FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CALIFORNIA SMALL FARM CONFERENCE COMES TO SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY
For its thirty-second year, the annual California Small Farm Conference is heading to San Luis Obispo County from February 27th through the 29th. Attracting family farmers, ranchers, farmers market managers and advocates for local food from across the state, this educational event explores sustainable agriculture, on-farm practices, business skills and advocacy to support the future of agriculture.
This year’s event features over fifty workshops, panel discussions and interactive forums at Cuesta College’s north county campus in Paso Robles, as well as several on-site field days at farms throughout the county. With opportunities for every experience level, program topics range from building soil health to agricultural policy, from growing farm-to-school programs to encouraging beneficial birds and insects.
This year’s conference theme is “Strength Through Diversity”, honoring the resilience of diversity in our agricultural systems. From diverse polycultures, to the many varied shapes our farms can take, to the rich tapestry of cultures that make up California, diversity on the farm better prepares us for risk, sustains the ecosystems on which we depend and provides us a wealth of ideas, techniques and ways to view the world. The keynote presentation will feature several diverse groups working out of Ventura-based McGrath Family Farm, where not only are the crops diverse, but so too are the farming practices, the people and the dynamic partnerships that have made the farm a resilient food business, hub for innovation and a multi-faceted hotbed for the social justice movement.
This year’s venue, Cuesta’s North County Campus, boasts agricultural programs and facilities that have blossomed in just the past few years, with the addition of greenhouses, orchards, vineyards and row crops, as well as big increases in the number of students declaring agricultural majors.
In addition to educational programing, the conference also includes several social and networking events, such as the main reception, known as the Agrarian Lovers Ball, which takes place on the evening of February 29th. Along with locally-sourced food, drinks and live music, the ball hosts the ceremony for the 2020 California Farm Champion Awards, recognizing farmers and food system advocates who are contributing to a stronger local food economy, promoting food justice and empowering a new generation of agrarians. This year’s recipients include a local Paso Robles favorite, Windrose Rose Farm, which will be honored with the Legacy Farm award for decades of trailblazing and working to pass down their wisdom to the next generation.
More info and tickets can be found at www.casmallfarmconference.org
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/446287592760865/
2020 CALIFORNIA FOOD & FARM CHAMPIONS:
NEW FARMER OF THE YEAR
Shayne Zurligen & Hope Sippola, Fiery Ginger Farm
LEGACY FARMER OF THE YEAR
Bill & Barbara Spencer, Windrose Farm
CLIMATE SMART FARM OF THE YEAR
Solidarity Farm SD & the Pauma Band of Luiseno Indians
FARM ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR
Erin Primer, San Luis Coastal Unified School District
FOOD BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
The Briarpatch Food Coop, Grass Valley
FARMERS MARKET CHAMPION OF THE YEAR
Laura Avery, Santa Monica Farmers Markets
For more info, contact:
Community Alliance with Family Farmers
Founded in 1978, Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) is a California-based nonprofit that builds sustainable food and farming systems through policy advocacy and on-the-ground programs that create more resilient family farms, communities and ecosystems.