SEATTLE — Registration is open for Tilth Producers of Washington’s annual conference at the Yakima Convention Center Nov. 8-10.
The conference is typically attended by 400 organic and sustainable farmers, orchardists, ranchers and industry representatives.
The three-day conference will feature 30 workshops, Spanish-language sessions, farm tours and an organic apple tasting. Bringing the keynote address are fourth-generation farmer David Mas Masumoto and his daughter, Nikiko Masumoto, from California’s Central Valley.
Following the conference theme of “Nourishing the Future: Cultivating Our Farming Legacy,” workshop presenters from the state’s organic and sustainable farming sector will address topics such as ecological weed management, fire blight, seed growing, leasing land, renewable energy, farm financing, quinoa production, draft horses and food safety.
A Friday symposium on “Small Scale Livestock and Poultry Production,” hosted by Washington State University, will precede the conference, as will a tour of Yakima Valley farms using high tunnels to extend the growing season and increase productivity.
Conference social events include a Friday session dedicated to the intergenerational transfer of farming knowledge, an annual organic wine tasting and auction, a dance and an awards banquet where Tilth Producers honors a Farmer and Advocate of the year.
The weekend will conclude with the Tilth Producers’ annual meeting and board elections.
Attendance is $170 for members and $220 for non-members. Scholarships applications will be accepted until Oct. 11.
The conference is funded in part by USDA’s Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program and USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant.
— Steve Brown