2016 SFA Conference Dates Announced; AC Voting Site Live

SFA_AC_It’s never too early to mark your calendars, so get ready.

The 2016 SFA Annual Conference will be Feb. 13, 2016. We are already compiling session topic ideas and need your help – please vote in the widget on the AC homepage. Was there a session you missed this year and want to see in 2016? Have a unique idea for a topic that has been on your mind? Enter it here! Then vote often so we can create a conference schedule around the needs of our network.

Also, we are happy to announce the third annual Midwest Soil Health Summit will return Feb. 1718, 2016, to Arrowwood Resort in Alexandria, Minn.

MSHS_2colorWe are looking forward to compiling a slate of leaders and expert farmers who are dedicated to improving the health of the soil on your farm.

This year’s MSHS included expanded programming like Soil Health Basics I and II, an International Roundtable, and more, and we expect the expanded programming schedule to return in 2016. Keep watching SFA Connect and our SFA News blog for announcements.

Also, check out photos from both 2015 conferences on our Facebook page. 

On Display at 2015 Annual Conference: 25 Years of SFA’s Vibrancy

SFA AC 2015 Kent teaches

SFA Livestock & Grazing Specialist Kent Solberg leads the Fencing session at the 2015 SFA Annual Conference on Feb. 14 at the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn.

It was a cold Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14, 2015, but the energy inside the College of Saint Benedict easily lifted the spirits of the over 250 attendees at the vibrant SFA Annual Conference.

Snapshots from the day illustrate just how diverse an organization SFA has become:

  • Josh Reinitz and Daniel Zetah’s idea-packed session on salvaging and repurposing farm equipment and buildings was innovative, pointed and, at times, hilarious.
  • John Mesko’s opening remarks about SFA’s 25-year anniversary prove not just how much SFA and its members have accomplished, but how optimistic we are for our future and our role in regenerating the land in the Upper Midwest and beyond. Click here to download John’s opening presentation slides.
  • Budding-FarmersLed by Monica Irwin, the Budding Farmers program, which drew nearly 20 children to the conference, went home with abundant art they had created as well as seeds from their visit to the seed swap.
  • Mary Jane Miller’s braised beef was, in the words of Kelsey Wulf, “out-of-this-world.”
  • Deep Winter Greenhouses drew a crowd to Paradox Farm on Feb. 13 for our sold-out “combo pack” session, which was followed by two DWG-related sessions on Feb. 14 at St. Ben’s that combined Minnesota Deep Winter experts like Carol Ford, Sue Wika and Ryan Pesch.

And, of course, we debuted our popular “Back End of a Cow” t-shirts, only a handful of which remain. That’s what makes SFA great – we combine the most innovative thinkers and sustainable ag experts, but we’re not above making a good manure reference on a t-shirt.

Photos from the Conference coming soon here and on our Facebook page.

Look for an announcement regarding the 2016 SFA Annual Conference soon.

SFA Annual Conference: Last-Minute Details and Updates

SFA_AC_The 2015 SFA Annual Conference will be this Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015, in the Gorecki Center at the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph, Minn. Some last-minute details:

  • Pre-Registration has closed but you may still register at the door – all walkup registrations are $65. Registration begins at 7:15 a.m.
  • Children 3-12 who wish to attend the Budding Farmers programming may also register at the door for $10 each. Budding Farmers children must be potty-trained.
  • The Conference program and full schedule is now available for download at our Annual Conference homepage.
  • Mary Jane Miller’s Culinary Sessions include “Cooking for Kids,” “Start With a Rotisserie Chicken,” “Grassfed Beef 2: The Art of Braising,” and “Stump the Sommelier.” Then our popular after-conference reception will include beer from 612 Brewery and Mankato Brewery as well as cheese from Caves of Faribault.
  • There may be a limited amount of Leaders Breakfast spots available at the door for $12.50. If you wish to purchase a Leaders Breakfast ticket, make sure you arrive before the breakfast begins at 7:30.
  • Lunch is not included in conference registration. The bountiful and delicious St. Ben’s Cafeteria is in this building; there are restaurants across Minnesota St (which are listed in the conference program); and if you brought your lunch there are plenty of spots to enjoy that, including the Lunch Hour Sessions. Lunch is also a great time to visit our fabulous exhibitors and the ever-popular Seed Swap.
  • Want to set up a carpool? The SFA Annual Conference has a Facebook page.
  • Parking is available in Lot 5 across from the Gorecki Center at St. Ben’s. Enter the campus at the North Entrance on NW 3rd Ave off Minnesota St (be careful, blink and you can miss it). Just look for the SFA signs.

NEARLY 200 PEOPLE have already registered for the SFA Annual Conference. If you haven’t yet, make plans to attend!