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Grower's Own 2013 Recap

by Josh Vincent — last modified Feb 25, 2013 02:42 PM

Earlier this month, NCAP held the fourth annual Grower’s Own Conference in Caldwell, Idaho. This year 90 farmers joined us, making it a sizeable gathering!

Grower's Own 2013

We prefaced the 2013 conference with a full day workshop on post-harvest handling and food safety. This was timely since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released new proposed food safety regulations. Atina Diffley, an organic farmer, and now a trainer with Organic Farming Works and FamilyFarmed.org, provided valuable hands on information based on her own farming experience and visits with numerous other produce farmers.

Then we kicked off the conference Friday evening with a banquet and the highly popular virtual farm tours. These tours featured two farms from Idaho, Wood River Organics in Bellevue and Mesquite Cattle Company in Middleton, and one farm from Oregon, 47th Avenue Farm in Portland.
 
On Saturday, farmers shared in discussions during the farmer-to-farmer exchange. Three concurrent sessions were held on a variety of topics, including winter production, livestock feed sourcing & growing, organic insect management, wash facilities & packing sheds, and much more. Guest farmer Laura Masterson of 47th Avenue Farm in Portland, OR shared her experience and led discussions in several of these sessions.

Also on Saturday, NCAP's Jennifer Miller was surprised with a Sustie Award. This was presented by conference co-organizer, Beth Rasgorshek of Canyon Bounty Farm, and farmers Janie Burns of Meadowlark Farm and Fred Brossy of Ernie’s Organics. The Steward of Sustainable Agriculture (Sustie) Award is modeled after the ones given at the EcoFarm Conference in California each year. Periodically over the past ten years, Idaho farmers have given this award to leaders in the Idaho sustainable agriculture movement. Congratulations Jen! NCAP is lucky to have you!

The Grower's Own Conference is a unique opportunity for Idaho’s organic and sustainable farming community to gather, share their experiences, and inspire one another. NCAP is pleased to provide this opportunity to further strengthen healthy farming practices in the Northwest.