Upcoming Conferences

1. Restoration of Native Seed , Stillwater, OK – October 29-30
2. Animals in the Food System, Michigan State University, Lansing, MI –
November 3-4
3. Soul of Agriculture, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH –
November 7-9
4. Urban-Rural Food System Conference, November 12-14, East Troy, WI

1. 2004 Conservation Organization for the Restoration of Native Seed (CORNS) Conference in Stillwater, Oklahoma

Here’s some information about the 2004 Conservation Organization for the Restoration of Native Seed (CORNS) Conference in Stillwater, Oklahoma at the Countryside Gardener, October 29 and 30. The event is free, and anyone committed to buying direct from local producers, supporting local economies and small businesses which protect the land, livestock, plant and wildlife, and work towards sustainability will find the program interesting and informative.

Producers will also find it interesting, because the CORNS organization will begin taking applications at the conference for participation in its BELIEF program, a 2 year support program for producers with less than 180 acres and who earn less than $50,000/year.. I clipped some paragraphs about the program from the groups website and they are below, also the list of speakers.


“B.E.L.I.E.F. can be the bridge for these farmers to becoming profitable enterprises.” The 2004 CORNS, Inc Conference will announce and begin taking application for its new program B.E.L.I.E.F. – Benefits for Earth’s Low Income Emerging Farmers. B.E.L.I.E.F. offers a two year business support and training program free for qualifying small farms under 180 acres and currently grossing under $50,000 a year. Toops said, ” We all know that the small farmer is an endangered species with the growing strength of corporate farming operations. CORNS, Inc sees that there are strong and growing niche markets which are creating new and rich opportunities for “sundowner” or “weekender” farmers. This program is designed to help small farmers identify a niche, create a business plan, find funding, and develop marketing and distribution networks.

Toops emphasized, “We organized this year’s conference with the intention of giving information, contacts, and resources that small farmers and gardeners can walk away with to make their operation more viable. Our speakers offer a rich and diverse range of success stories, along with information on niche markets, funding, services and distribution opportunities. We envision spirited breakout sessions between attendees and speakers alike.”



Speakers include Jim Horn, Director, Kerr Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Clayton Broscopie, Executive Director, Traditional Native American Farmers Association, Earl Hatley, President, LEAD Agency – Tar Creek, Cissy Bowman, President of the Organic Farmers Market Association and owner of Center Valley Organic Farms, Malcom Beck, organic farming pioneer and author of “The Bug Book”, Susan Campbell, Consultant with the organic food industry and author of the “Healthy School Lunch Program” and “Generation RX”, Dr. Beth Caniglia, member of the Environmental Institute and the School of International Studies, Steve Swogger, Agricultural Liaison, Natural Resources Department, Cherokee Nation, Kathy Carter-White, Solutions Group Researcher and Writer for the Cherokee Nation, Kamala Gamble, CSA entrepreneur, chef and owner of Kamala’s Kitchen, Richard Ortez, owner The Boarding House, El Sueno Gardens and El Sueno Enterprises, and Kurt Fleischfresser, head chef for the Coach House Restaurant in Oklahoma City

2. Animals in the Food System

— a conference to consider pasture-based alternatives and challenges for research, outreach and development

November 3-4, 2004 (plus tour on November 5) Kellogg Biological Station Hickory Corners, Michigan State University

Come hear superb speakers and help develop a framework to reintroduce animals into farming systems, disperse animals across the countryside, revitalize local and regional livestock processing and marketing, and satisfy growing consumer demands for pasture-based animal products.
Conference participants will generate a white paper, to be distributed to Land Grant University Deans and Directors, focused on research, teaching and outreach potential with pasture-based systems. Although the conference will focus on the Midwestern United States, it draws expertise from across the country and beyond.

Chuck Hassebrook, Executive Director of the Center for Rural Affairs, will set the stage for conference deliberations with his keynote address that poses (and answers) the question, Why reintegrate animals into crop farming? A panel on consumer issues will include Colorado State University nutrition professor Garry Auld reviewing the nutritional issues of pasture-based animal foods and Cornells Jennifer Wilkins discussing consumer perceptions. Bill Knudson, from Michigan State Universitys Product Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources will review the market for grass-based products.

When the conference turns to distribution and marketing, participants will hear about successful pasture-based alternatives from Francis Thicke (Radiance Dairy) and Eric Meili (Switzerlands Bio Weide-Beef). Rich Pirog from Iowa State Universitys Leopold Center will discuss the importance of value chains for distribution and marketing.

Processing is often a barrier for farmers raising livestock. In a session with that topic, Louise Hemstead, Organic Valley, will discuss how that cooperative identifies and develops appropriate processing locations. Kate Clancy will review current laws and their fit (or lack of fit) with regional processing needs. And Temple Grandin, Colorado State University, and author of Thinking in Pictures, Livestock Handling and Transport, and Genetics and the Behavior of Domestic Animals will focus on humane treatment and ethics in animal processing.

Production issues still offer some challenges. Margarethe Rudstrom, University of Minnesota, will focus on the bottom line as she discusses the economics of grazing. Ben Bartlett, Michigan State University, will deal with grazing and animal health, and Kansas State Universitys Janice Swanson will discuss humane animal husbandry. Laura Paine, University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension and Holistic Management practitioner, will wrap up this session sharing her perspectives on animals within agroecosystems.

A poster session will provide updates on recent research, outreach and educational efforts. An optional Friday farm tour will visit food and farm operations in southwest Michigan. Conference meals will feature Michigan foods. And right after dessert at the conference banquet, participants will enjoy a talk from Shannon Hayes, author of the soon-to-be-released The Grassfed Gourmet.

The conference is sponsored by Michigan State University with major support from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. The conference will be of particular interest to:
• research and extension professionals
• land grant administrators
• nutrition and health professionals
• organic and sustainable dairy and livestock farmers
• graziers
• food marketers and processors
• ethicists
• nonprofit and cooperative leaders
• USDA staffers (NRCS, CSREES, ARS, AMS, RM, RD, etc.)
• Community-based food activists
• Members of NC-1001 and NE-1012 regional research committees.


3. NOVEMBER 7-9, 2004



How does sustainable agriculture support nutrition and public health goals? How does healthy eating support healthy agriculture? Exploring the connections between nutrition and sustainable agriculture will be the focus of the fourth annual Soul of Agriculture conference, to be held November 7-9th at the University of New Hampshire. The conference will convene representatives from nutrition including physicians, dietitians, health educators, food service professionals, chefs, and teachers, and agriculture and food representatives including farmers, distributors, Cooperative Extension professionals and others to explore how concerns for healthy nutrition and healthy agriculture can be integrated to establish common goals across farm, food and health communities.

Speakers include: Helen Brody, author of the recently published book, New Hampshire: From Farm to Kitchen (Hippocrene Books, New York: 2004) Anne Carter, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Plant, Soil, and Insect Sciences Department and Cooperative Extension, University of Massachusetts-Amherst James Haller, author and executive chef Ronald Jager, Ph.D., author of the recently published book, The Fate of Family Farming: Variations on an American Ideal (University Press of New England: 2004) Eero Ruuttila, Director, Nesenkeag Farm Amy Trubek, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Vermont Fresh Network John D. Turenne, Director/Forager, Sustainable Dining, Yale University Jennifer Wilkins, Ph.D., R.D., Kellogg Food and Society Fellow; Division of Nutritional Sciences, Cornell University Many more!

CEU credit availability anticipated!

Registration Fees:

Register for the entire conference and save $25! Fee: $95, including some meals! Individual day rates as follows:
Sunday, November 7th: $30
Monday, November 8th: $50
Tuesday, November 9th: $40

For registration, agenda, accommodation, travel and parking information, visit http://www.sustainableunh.unh.edu/ .
For more information, call 603-862-5040.

Sponsored by the University of New Hampshire Office of Sustainability Programs’ Food and Society Initiative.

Elisabeth Williamson Farrell
Program Coordinator
Food & Society, Culture & Sustainability Initiatives
Office of Sustainability Programs
University of New Hampshire
107 Nesmith Hall
131 Main Street
Durham, NH 03824

603/862-5040 voice
603/862-0785 fax

4. 12th Annual Urban-Rural Food System Conference

November 12-14
East Troy WI
Celebrating Diversity: The Key to Healthy farms, Food and Families
Keynote Speaker: Patrick Martins, Co-founder of Slow Foods USA

To receive a brochure call
Michael Fields Agricultural Institute
262-642-3303 ext 4
Or go to


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