Farmers from around the state plan to gather Saturday through Monday, Nov. 5-7, at the Hutchinson Center at 80 Belmont Ave. in Belfast to learn from their peers and agricultural experts from around the Northeast.

Participants can join with their fellow farmers at this year’s conference for offerings that include 30 educational sessions, farm tours and local food, according to a news release from Anna Mueller, farmer professional development specialist with the Unity-based Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association.

The conference begins Saturday with farm tours. Located at 914 Bennoch Road in Old Town, Rogers Farm Forage and Crop Research Facility is one of the University of Maine’s sustainable agriculture research facilities. Tour participants can learn about a project investigating planting cover crops over late season cabbage and sweet corn crops.

Nettie Fox Farm, at 2348 Kennebec Road in Newburgh, is a small diversified vegetable farm that markets close to home through the Bangor Farmers’ Market and summer and fall Community Supported Agriculture shares. At Nettie Fox, participants can tour the 33-acre family farm and hear from farmers Molly Crouse and Everett Ottinger.

Farm tours are followed up on Sunday and Monday with a choice of educational sessions. Participants can learn from and engage with more than 50 speakers on topics including cultivating market opportunities, crop management techniques, stress reduction practices, slaughterhouse capacity in Maine, and mushroom cultivation. Keynote speaker Maggie Cheney will share lessons learned at Rock Steady Farm in Millerton, New York. There will be discussions about living wages, workplace culture and creative solutions for farmers navigating today’s endless economic challenges, while speaking to cooperative ethos, anti-racism and a queer lens to which some of these solutions stem from.

“I am really looking forward to talking with farmers about tough topics — the real challenges that make this line of work feel impossible at times. About the many creative ways to make farming a viable life choice, as well as how to center farmworker’s rights and workplace culture,” said Cheney.

New this year, the conference will feature its first ever Dairy Day on Nov. 7, offering specialized sessions for dairy farmers on animal care standards and production quality.

To register, and for more details — including the complete schedule, session descriptions and information about accommodations — visit mofga.org.

 

Check out other upcoming area events!