what they're doing, whether in good times or bad
-Understand the purpose and benefits of a full-scale farmer roundtable

Moderators
avatar for Ted LeBow

Ted LeBow

Managing Partner and Co-Founder, Kitchen Table Consultants

Speakers
avatar for Lee Michaels

Lee Michaels

Director of Operations, Kitchen Table Consultants
After nearly a decade at Cherry Capital Foods, Lee has recently joined the KTC team as their Director of Operations. Lee's food hub, distribution, sales and operations experience are an extension of KTC's strong finance and business acumen expertise. When not working on food systems... Read More →


Wednesday October 23, 2019 11:15am - 12:45pm CDT
Oak Room

11:15am CDT

Making Cooperatives Work for Specialty Meat and Dairy Markets
Cooperatives have long supported farmers to reach their goals by sharing knowledge, distributing risk and helping move new products to markets. And as a result, cooperatives have played an essential role in helping farms advance regenerative practices and address infrastructure issues to meet consumer demand. But cooperatives are not without challenges including pricing, consistent quality, consumer trust, continued member participation and much more. This is particularly true for meat and dairy. In this session you will learn hard won lessons from three livestock-based coops operating on different scales: collective direct marketing, regional wholesale, and national wholesale. The coops will not only share how they are operating, but how they have evolved to achieve success and manage for ongoing challenges. Attendees will walk away with an appreciation and understanding of how cooperative models can support more farmers – particularly those producing specialty meat and dairy - to build diverse enterprises rooted in sounds practices and shared support.

Learning objectives:
-Understand how the structures, functions, and end markets are different for livestock-based coops
-Learn about common challenges for coop membership, quality control, marketing, and growth
-Understand best practices for coop operation to ensure equity, profitability and sustainability

Moderators
avatar for John Fisk

John Fisk

Director of Strategy and Partnerships, Wallace Center at Winrock International

Speakers
HT

Heather Toman

General Manage, SLO Farmers Co-op
Heather Toman is a co-owner and operator on Full Circle Community Farm in Seymour, Wisconsin and the General Manager of SLO Farmers Co-op. Heather's formal education includes a Masters Degree in Biology from Northern Michigan University with a thesis on the impact of climate change... Read More →
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Rod Ofte

General Manager, Wisconsin Meadows
Rod Ofte is a fourth generation farmer who operates a rotational grazing beef operation near Coon Valley, WI. He grew up on a diverse, small dairy operation. Ofte attended the United States Military Academy at West Point and entered into military service including deployments to Western... Read More →
WM

Wade Miller

Farm Development Manager, Organic Valley
Wade began his career as a farm lender in 1987. After 26 years in lending, he joined CROPP Cooperative where he works as Farm Development Manager. He and his staff provide various technical support to CROPP members and management.


Wednesday October 23, 2019 11:15am - 12:45pm CDT
Laurentine Room

11:15am CDT

Something's Gotta Happen Somehow...Addressing Farm Transfer Challenges
Even the best farmers can come up against hurdles to a smooth farm business transfer. In this advanced level workshop, we will address some common issues a service provider may encounter when trying to help a farm business transition from one generation to another. Presenters will touch on topics including assessing and developing capacity of potential successors, business valuation, and how to address non-farming heirs. This will all be discussed within the context of the financial, legal and tax implications of these complex transitions. Participants are encouraged to come with case situations they are working through and general questions as well as resources and tools which they find useful.

Moderators
avatar for Mike Ghia

Mike Ghia

VT Field Agent, Land For Good
Mike assists farmers with business planning and financial management as well as assists families with farm succession and transfers through the Vermont Farm and Forest Viability Program. Through Land For Good, Mike also coaches farmers and landowners on farmland access, tenure, transfer... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Sam Smith

Sam Smith

Farm Business Director, Intervale Center
Sam brings a passion for farming and food systems to his work at the Intervale. He grew up in Southern Vermont, went to UVM, and received a MBA in Sustainability from Antioch New England. He has worked as both a livestock and vegetable farmer, and been involved in the Vermont agricultural... Read More →


Wednesday October 23, 2019 11:15am - 12:45pm CDT
Mezzanine B/C

11:15am CDT

Building Capacity for Program Evaluation: A Critical Conversation about the Meaning of Farmer “Success”
The GREW Project (Gaining Results through Evaluation Work) team, funded by a Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP) Educational Enhancement Team (EET) grant, proposes to facilitate an interactive session to help educators and trainers build program evaluation capacity. Attendees will benefit from a facilitated discussion focused on the tensions inherent in defining and measuring farmer success across a diversity of farmer audiences. Key questions to explore include but not limited to: How do you define farmer success? What program outcomes are meaningful to you and your organization? What challenges do you face in designing and implementing an impactful program evaluation for your farmer audiences? What role do farmers play in your program evaluation process? Lastly, how do your evaluations embody cognitive, cultural, and interdisciplinary diversity? The session will conclude with specific strategies for enhancing farmer program evaluations from a critical adult education perspective.

Learning objectives:
-Gain a better understanding of the variety of outcomes that could be considered successful and that would be relevant to their farmer situations
-Understand success in a broader and more complex way that could help revise how they evaluate their farmer programs
-Understand culturally responsive evaluation as an approach for farmer program evaluation
-Be able to join a national learning community for building capacity around evaluation, and help shape the evaluation tools developed by this network
-Discover new ways to celebrate your work through program evaluation
-Get an overview of the GREW project, its activities, and the resources and tools it aims to help develop and share.

Moderators
avatar for Kim Niewolny

Kim Niewolny

Associate Professor, Virginia Tech
Dr. Kim Niewolny is an associate professor in the Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education at Virginia Tech. For over a decade, she has held a teaching, research, and extension appointment that holistically reflects the land-grant mission. Kim’s work centers... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Jennifer Hashley

Jennifer Hashley

Director, New Entry Sustainable Farming project
Jennifer Hashley, Director, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project (http://www.nesfp.org)Jennifer Hashley is Director of the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, a beginning farmer training program that assists diverse individuals to begin farming in Massachusetts. Jennifer is also... Read More →


Wednesday October 23, 2019 11:15am - 12:45pm CDT
Victorian Dining Room

11:15am CDT

Programs for the Future Farmer
This session will explore different farmer support models and methods that are used by organizations helping farmers across the country. There will be the opportunity to ask specific questions related to farmer support and mentoring, and an overall objective to further build network with other farmer support organizations.

Moderators
avatar for Paul Krysik

Paul Krysik

Apprenticeship Instructor, Chicago Botanic Garden - Windy City Harvest
Paul Krysik is a Chicago native. While working on a bachelor's degree in law and environmental studies at Oberlin College, he became involved in local food policy and practice. He began organic farming in Ohio and then moved onto a two-year fellowship at the Allegheny Mountain Institute... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Anna Chotzen

Anna Chotzen

Business & Marketing Manager, Viva Farms
Anna is the Business & Marketing Manager at Viva Farms, a non-profit farm business incubator serving aspiring and limited-resource farmers in Western Washington. Anna manages Viva Farms' sales program, as well as the development and implementation of its business training program... Read More →
TW

Tim Wilson

Farm at the Arb Education Manager, Farm at the Arb
Tim has been working with small scale vegetable growers as a nonprofit trainer for 15 years. He works currently to start an agriculture workforce development program with the University of Minnesota. It focuses on paid horticulture training for urban, rural, and suburban food advocates... Read More →
LM

Laura Mirafuentes

Programs Manager, The Food Group/Minnesota Food Association
LR

Lawrence Riley

Incubator/Site Coordinator, Chicago Botanic Garden/Windy City Harvest
Lawrence Riley is passionate about community-based local food system growth in Chicago. He graduated from the Windy City Harvest Corps program in 2017. He stayed on the team to graduate from the Apprenticeship program in sustainable agriculture in 2018. He also holds certifications... Read More →


Wednesday October 23, 2019 11:15am - 12:45pm CDT
Summit Room

12:45pm CDT

Pick up boxed lunches and join tours
Wednesday October 23, 2019 12:45pm - 1:15pm CDT
Courtyard

1:30pm CDT

Farm Tour: A Path to Viability for Dairy Farms: Farmer Profit Circles and Grazing Apprenticeships
Kimberly and Casey O'Reilly are members of Organic Valley Family of Farms, the largest organic farmer-owned cooperative in North America. Roger and Michelle Benrud's dairy is a host for the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship program. Participants on this tour will visit the O'Reilly Organic Dairy and hear from Wade Miller, Farm Development Manager at Organic Valley, on how the co-op is helping its dairy farmers remain viable in these challenging years of low milk prices. We'll learn about Organic Valley's Farmer Profit Circles, which help farmers implement peer groups to evaluate and improve their farm management. We will also visit the Benruds' farm to understand how the Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship program has impacted their business.


Speakers
KC

Kimberly & Casey O'Reilly

O'Reilly Organic Dairy
RM

Roger & Michelle Benrud

Benrud Family Farm
BH

Bonnie Haugen

Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship, Minnesota Education Coordinator, Ms.
WM

Wade Miller

Farm Development Manager, Organic Valley
Wade began his career as a farm lender in 1987. After 26 years in lending, he joined CROPP Cooperative where he works as Farm Development Manager. He and his staff provide various technical support to CROPP members and management.



Wednesday October 23, 2019 1:30pm - 5:00pm CDT
O’Reilly Organic Dairy

1:30pm CDT

Farm Tour: Hands-on Farm Financial Management Education
This tour will stop at Dry Creek Red Angus farm near Goodhue, MN. The farm is owned and operated by father and son team, John and Jared Luhman, who grow organic crops and raise 100% grass-fed beef cattle using regenerative farming techniques. This tour is unique in that it is a mini-course in Whole Farm planning. Tour leaders Laurie Wolinski, Director of Northeast Extension Risk Management Education Center, and Seth Wilner, Agricultural Business Management Field Specialist, University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, have designed an interactive and informative process.

After a wagon tour of the farm, participants will split into small groups and visit 6-7 topical stations where they will engage in peer-to-peer learning on subjects relative farm financial health and succession planning. At each station, a subject expert will lead a discussion that will enable participants to dig deeply into issues on topics related to succession planning, business structures, enterprise selection using farm financials, grazing, records and financial statements, and resources to assist farmers. The Luhman’s are generously sharing their farm, and the ins and outs of their farming operation, to provide tour participants with an in-depth learning experience.


Wednesday October 23, 2019 1:30pm - 5:00pm CDT
Dry Creek Red Angus

1:30pm CDT

Farm Tour: Innovating for Farm Viability & Regulatory Clarity
Down the Mississippi River from Red Wing are a number of farm businesses that have been on the forefront of testing and demonstrating crops and systems that could increase viability for Midwest farmers. 

At the Lake City Catholic Workers Farm, run by Paul and Sarah Freid, a passive-solar Deep Winter Greenhouse was constructed as part of a pilot project with the University of Minnesota’s Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships. Together the Freid’s and University researchers are learning how structures like this can be used, and improved, to increase farm profitability while decreasing energy inputs. The Freid’s also have built a small-scale kombucha facility, and raise poultry and pigs.

On the edge of Lake City, Norm and Mary Erickson have established 12 acres of hazelnut bushes on Hazel Farm, which they recently sold to a new farm family. These hybrid plants are one of a handful of crops that have garnered interest by farmers and researchers alike for their perennial nature and ability to produce crops with economic value. The infrastructure to support the hazel operation at the Erickson’s farm includes a greenhouse, a root cellar, and specialized equipment to harvest and process the nuts, including an oil press to produce hazelnut oil. Researchers at the University of Minnesota work with growers like Norm and Mary to further develop this and other crops as part of a Forever Green Initiative, which has the goal of developing agriculturally profitable systems that provide a wide range of ecosystem benefits.

Of course, innovation doesn’t only happen on the farm, so the last tour stop we’ll hear about Minnesota’s Local Food Advisory Committee (LFAC) and the State Food Innovation Team that bring together farmer groups, organizations involved in local food systems, University staff and Extension educators, and food regulators to sort out and untangle issues that arise when local food meets regulations. Learn how this process has led to clarification, trust, and wage justice for small-scale food and farm entrepreneurs.
      Regulation Innovation Panelists:
      Jane Jewett, University of Minnesota's Institute for Sustainable Agriculture, 
      Kathy Zeman, Minnesota Farmers’ Market Association  
     Natasha Hedin, Minnesota Department of Agriculture

Tour Schedule:
1:00 Leave Red Wing
1:15 Catholic Workers Farm
2:15 To Hazelnut Valley Farm
2:30 Tour Hazel Farm
3:30   City Hall - Panel
4:30  To Red Wing
5:00 Arrive in Red Wing



Wednesday October 23, 2019 1:30pm - 5:00pm CDT
Red Wing/Lake City

1:30pm CDT

Farm Tour: It's All About the Meat - An Industry Cluster and Forward-Thinking Community
Economic developers have generally been late to the game in seeing the local foods movement as an economic engine for their communities.That's not the case for the small city of Cannon Falls, home to a number of values-based food and farm businesses who have been working together in conjunction with their local economic development staff and regional organizations. This tour will visit and hear from a group of businesses who sustainably raise, process, and market poultry and meat products in Cannon Falls. 

The first stop on the tour will be to Lorentz Meats, a full-serve meat processing company that has been in the Lorentz family for five decades. The company, which employs nearly 100 people, has a commitment to sustainability and transparency. To that end, they built their plant with large windows looking into our abattoir and fabrication area where customers are able to come and view their production process. 
The next stop will be Ferndale Market, where John Peterson, a third generation turkey farmer, has an amazing story of a farm that has grown and adapted over time with an eye to being a good neighbor and a good steward. John will discuss how he focuses on building closer relationships with customers to boost his business. 
The last stop will be Cannon Falls newest local foods enterprise - Artisan Plaza. Learn how Dave Olson was inspired by food oases in the middle of Wisconsin and saw an opportunity in his hometown. Dave repurposed an old event rental hall and has transformed it into a retail and restaurant space featuring local foods. Here, we’ll sit down for a discussion that will highlight the role key state and private partners have had in assisting these businesses.
Panelists:
      Dave Maroney, City of Cannon Falls

      Dianne Howard, City of Cannon Falls
      Michael Sparby, Agricultural Utilization Research Institute
      Pam Bishop, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation


Tour Schedule:
12:30, Leave for Lorentz Meats
1:10, Lorentz Meats, Story and tour - Mike Lorentz
1:40, To Ferndale, Story, John Peterson
2:10, Ferndale, Tour and store, John Peterson
2:40, To Artisan Plaza
3:00, Artisan Plaza, Story and tour - Dave Olson
3:30, Panel, Dave or Dianne, John, Mike, Dave, Pam Bishop, CannonBelles
4:30, To Red Wing
5:00, Arrive Red Wing



Wednesday October 23, 2019 1:30pm - 5:00pm CDT
Cannon Falls

1:30pm CDT

Farm Tour: Providing Business Management Education and Crisis Management in Minnesota
Across the Midwest, Farm Business Management Programs are designed to provide education to farm owners and operators through the community college system. Riverland Community College in southwestern Minnesota assists farmers in meeting their business and personal goals through the use of quality records and sound business decisions. Farm business management education instructors, like Jennifer Smith, teach effective financial management, review the records, analyze the profitability of the farm and its enterprises. This tour will visit John & Betty Jaeger on their farm in Red Wing where they have a beef cow/calf operation and raise crops on over 700 acres. We will hear from John Jaeger and Jennifer Smith about the Jaeger family's 30+ year involvement in the farm business management program. John will highlight farm progress, growth, management and conservation practices used on the farm, while Jennifer will explain the interaction and purpose of the program. Second, we will visit and your Falconer Vineyards and then have a conversation there at the vineyard about another MN state program focused on crisis management. We will hear from farmer a Deborah Mills and Farm Advocate Connie Dykes about the one-on-one assistance that the Minnesota Farm Advocates program provides for farmers who face crisis caused by either a natural disaster or financial problems. Both programs are made possible through close partnerships between the state's agricultural department and state community colleges.
Speakers:
Jennifer Smith, Farm Business Management Instructor, Riverland Community College, MN
John Jaeger, John & Betty Jaeger Farm, Red Wing, MN
         Connie Dykes, Minnesota Farm Advocates

         Deborah Mills, Mills Dairy, MN

Speakers
CD

Connie Dykes

Farm Advocate, Minnesota Farm Advocates
Talk to me about how to be a good Advocate for Agriculture. I own and operate a grain farm and work with my Husband and sons. I am involved with many facets of Agriculture. Being I am actively involved in Agriculture it gives me a great perspective to work with rural people. I... Read More →
JS

Jennifer Smith

Farm Business Management Instructor, Riverland Community College
JJ

John Jaeger

John & Betty Jaeger Farm


Wednesday October 23, 2019 1:30pm - 5:00pm CDT
John & Betty Jaeger Farm

1:30pm CDT

Farm Tour: Small-Scale Farm Viability - Nonprofits Collaborating to Support Success
Minnesota is fortunate to have a wealth of non-profit organizations working in the small farm and food maker space. Over time, these organizations have become more sophisticated in the types of training and services they provide, and have found that collaboration is a key component to developing systems of support that help the farmers they work with be viable.

This tour will start at Main Street Project’s farm where they innovated a poultry-centered agricultural model to demonstrate and educate farmers on principals of integrated regenerative agriculture. The vision of Main Street used a number of innovative “tools” to launch their farm, including securing farmland easements, financing through Iroquois Valley Farms, and assisting in forming the Grow a Farmer fund, which has assisted one of their farmers.

The second stop on the tour will be at Seeds Farm, owned and run by Becca Carlson. In 2010, Becca ran a small organic vegetable CSA and sold at a  farmer’s market in 2010. In pursuit of a better work/life/profit balance she dropped the farmer’s market in 2013 and the CSA program in 2016, to focus on wholesale crops for distributors, grocery stores and food service companies. We will tour the farm and her new packing facilities. Finally, we’ll hear from a panel of technical assistance providers from area nonprofits who work together to support small farmers and help them access new markets.
Panelists: 
     David Van Eeckhout, The Good Acre
     Janssen Hang, Hmong American Farmers Association
     Molly Schaus, Minnesota Food Association/Food Group
     Rodrigo Cala, Shared Ground Cooperative

Tour Schedule:
12:45, Leave Red Wing
1:30, Arrive at Main Street and tour 
2:30, Leave for Seeds Farm
2:50, Arrive at Seeds Farm and Tour 
3:30, Panel of Farmer Support Organizations
4:30, Depart
5:15, Arrive back at Red Wing


Wednesday October 23, 2019 1:30pm - 5:00pm CDT
Main Street

5:30pm CDT

Networking Reception & FEAST! Mini Market
Enjoy a cash bar and hors d'oeuvres while you sip, sample, and stock up on tasty souvenirs with a small local foods marketplace featuring fine local growers and foodmakers from the region.

Wednesday October 23, 2019 5:30pm - 7:30pm CDT
Summit Room
 
Thursday, October 24
 

7:30am CDT

Continental Breakfast
Thursday October 24, 2019 7:30am - 8:30am CDT
Portside Room

8:30am CDT

Technical Assistance to Support More Viable Farms: What's Power Got to do with it?
​This workshop session will dig deeply into the larger systemic sources of injustice and inequity within the farm and food sector. In what ways is work to support viable farms reaching and serving - and not - audiences who are historically marginalized or face unequal access to resources to pursue farming opportunity? What are the limits of technical assistance work when it comes to addressing and redressing the root causes of historical and systemic forms of injustice, inequity and exclusion? Panelists will discuss these tough questions while also exploring their historical roots, and will highlight a range of issues through the lens of contemporary barriers to access of land, capital, services, markets, etc. Attendees can expect to challenge, discuss, and provide ideas for how farm viability professionals understand their roles, limitations and potential to work more actively to promote social justice and equity through farm viability work as allies, employers, service providers, collaborators, and more.

Moderators
avatar for Jim Hafner

Jim Hafner

Executive Director, Land For Good
Jim assumed overall management of Land For Good (LFG) in 2015 as part of a planned succession strategy and after serving as Deputy Director (2013-14). Jim is thrilled to be leading and growing such an outstanding team – and working to strengthen agriculture and food systems in New... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Pakou Hang

Pakou Hang

Executive Director and Co-Founder, Hmong American Farmers Association
Pakou Hang is the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA), a social justice organization that was created to build community wealth among Hmong American farmers and their families. In 2014, she was appointed by the Mayor to the Minneapolis... Read More →
avatar for Rodrigo Cala

Rodrigo Cala

Founder/Trainer, Cala Farm
Rodrigo Cala, Cala Farm, MinnesotaRodrigo was born on a small family farm in Mexico City, and moved to Minnesota in 2004. In 2005, he joined the Minnesota Food Association where he successfully completed the Big River Farms Immigrant & Minority Farmer training. The training is focused... Read More →
SC

Stephen Carpenter

Deputy Director and Senior Staff Attorney, Farmers' Legal Action Group, Inc. (FLAG)
Stephen is a graduate of Drury College in Springfield, Missouri, and of Stanford Law School. At Stanford Law School, Stephen was active in the East Palo Alto Community Law Project, was a Stanford Law Review executive editor, and received a Skadden Foundation Fellowship that brought... Read More →
ST

Sai Thao

Senior Lending Specialist, Compeer Financial
Sai is a senior lending specialist with Compeer Financial. Sai has worked with many emerging markets farmers, helping them with a full range of services, including creating business plans, and guiding them on how to obtain financing for their agriculture and food businesses. Sai grew... Read More →


Thursday October 24, 2019 8:30am - 9:45am CDT
Portside Room

8:30am CDT

Leading Producers to New Markets with Data-Driven Programs
Driving producers - potentially those in failing industries - to new markets, is not a willy-nilly activity for ag business educators across the nation. Educators need to understand what those markets demand from producers, what the market can bear with increased entries into it, and what it will take a producer to reach break-even sooner than later in production years. Learn from this expert panel discussion what it takes to build programming for producers on entering new markets, what research + extension partnerships can look like and what resources are available to ag educators to develop and deliver new market programming, through examples like hops for craft beverage, trending value-added products, and other specialty crop markets. 1. Analyzing market capacity 2. Building value-chain relationships 3. Skill-building producers for new markets 4. Connecting producers to customers

Moderators
avatar for Maria Graziani

Maria Graziani

Sr Extension Educator, Business Growth & Development, Penn State Extenson
Leading farmers to new markets with data-driven programs, research partnerships and industry data that can lead to their success.Craft Beverage Value-Chain DevelopmentPublic-Private Food Value Chain Development Projects

Thursday October 24, 2019 8:30am - 9:45am CDT
Mezzanine B/C

8:30am CDT

Tools You Can Use: A round table on land access and affordability
Every farmer hopes to own their own property. But high startup costs, and sky high land prices in certain parts of the country, often complicates the ability to purchase property before starting a farming business. Join us for a tool sharing round table exploring pathways to land ownership and creative land tenure, The National Young Farmer Coalition’s Land Affordability Calculator, and Conservation easements and how they work.

Moderators
LS

Liya Schwartzman

Central Valley Program Coordinator, California FarmLink
Liya Schwartzman has been working in partnership with farmers on behalf of California FarmLink since 2010. She has supported hundreds of farmers and ranchers in accessing land, securing strong tenure agreements, exploring financing, and facilitating farmland and business succession... Read More →

Speakers
JC

Jerry Cosgrove

Farm Legacy Director, American Farmland Trust
Jerry Cosgrove is Farm Legacy Director and a Senior Advisor for American Farmland Trust and is Of Counsel at the law firm of Scolaro, Fetter, Grizanti and McGough, P.C. He grew up on his family’s dairy farm in Clinton in central New York. He is part of a fourth generation farm family... Read More →
avatar for Cara Cargill

Cara Cargill

NH Field Agent, Land for Good
Cara spent 16 years managing large horse farms and teaching lessons to both recreational and competitive riders. With a graduate degree in Mediation and Conflict Studies (Woodbury Institute at Champlain College) and extensive training as a mediator, Cara has worked with the New Hampshire... Read More →
avatar for Catherine Van Dyke

Catherine Van Dyke

Loan Officer, California FarmLink
Catherine has been a part of California FarmLink’s loan team since 2016. In her current role she underwrites loans, assists in program development, and provides technical assistance for farmers related to business development, loan readiness, and financial literacy in both Spanish... Read More →
MP

Michael Parker

Land Access Program Associate, National Young Farmers Coalition
While managing the BFRDP-funded farmer training project, Laying the Groundwork: A Land Affordability Calculator & National Land Access Training Series to Help the Next Generation of Farmers Succeed, Michael Parker planned and delivered 23 land access training workshops, reaching 500... Read More →


Thursday October 24, 2019 8:30am - 9:45am CDT
Laurentine Room

8:30am CDT

Leadership for Successful Employee Management
Leadership is an essential part of being a manager, but they are different roles. Leaders rally and managers decide. Knowing the difference is important. Communication is an essential part of being either a manager or a leader. Understanding the different communication styles and how to properly communicate with employees is important. Personal and business culture are related but different. Leaders need to know how they interact with one another. Learn this and more at the Leadership for Successful Employee Management session.

Moderators
avatar for Nathan Hulinksy

Nathan Hulinksy

Extension Educator, University of Minnesota Extension

Thursday October 24, 2019 8:30am - 9:45am CDT
Oak Room

8:30am CDT

Tapping Into Federal Resources for Food System Development
This panel discussion will provide a deep dive into a number of Federally-sponsored grant programs and technical assistance services that are specifically designed to benefit small/mid-size agricultural producers, value-added manufacturers, food distributors and other community stakeholders involved in strengthening local/regional food supply chains and revitalizing neighborhoods through food and agriculture-related investments.

Learning objectives:
-Become familiar with relevant Federal grant programs and technical assistance services
-Understand eligibility requirements to apply for Federal grants and technical assistance services
-Learn how the most recent Farm Bill will affect the administration of Federal grants that support small/mid-size farms and local/regional food system development
-Know the availability of resources that specifically provide for direct community assistance by Federal subject matter specialists and/or subcontractors
-Understand community benefits from receiving Federal assistance

Moderators
DT

Debra Tropp

Principal, Debra Tropp Consulting
Debra Tropp spent more than 26 years at the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service’s Transportation and Marketing Program, retiring from Federal service at the end of January 2019. During her tenure at AMS, Ms. Tropp devoted much of her attention to identifying emerging marketing opportunities... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Christy Wipperfurth

Christy Wipperfurth

Grants Management Specialist, USDA-AMS Grants Division
Christy Wipperfurth is a Grants Management Specialist with the USDA-Agricultural Marketing Service’s Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program (FMLFPP). In this role, she helps organizations with all aspects of a federal grant (application, post-award, closeout), while also... Read More →
VC

Valentine Cadieux

Board Chair, Twin Cities Community Agricultural Land Trust
Board co-chair, Twin Cities Community Agricultural Land Trust; Director of Sustainability and Environmental Studies, Hamline UniversityValentine Cadieux is Co-Chair of the Twin Cities Community Agricultural Land Trust and Director of Environmental Studies and Sustainability at Hamline... Read More →
MK

Melissa Kramer

U.S. EPA
Melissa Kramer has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and a Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolution. She has worked in EPA’s Office of Community Revitalization since 2008 where she focuses on how smart growth approaches can improve the local economy while benefiting the environment and achieving... Read More →


Thursday October 24, 2019 8:30am - 9:45am CDT
Mainstreeter Room

8:30am CDT

Training the Next Generation of Business Advisors
Most communities have small business support networks, from small business development centers to community banks. They provide business support in general terms. Most want to support the farming industry but don’t understand the nuances of agriculture as it relates to business development. In this round table, we want to hear how you build financial literacy support for farmers through partnerships with partners in your community. How do you work with these partners to help them understand the differences in farm businesses and small businesses? This interactive round table will allow all participants to learn from each other’s success and not-so successes.



Moderators
avatar for Greg Padget

Greg Padget

Next Generation Director, Practical Farmers of Iowa
Greg joined Practical Farmers of Iowa in 2016. He oversees the Next Generations programming ensuring resources, events and learning opportunities are available for beginning farmers and farmers looking to transition their farm and land. He manages the Savings Incentive Program and... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Julia Shanks

Julia Shanks

Principal/Author, The Farmer's Office
Julia Shanks – business coach, entrepreneur and author – works with food and agricultural entrepreneurs to help them achieve and maintain financial sustainability. She gives her clients the tools they need to launch, stabilize and grow their ventures. She is a frequent lecturer... Read More →


Thursday October 24, 2019 8:30am - 9:45am CDT
Mezzanine A

8:30am CDT

The Evolution of Two Farm Incubators in a Changing Food System
This discussion-based session examines how two incubator farmer training programs, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project and Viva Farms, have evolved to meet the needs of new and beginning farmers in a changing food system. New Entry, based in Eastern Massachusetts, began in 1998 with a focus on supporting immigrant and refugee farmers, but has since expanded both geographically and demographically establishing national networks and land-based beginning farm training programs. Viva Farms incubator and training program is in its tenth year of operation leasing 88 certified organic acres to 24 distinct farm businesses in two counties in the Puget Sound. The organization works largely with immigrant farmers and offers bilingual (English-Spanish) and accredited land-based training and marketing programs. Both Viva Farms and New Entry have established partnerships with institutions of higher education related to on-farm training in sustainable agriculture, and both are focused on market channel development with attention to wholesale and institutional outlets. Key questions for this session include: what are the challenges and opportunities in partnering with institutions of higher education? How do such partnerships influence recruitment and outreach and instructional delivery and design? How can incubator farms create learning opportunities for farmers when developing new market channels?

Moderators
avatar for Kevin Cody

Kevin Cody

Farmer Training Program Manager, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project
Kevin Cody is the Farmer Training Program Manager at New Entry where he develops pathways to generate and sustain new and beginning farmers. Prior to working at New Entry, Kevin was a faculty member in Environmental and Sustainability Studies at the University of Northern Colorado... Read More →

Speakers
avatar for Rob Smith

Rob Smith

Director of Programs and Operations, Viva Farms
Rob has over 15 years working at the intersection of sustainable agriculture, farm business management and social advocacy. Prior to Viva Farms, he worked as a manager of Happy Boy Farms, a 400-acre, certified organic farm in California’s central coast. As Viva Farms’ Operations... Read More →


Thursday October 24, 2019 8:30am - 9:45am CDT
Summit Room

10:00am CDT

Sharing and Discussing Legal Resources for Farmers
Participants will learn about legal resources including: on-line courses, state specific fact sheets, templates, and general legal publications. The facilitator will share available legal resources and how these can be accessed. Participants are encouraged to share and discuss resources they’ve used. This session will be a discussion-centric. Agricultural lawyers from Farm Commons and Farmers Legal Action Group may make guest appearances - no promises, but cross your fingers! After sharing collated resources, discussions will include the following questions: 1) What do you currently use for legal resource tools to help educate or support farmers? 2) What tools or informational resources do you need that do not exist now? 3) What is your preferred format for these resources? Videos, fact sheets, etc.?

Learning Objectives:
-Increase awareness of resources to help farmers understand legal topics impacting their operations
-Identify gaps in legal resources and develop strategies to fill these
-Discuss preferred formats for legal resources for both farmers and agricultural service providers
-Increase understanding of major legal risks facing farms

Moderators
SW

Seth Wilner

Farm Management Regional Field Specialist, UNH Cooperative Extension
I have been working with farmers across the northeastern United States for close to 20 years as a regional field specialist with UNH Cooperative Extension. My top focus areas have been: holistic whole farm planning, farm financial health, labor management and legal education. My topical... Read More →

Thursday October 24, 2019 10:00am - 11:15am CDT
Mezzanine A

10:00am CDT

Troubleshooting QuickBooks
“Garbage In, Garbage Out.” This is a concept that farmers appreciate – the quality of their soil directly impacts the quality of their crops. The quality of their feed directly affects the quality of the meat. Low quality inputs almost guarantee low quality outputs. The same is true with bookkeeping. If farmers don’t take care with their inputs (the data entry), then the outputs (your financial reports) won’t give them the information they need about their business – how to improve profitably, manage cash flow, and make informed decisions about growth . Many farmers struggle with QuickBooks and as a result, they make decisions based on inaccurate reports. The goal of this workshop is to help consultants improve the accuracy of their clients QuickBooks (and reports) so that they can improve decision-making and the coaching they provide. We will talk about how to identify and rectify problems within QuickBooks.

Learning Objectives:
-Understand the common challenges farmers have with QuickBooks data entry
-Know how to spot problems by reviewing reports
-Learn ways to clean-up QuickBooks so that the reports provide useful business insights to your farmer/clients.

Moderators
avatar for Julia Shanks

Julia Shanks

Principal/Author, The Farmer's Office
Julia Shanks – business coach, entrepreneur and author – works with food and agricultural entrepreneurs to help them achieve and maintain financial sustainability. She gives her clients the tools they need to launch, stabilize and grow their ventures. She is a frequent lecturer... Read More →

Thursday October 24, 2019 10:00am - 11:15am CDT
Portside Room

10:00am CDT

Helping Farmers Align Marketing Tactics to Their Business Goals
Which is more effective, Instagram or holding an event? It depends on your goals. Farmers often have difficulty focusing on the most effective marketing tactics for achieving their business goals. This interactive workshop session will provide a framework to help farmers make the best use of their marketing time and money. The framework includes three steps: 1) Specifying business goals (that can be addressed through sales and marketing); 2) Describing the target customers for each goal; and 3) Identifying the top 1-3 most feasible marketing tactics to achieve each goal. We’ll begin the workshop by asking participants to share our biggest challenges and successes in helping farmers with marketing. The facilitator will provide a brief presentation of the framework, using case studies and examples to demonstrate how focusing on the right tactics helps achieve results. Participants will receive a worksheet to use during the session and with clients. The worksheet will help us work our way through each step of the framework, using examples of specific business goals, target customers, and tactics from the farmers that participants have worked with. We’ll conclude with general discussion of how to put this into practice.

Learning objectives:
-Specify measurable marketing goals
-Describe target customers based on interests, needs, and behavior, as well as demographics
-Identify which types of marketing tactics are best suited for specific goals
-Help farmers to focus on the most likely and feasible tactics

Moderators
avatar for Myrna Greenfield

Myrna Greenfield

Top Egg, Good Egg Marketing
Myrna Greenfield is the Top Egg at Good Egg Marketing, a Boston-based consulting practice that specializes in marketing for farm and food-related businesses and non-profits. Good Egg services include branding, market research, sales & marketing strategies, websites, and social media... Read More →

Thursday October 24, 2019 10:00am - 11:15am CDT
Laurentine Room

10:00am CDT

Down on the Farm
Stress factors in farming are clearly on the rise. Down on the Farm is a professional development workshop designed for those working with farmers during tough times. It explores the financial and other factors that contribute to farmer stress, describes the warning signs and symptoms of people in crisis, and explores how strategies like active listening can de-escalate stressful situations and help people in stress move forward. Workshop participants also map key financial, legal, mental health, social service, and other sources of support available in their community or region. This training was created by a psychologist who works with Minnesota farmers, the Minnesota Farm Service Agency, and the Minnesota Sheriff’s Association, led by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. Today’s presentation introduces a Down on the Farm curriculum that the AgCentric, Northern Center of Agriculture Excellence at Central Lakes College is developing -- which participants can adapt and use in their own communities. The curriculum project is funded by a grant from North Central Region SARE.

Learning objectives:
-Recognize the basic caused of farmer stress
-Describe the warning signs and symptoms of people in crisis
-Explore strategies for de-escalation
-Map support services available.

Moderators
avatar for judy.barka@CLCMN.EDU

judy.barka@CLCMN.EDU

Assistant Director, AgCentric - Center of Agricultural Excellence
Judy Barka, AgCentric Assistant Director. Barka has worked extensively with the MN Farm Business Management Program and serves as the FBM liaison to various groups working in Rural Mental Health. She has been actively involved in address Rural Mental Health issues to a wide variety... Read More →

Thursday October 24, 2019 10:00am - 11:15am CDT
Mezzanine B/C

10:00am CDT

Apprenticeships
If you haven't grown up on a farm or ranch, how do you learn the skills it takes to enter into a career in farming or ranching or learn the skills of regenerative agriculture? Join Alexis Bonogofsky from the Quivira Coalition and Matthew Keesling from the Dairy Grazing Association to learn about two innovative apprenticeship programs that allow new agrarians to learn from skilled mentors in regenerative ranching and farming and dairy operations. An apprenticeship is a structured system of training that is designed to prepare individuals for skilled occupations by combining on the job training with related education and instruction.

Moderators
AB

Alexis Bonogofsky

New Agrarian Program Northern Coordinator, Quivira Coalition
Alexis is a fourth-generation Montanan, sheep rancher, and New Agrarian Program Coordinator for the Quivira Coalition in the northern plains. She is also a freelance writer and photographer and lives and works along the Yellowstone River in southeastern Montana on her family’s ranch... Read More →

Speakers
MK

Matthew Keesling

Veterans' Liaison, Dairy Grazing Apprenticeship


Thursday October 24, 2019 10:00am - 11:15am CDT
Oak Room

10:00am CDT

Increasing Success in New Farmer Training
Are you interested in helping new farmers build strong businesses? Do you have a farmer-training program you want to take to the next level? Learn the keys to success in helping farmers launch new businesses from two members of an established farmer-training network – Farm Beginnings®. They will share the stages of development for beginning farmers, how to lay the groundwork for a successful beginning farmer-training program, how to further develop a program that has already seen success. They will also touch on some of the challenges and opportunities they are experiencing as they work to build social and racial justice into their farmer training programs, and creating the capacity to serve more diverse audiences.

Moderators
avatar for Cameron Farlow

Cameron Farlow

Farmer Programs Director, Organic Growers School
Cameron Farlow is the Farmer Programs Director with Organic Growers School. Hailing from Greensboro, NC with dairy farming in her blood, she has now made her home in Western NC. After earning her undergraduate degrees from UNC-Chapel Hill, Cameron dove headfirst into the realm of... Read More →

Speakers
CW

Chris Wayne

FARMroots Director, FARMroots, Greenmarket I GrowNYC
Chris came to GrowNYC in 2009 after 2 years of small scale fruit and vegetable farming in Costa Rica and a childhood on his dad's farm in Danbury, CT. After a season as a Greenmarket manager, Chris joined the team of the New Farmer Development Project, where he helped to identify... Read More →


Thursday October 24, 2019 10:00am - 11:15am CDT
Mainstreeter Room

11:30am CDT

Lunch & Reflections Plenary: Conference Themes and Insights for the Future
With a range of topics and trainings addressed at the conference, our closing panel will reflect on the themes and ideas that emerged during the time together, and share key insights into what the future of agriculture may bring. How can our organizations and networks best support agricultural businesses as they adapt, grow and change?
Panel:

     Ela Chapin, Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program (Facilitator)
    Julia Freedgood, American Farmland Trust
    Tanya Murray, Oregon Tilth
    Greg Padget, Practical Farmers of Iowa
    Monica Rainge, Federation of Southern Cooperatives, Georgia 
    Paul Dietmann, Compeer Financial, Minnesota

Speakers
PD

Paul Dietmann

Senior Lending Officer, Compeer Financial
Paul Dietmann is a Senior Lending Officer in the Mission Financing group at Compeer Financial, a member-owned rural lending cooperative and Farm Credit System institution serving Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. Paul and his colleague, Sai Thao, are responsible for Compeer’s... Read More →
avatar for Ela Chapin

Ela Chapin

Program Director, VT Farm & Forest Viability Program
Ela Chapin has been the Program Director for the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board's Farm & Forest Viability Program since 2006. She has been instrumental in facilitating expansion of the program, improving and creating new partnerships and driving significant quality improvement... Read More →
avatar for Tanya Murray

Tanya Murray

Organic Education Specialist, Oregon Tilth
Tanya Murray is an Organic Education Specialist at Oregon Tilth. She works through a partnership with Oregon State University’s Center for Small Farms and Community Food Systems to develop and deliver educational programming aimed at supporting farmers to run more viable businesses... Read More →
JF

Julia Freedgood

Assistant Vice President of Programs, American Farmland Trust
Julia Freedgood is a senior advisor and director of Farms for the Next Generation at American Farmland Trust (AFT). She is a national expert in farmland protection, agricultural viability, and food systems who heads AFT's efforts to support the future of farming. She leads AFT's efforts... Read More →
avatar for Greg Padget

Greg Padget

Next Generation Director, Practical Farmers of Iowa
Greg joined Practical Farmers of Iowa in 2016. He oversees the Next Generations programming ensuring resources, events and learning opportunities are available for beginning farmers and farmers looking to transition their farm and land. He manages the Savings Incentive Program and... Read More →
avatar for Monica Rainge

Monica Rainge

Director of Land Retention & Advocacy, FEDERATION OF SOUTHERN COOPERATIVES/LAND ASSISTANCE FUND
Monica A. Rainge, an agricultural lawyer, serves as the Director of Land Retention and Advocacy for The Federation of Southern Cooperatives/ Land Assistance Fund. Attorney Rainge leads the development and implementation of regional land retention and advocacy initiatives which support... Read More →


Thursday October 24, 2019 11:30am - 12:15pm CDT
Summit Room

12:15pm CDT

Closing Remarks
Closing remarks by Chuck Ackman from Senator Klobuchar's office

Thursday October 24, 2019 12:15pm - 12:30pm CDT
Summit Room
 


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  • Accessing Capital for Growth
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  • Plenary Panel
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  • Working with New & Beginning Farmers