Get Registered ASAP for the Upcoming Western CO Food & Farm Forum, Celebrating its 9th Year
Ag Conference Goes Virtual
Montrose, CO – December 28, 2020 – The Western Colorado Food and Farm Forum is going virtual January 22-23, 2021. Held online for the first time in its 9 year history, the forum will bring together farmers, ranchers, and agricultural advocates to benefit from networking and agri-business workshops focused on innovative soil, crop, livestock, and financial management practices.
Live Q&A sessions, a film screening and virtual happy hour continue the conference tradition of providing informal networking and dialogue opportunities. Sponsors and vendors will be showcased in virtual rooms. Registration enables flexible and long-term access to all workshops recorded via the online platform.
Facing stress from ongoing drought conditions, challenging labor issues, and the need to adapt to the COVID crisis, the theme of the 2021 Western Colorado Food and Farm Forum is, “Ag Management that Works: People, Place, Planet.” The sessions highlight successful production practices that focus on how agriculture can be profitable and continue to feed the world, while stewarding the planet’s ecosystems. Farmers, ranchers, ag-students, gardeners, and those interested in food issues will find sessions of interest.
“We are using this year’s need to go virtual as an opportunity to not only learn from local and state experts but to also tap into a couple of international speakers we could not bring otherwise,” says conference chair Harrison Topp
Based in Africa and New Mexico, keynote speaker Allan Savory is an internationally recognized farmer and change agent whose paradigm shifting ideas on holistic management have been implemented worldwide on 32 million acres. He offers hope for humanity by outlining how agriculture can shift from being a contributor to climate change to playing a significant role in combating it through food security while regenerating communities, the environment and economies. Savory received the Buckminster Fuller Institute’s award for work that has, “significant potential to solve humanity’s most pressing problems,” and Australia’s International Banksia award, “for the person doing the most for the environment on a global scale.” His keynote will address the crucial role holistic decision-making plays in the production of food through the complexity of institutions, nature and economies.
Livestock producers can explore how to increase stocking rates, profitability, soil health and biodiversity even in drought conditions, with Ian Mitchell-Innes of South Africa. He shares his years of experience in the session, “Utilizing Nature’s Energy to Achieve Animal Performance.” He describes how to efficiently use land and nature’s solar panel to create diversity and stability in an operation.
Richard Perkins joins the conference from 59° Sweden to share how key management and financial strategies can be profitable and debt free despite challenging economics, climate and regulations. His session, “Making Small Farms Work” details how sales, marketing, and a diversified set of enterprises can be integrated using key decision-making and financial planning tools.
Additional sessions focus on soil health, irrigation methods, dealing with climate change impacts, seed issues, and a workshop on pollinators related to creating regenerative food systems. ENGAGE and the Valley Food Partnership invite participants to weigh in on exciting regional food system developments. Then the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union hosts a panel discussion on the rise of heritage grains and the cooperative grain supply chain with special guest Liz Carlisle, author of the Lentil Underground.
For a complete list of topics visit: foodfarmforum.org.
The Valley Food Partnership, CSU Extension, Rocky Mountain Farmers Union, ENGAGE, the Valley Organic Growers Association, Coldharbour Institute, and Shavano Conservation District organize the conference collaboratively. Scholarships are available by application to FFA, 4H, enrolled students, and beginning farmers and ranchers through an application process.
To register please visit: foodfarmforum.org or call Amanda Laban, Event Coordinator at (781) 264-1882.