Conference Updates: Roundtables at Soil Health Summit, Friday Night Social Before Annual Conference, and More

Jason Walker

Jason Walker

By Jason Walker • SFA Communications & Membership Coordinator

SFA’s two conferences, the Annual Conference and the Midwest Soil Health Summit, are rapidly approaching. If you haven’t registered, though, don’t worry – registration for both is still available. Click here to register for the Annual Conference, set for Feb. 8 in St. Joseph; and click here to register for the Midwest Soil Health Summit, set for Feb. 19-20 in Alexandria.

As the schedules for both are currently being finalized, we do have some fun and interesting updates for you. Here are a few:

  • The Midwest Soil Health Summit will feature Roundtable Discussions with speakers Gabe Brown, Richard Bieber, Wendy Taheri, Jay Fuhrer and Ryan Stockwell, as well as with the farmers from our Producer Panel. These informal sessions are just what they sound like – a way for attendees to interact one-on-one with the expert farmers and researchers leading the Summit. This is also in addition to the Friday night social time, which will focus on farmer-to-farmer networking.
  • For those attending the Midwest Soil Health Summit, please be aware that Arrowwood Resort is holding a block of rooms until Jan. 19 for MSHS attendees. After Jan. 19, they will release the rooms to the general public – rooms will still be priced at the special MSHS rate but there’s no guarantee of room availability. For questions or to reserve a room, call Arrowwood at 320.762.1124.
  • Remember the Friday night social from past SFA Annual Conferences? It’s coming back in 2014! This year, all conference attendees and their families are invited to our free Friday Evening Social & Musical Jam, “How Farmers Do Minnesota Winters,” set for 7-10 p.m. Feb. 7 at Minnesota Street Market, 27 W Minnesota St, St. Joseph. Let’s have some fun getting to know one another with music and conversation. Bring your instrument and voice – food will be available for purchase from the market. Then, feel free to continue the dialogue and explore downtown St. Joe after 10 p.m.
  • The SFA Leaders Breakfast, where we present our yearly awards and hear a special “State of SFA” address from Executive Director John Mesko, is returning the morning of the SFA Annual Conference. The breakfast, set for 7:30 a.m. Feb. 8 in the Gorecki Center at the College of Saint Benedict, costs just $12.50 for conference-goers to attend. To register or learn more, click here.
  • Speaking of SFA Awards, the deadline for nominations is quickly approaching. Get your nominations for SFA Farmer Emeritus and Distinguished Service Awards to Mary Hanks by Jan. 17. More information and a downloadable nomination form are available here.
  • There are a few Annual Conference volunteer spots still left. All volunteers get a free SFA T-shirt. Register here or contact Volunteer Coordinator Gretchen Boyum at boyumfarms@gmail.com or 218-535-1567.

Also, it was great to see many of you at the Minnesota Organic Conference this weekend in St. Cloud. Mary Hanks, Meg Moynihan and crew put on another stellar event. Thanks to all who stopped by the SFA booth and said hello, like SFA members Doreen Devoy-Hulgan, Steve Niedzwiecki, Jim Chamberlin, Lisa Baker, Chris Kudrna, Elizabeth Millard, Karla Pankow, Mathew Nix, and Dave and Karen Baker. We’ll see you soon at the Annual Conference and Midwest Soil Health Summit!