Past Conferences - Diversified Agriculture Consortium

    Past Conferences

    • Tuesday, February 22nd

      Morning Session

      Microfarming: 

      Take this needs assessment for Microfarming- CLICK HERE

       

      Afternoon Session

      How to Make Decisions about Adopting New Production Systems: 

       

      Wednesday, February 23rd 

      Morning Session

      Vegetables: 

      Afternoon Session

      Cut Flowers:

       

      Thursday February 24th

      Morning Session

      Berries and Grapes: 

       

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      Afternoon Session

      Marketing/Management:

       

       

       

      Friday February 25th

      Morning Session

      Animal Science

       

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      Session Descriptions & Presenter Biographies:

      Session Descriptions

      Irrigation Solutions for Small Scale Growers

      Description: Water efficient irrigation practices, emphasis on drip irrigation.  Choosing the proper components for a functional, practical, and efficient drip irrigation system on a smaller scale.  Identify filter needs, pressure concerns, and correct emitter, drip line, etc...

      Presenter: Michael Kilcrease

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      H.B. 390 - Urban Farming Amendments

      Description: House Bill 390 established definitions for urban farming, making greenbelt benefits applicable to smaller acreage operations across Utah. Join in to learn from Representative Mike Kohler (Wasatch County) how this bill may apply to your operation and how to help this be put into action in your county.

      Presenter: Representative Mike Kohler

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      Using Social Media Marketing to Build Your Business

      Description: Laci will present on tips and tricks for successful social media marketing. Frustrated with Reels? What should I post? How do I get more sales? and much more. 

      Presenter: Laci Tagge

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      The Greatest Asset is You

      Description: Utah ranks dead last in the Nation for mental health resources. These lack of resources, coupled with staggering statistics of mental health illness and suicide in Utah’s agricultural producers, has cause for a charge of change. Join USU Extension’s Josh Dallin and Jake Hadfield as they share what is being done to tackle these very important issues. After all, in any agricultural endeavor… The Greatest Asset is You!

      Presenters: Josh Dallin and Jake Hadfield

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      Tips and Tricks for Farmers' Market Vendors (SNAP)

      Description: Benefits to an urban farmer selling at a farmers' market and how to be a successful vendor at a farmers' market.

      Presenters: Corinne Hoffmann and Sherlyn Hilton

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      Micro-Farms Needs Assessment

      Description: Share your education needs with USU Extension to help facilitate planning of the micro-farm track for the Urban and Small Farms Conference in 2023. We will briefly discuss how to share this information and give participants a link to a questionnaire. This is essential to making the conference successful in future years, so please share your needs and ideas.

      Presenter: Sheriden Hansen

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      Produce Safety Rule Updates: Proposed Changes for Agricultural Water Requirements

      Description: In Dec 2021, the FDA proposed changes to key requirements of the Agricultural Water Rule.  This session will provide a summary of the proposed changes, where to find resources to better understand the proposed rule, and instructions on how interested parties can provide comments to the FDA.

      Presenter: Karin Allen

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      Small Farm Neighbor Keeping Our Water Clean

      Description: Water is a limited resource in Utah, but we can all help protect our water quality. We offer best practices to help small farmers and neighborhood gardeners keep Utah’s waters healthy and clean. If you have a backyard garden, manage multiple acres, or own a variety of livestock, you can benefit your neighbors and Utah’s waters by following best practices to help prevent sharing pollutants, weeds, and disease. Grant opportunities are also available for projects that will improve the water quality on your property.

      PresenterHope Braithwaite

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      Local Food Microgrant Program

      Description:  The Local Food Microgrant Program offers awards of $500 - $5000 to produce growers in the state of Utah. The program is open to growers of all sizes, and is meant to help increase the availability of fruits and vegetables for SNAP customers. 

      Presenter: Carly Gillespie

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      How to Make Decisions About New Production Systems

      Description: The decision to adopt a new production system is not easy. In this session, Ryan will outline an economic framework to assist producers with making these decisions. Topics in the session will include what questions should be asked, what are the costs involved, and what are the potential benefits.

      Presenter: Ryan Larsen

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      NRCS Programs for Small Farmers

      Description: NRCS technical and financial assistance is available for farming operations of any size. In the last couple of years NRCS has improved technical and financial tools to better serve small and urban farming operations.

      Presenters: Travis Mote and Paula Salazar

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      Farm Loan Programs

      Description: This presentation will discuss what options FSA has to obtain a farm loan, such as Microloans, Operating Loans, and Farm Ownership loans.

      Presenter: Jamie Rex

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      Brussels Sprouts: Opportunities and Techniques

      Description: Brussels sprouts (BS) are easier to grow than most realize. Success depends on variety selection, good plant production approaches, optimal nutrition and water management, and planting topping. During this talk, details will be provided to help growers integrate BS into their farm operations and explore alternative market opportunities for this underutilized vegetable.

      Presenter: Dr. Dan Drost

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      Annual Asparagus? - Preliminary Assessments

      Description: Asparagus is a high value perennial crop that can be grown successfully in the intermountain west. Long-term commitments and high starting costs of traditional systems can be barriers to production. Annual asparagus production has the potential to mitigate these issues, bring diversity to production, and help producers reach more markets.

      Presenter: Josh Martin

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      New Mexico Chile Peppers – the State’s Signature Heirloom Crop

      Description: New Mexico is famous for the chile peppers that have been grown in the region for more than 400 years. Chile peppers are grown for large-scale processing but are also an important cash crop for small farms. This talk will provide an overview of chile pepper production, and how they became the state’s signature crop.

      Presenter: Dr. Stephanie Walker

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      Weird and Wonderful Vegetable Selections

      Description: Unique vegetable offerings may provide a marketing edge for small farms. This talk will discuss several novel vegetable varieties that are not well-known but maybe something for adventurous growers to trial.

      Presenter: Dr. Stephanie Walker

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      Transplant Production Approaches and Tomato Performance

      Description: Recent advances in indoor gardening technology have made it easier for the small-scale grower to start their own transplant plugs. This presentation compares the results of tomato transplant plugs grown in a greenhouse versus an indoor space with LED light technology. Both types of plugs were followed through an entire season and harvest results were compared. Starting one's own seed allows for increased flexibility on what, how and when plants are grown.

      Presenter: Cary Martin

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      Weed Management Option for Pumpkins

      Description: Pumpkin patches provide many opportunities for late-season income but "stickers" from puncturevine (goat heads) and other weeds can easily ruin a family outing to the patch. Good weed management is an important consideration for creating a quality product and an idyllic backdrop that keeps patrons returning each year. Diverse weed management strategies for season-long weed control in pumpkins will be discussed as well as the pros and cons of each strategy.

      Presenter: Cody Zesiger

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      Optimizing Lisianthus in Utah

      Description: Lisianthus is a heat loving, mid-summer blooming cut flower that has a significant potential for Utah cut flower farms. The rose like blooms have a long vase-life and come in a wide range of colors making them highly desir d by florists. USU trials in Logan, UT evaluated the production of ‘Roseanne’, ‘Doublini’, ‘Correli’, ‘Mariachi’, ‘Bolero’, ‘Rosita 2’, and ‘Rosita 3’ cultivars in high tunnel and field systems. Stem quality, harvest timing, and yields were recorded to establish production guidelines for Utah growers and will be shared in this presentation.

      PresenterMaegen Lewis

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      Dahlia: the (ongoing) saga to improve production in Utah

      Description: Dahlia is in high demand and commands premium pricing on local markets, but underperform as a crop in Utah. The USU Small Farms Lab has trialed various aspects of production since 2019. This presentation highlights early findings on nutrient management and protected cultivation topics to increase yield and extend harvest.

      PresenterMelanie Stock

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      Cut Flower Diseases Identified in Utah in 2021

      Description: Cut flowers are a new and growing crop in Utah, as well as across the US, but disease challenges and management have been less documented than in other horticultural crops. The USU Plant Pathology and USU Small Farms Labs have paired up to survey diseases of cut flowers across Utah. This presentation highlights emerging findings and management recommendations.  

      Presenter: Claudia Nischwitz

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      The Market for Local Cut Flowers: Florist Preferences, Needs, and Hurdles

      Description: This presentation will discuss the results of a recent survey of florists in Utah and surrounding communities. Florists’ preferences and attitudes toward purchasing locally grown flowers will be discussed as well as the hurdles they see in doing so. Additionally, florist specific needs related to flower varieties and colors will be presented.

      PresenterKynda Curtis

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      The Value of Cut Flowers to Utah's Economy

      Description: Cut flowers are a young but growing industry in Utah.  As part of a class at USU, students working with the Utah Cut Flower Farmers Association examined the economic impacts of the cut flower industry.  This presentation will go over the findings.  This includes both the current estimates as well as how different assumptions affect the overall results.

      Presenter: Ruby Ward

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      Perspectives of a Local Flower Farm

      Description: This presenter will be talking on growing the kinds of flowers that people want, maximizing profits from unsold flowers and minimizing waste, and how to provide the best customer service ever.

      Presenter: Ali Harrison

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      Strawberry Production Approaches for the Intermountain West

      Description: Strawberry can be a profitable crop for local sales. There are several production systems, some of which might be more appropriate to the Intermountain West than others. This talk will overview strawberry management systems and provide research results from trials in Cache Valley.

      Presenter: Brent Black

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      Growing Day-Neutral Strawberries in Central Oregon- High Tunnel and Field

      Description: This presentation will include results from a two-year research trial on strawberry production in the high desert region of Central Oregon (Bend area). In collaboration with local growers, we trialed four day-neutral strawberry cultivars (Albion, Evie 2, Mara des Bois and Seascape) in the field and in high tunnels over two growing seasons. I will share yield results from the growing systems and cultivars, and preferences and recommendations based on our experience.

      PresenterClare Sullivan

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      A High Tunnel System for Early Production of Fall Raspberries: Varieties

      Description: This presentation will explain basic management practices for red raspberries and addresses the challenges Utah growers experience.  Additionally, research results from a variety trial that took place at USU's Greenville Farm will be discussed.

      PresenterAlyssa Palmer

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      Overview of Major Insect and Disease Pests of Grapes

      Description: Some of the major pests that affect grapes include leafhopper, powdery mildew, paper wasps, spider mites, and thrips. Learn about these and more pests and how to manage them both organically and conventionally. 

      Presenter: Mair Murray

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      Biological Control of BMSB

      Description: This presenter will be sharing recent research on the biological control of BMSB through parasitoid wasps. Specifically talking about detection and habitat of the parasitoids and the use of stink bug chemical lures to increase parasitism. 

      Presenter: Kate Richardson

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      Grape Cultivar Trial

      Description: This presentation will primarily cover the results and observations of the USU Extension grape cultivar evaluation and general grape growing requirements.

      Presenter: Mike Caron

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      Farm to School Programs and Proposed Legislation

      Description: This presentation will be providing some quick updates on what is happening with farm to school in Utah, including current legislation, and will share how interested producers can get connected with schools and childcare centers.

      PresenterKate Wheeler

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      "What's Up" with Inflation and Input Prices?

      Description: This presentation will discuss current inflation rates and trends in food pricing for consumers. Increasing trends in farm gate pricing and associated impacts to direct-to-consumer markets will be also discussed. Finally, the rational for current farm input price increases and shortages will be given along with strategies for dampening and mitigating the impacts.

      PresenterKynda Curtis

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      Evaluating and Expanding Your Farm Business

      Description: This session will provide easy to use resources that allow farmers and others to evaluate their own operation.  Simple Excel tools will be used to show how to examine the effects of inflation and prices and then develop their own strategies and plans.  This will be followed by an overview of resources available through the Fundamental Resources to Assist Micro Entrepreneurs (FRAME) program, including guidebooks for starting a new value-added operation.  The session will provide the motivation for the program, what is currently available and how to use it.

      Presenters: Ruby Ward and Karin Allen

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      Animal Science Session

      Description: Not enough land to raise cattle or horses on your farm? The Animal Science Session of the Urban Small Farms Conference will cover a variety of topics that may be applicable to your farm. Topics from proper lamb management, backyard chickens, and an introduction to beekeeping will all be covered as we explore and learn about different animal options for your operation.

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      Considerations for a Successful Lambing and Kidding Season

      Description: Lambing and kidding can be the most stressful and exciting part of the year for any sheep and goat producer. This talk will aim to cover some of the important management steps to take in order to have a great lambing and kidding.

      Presenter: Chad Page

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      Why Raise Alpacas?

      Description: Background of Alpacas, where they come from, etc. Handling and care requirements, i.e. what and how much feed, shearing, health care. Fiber uses, agritourism, store.

      PresenterJulee Savage

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      Wool and the Soil

      Description: NutriWool Pellets show quicker growth with plants while also maintaining moisture control and better soil structure.

      Presenter: Albert Wilde

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      Raising Chickens in Your Backyard

      Description: This presentation will cover how to raise chickens for residential and small farm uses from hatch into egg production

      Presenter: Benjamin Scow

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      An Introduction to Beekeeping

      Description: Are you interested in becoming a beekeeper? This presentation will provide a high level overview of beekeeping, including considerations for those wanting to get bees as well as general management best practices.

      PresenterAndree' Walker Bravo

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      Backyard Meat Rabbits 101

      Description: Keeping your rabbits healthy is one of the most important aspects of raising backyard meat rabbits for consumption. This presentation will go over some of the basics of raising meat rabbits and go into a more in-depth presentation of basic handling processes of live rabbits including a basic health exam.

      Presenter: Jessie Hadfield

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      Presenter Biographies

      Karin Allen, Associate Professor, Utah State University: Karin Allen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Sciences at Utah State University and serves as the Food Quality and Entrepreneurship Specialist for Cooperative Extension. Dr. Allen works with small food producers (both on and off the farm) to address food processing issues including labeling, safety, and regulatory compliance, as well as issues specific to agritourism and community supported agriculture operations.

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      Brent Black, Professor and Extension Fruit Specialist, Utah State University: Dr. Brent Black is Professor and Extension Fruit Specialist at Utah State University. He holds a B.S. degree in Plant and Soil Science from Utah State University, an M.S. degree in Horticulture from Michigan State University, and a Ph.D. in Plant Physiology from Oregon State University. Prior to joining USU in 2005, Dr. Black was a research scientist with the USDA Agriculture Research Service in Beltsville, Maryland for 6 years, where he studied production systems for strawberry and blueberry. His current research interests are in precision orchard management, and strategies for extending the production season of berry crops.

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      Hope Braithwaite, Utah State University: Hope Braithwaite is an Assistant Professor for Watershed Quality in the Department of Watershed Sciences at Utah State University. She works with landowners, teachers, students, citizen scientists, the Utah Division of Water Quality, The Nature Conservancy, and others to provide water quality monitoring and educational opportunities state-wide. Her goal is to increase awareness and promote stewardship of our aquatic resources. Hope earned a earned a B.S. in Wildlife Science and minors in Fisheries Science and Environmental Studies from Utah State University and a M.S. in Environmental Education from Southern Oregon University.

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      Andree' Walker Bravo, Professional Practice Assistant Professor, Utah State University Extension: Andree’ Walker Bravo is a Professional Practice Assistant Professor with USU Extension in Salt Lake County. Andree’ has a statewide administrative assignment but also provides Extension education programs pertaining to sustainability and urban homesteading topics. Andree’ manages 10+ beehives between her personal hives and the teaching and demonstration apiaries at Wheeler Historic Farm. Andree’ graduated from Utah State University with a BS in Environmental Studies and a MS in Watershed Science.

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      Mike Caron, Associate Professor, Utah State University Extension: Michael Caron is an Associate Professor of Horticulture with Utah State University Extension, located in Utah County. As well as having a background in retail horticulture and commercial greenhouse growing, Michael has taught a myriad of classes and workshops for degree-seeking students, Master Gardener classes, and many other community classes and workshops on a variety of horticulture subjects. He also conducts a table and wine grape cultivar evaluation study with over 20 cultivars of hardy hybrid grapes and also works with commercial wine grape producers. He enjoys gardening, greenhouse growing, photography, hiking, and building things.

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      Kynda Curtis, Professor and Extension Economist, Utah State University: Kynda Curtis is a Professor and Extension Specialist in the Department of Applied Economics at Utah State University (USU). She received her PhD in Economics from Washington State University in 2003. Her research interests include agriculture/food marketing, direct-to-consumer marketing, as well as consumer demand for value-added, specialty, and differentiated foods. As an Extension Specialist, Dr. Curtis assists small-scale growers in developing new markets for their products and assessing the feasibility of new food products and value-added processes.

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      Josh Dallin, Utah State University Extension: Josh Dallin is a Director and Extension Assistant Professor for Utah State University’s Bastian Agricultural Center. Over the years Josh has lead livestock, range, and agricultural 4-H applied research and education programs. Josh continues to pave the way for innovation and research working in a wide array of areas such as mental health awareness and suicide prevention, farm and ranch succession planning, livestock production, poultry education, animal genetics, range insect control, and range plant/water management. 

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      Dan Drost, Vegetable Specialist, Utah State University: Dan Drost grew up on a small diversified farm in western Michigan and has degrees from Michigan State and Cornell Universities. He came to Utah State University in 1992 to work as the Extension Vegetable Specialist. Dan is interested in small farm production systems, organic agriculture, alternative farming approaches, and intensive land-use management.

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      Regan Emmons, Coordinator of the Utah Farmers Market Network, Utah State University:  Regan serves as the coordinator of the Utah Farmers Market Network at Utah State University, where she has been working on establishing the Utah Farmers Market Network since 2019. Originally from Tennessee, she has lived in Hawaii, Arizona and Oregon before moving to Vernal, Utah. She has worked in agriculture and community food system development for the last 12 years. This work included being a K-12 food system and environmental educator, a Community Supported Agriculture program operator, a farmers market vendor, a researcher at Northern Arizona University,  and the coordinator for a regional food network in southern Oregon.  She earned a Masters of Art in Sustainable Communities from Northern Arizona University. 

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      Carly Gillespie, Urban Food Connections of Utah: Carly Gillespie is the Program and Development Manager for Urban Food Connections of Utah. She has been involved in the local food community in Salt Lake and Utah for the past 12 years; working as the Community Education Program Director for Wasatch Community Gardens, former owner of B.U.G. Farms and Vice Chair of Slow Food Utah's Board of Directors. 

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      Jacob Hadfield, Agriculture Extension Faculty, Utah State University: Jake Hadfield grew up on a small beef operation in Lehi, Utah. He graduated from Utah State University with a Bachelor's and Master's Degree with an emphasis in animal science and ruminant nutrition. Jake has worked with USU Extension for the last three years in Cache County. His research and educational work focuses on pasture, cover crops, alfalfa, and livestock and agriculture mental health.

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      Jessie Hadfield, State Agriculture and Animal Science Specialist, Utah 4-H: Jessie currently serves as the State Agriculture and Animal Science Specialist for Utah 4-H. Her role takes her all over the state supporting county programs including small livestock. One of the fastest growing program areas is rabbits. Jessie grew up raising and showing rabbits in the Salt Lake valley and currently raises rabbits for meat and show in Cache County with her husband.

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      Sheriden Hansen, Assistant Professor of Horticulture, Utah State University: Sheriden Hansen is an Assistant Professor of Horticulture with USU Extension in Davis County, Utah. Sheriden started as a nurse, receiving a BS in nursing from the University of Utah in 2002. After many years working as an operating room RN, she decided to pursue her passion in horticulture. Sheriden graduated from Utah State University with a BS in Plant Science (Summa Cum Laude) in 2015 and a MS in Plant Science with an emphasis in fruit production in 2017.

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      Ali Harrison, Owner, Florage Farms: Ali Harrison along with her husband Lorin, own and operate Florage, a 12 acre cut flower farm in amongst the potato fields of Blackfoot Idaho.  After growing fruits and vegetables for over 20 years, they made the switch to cut flowers several years ago after realizing the insane demand for local flowers.  In the rich volcanic soils of Southern Idaho, they grow over 90 varieties of cut flowers, fillers, and foliage and deliver to event florists in Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming. As a farmer-florist, Ali does a small number of local weddings and events, and also works as a traveling freelance florist.

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      Sherlyn Hilton, Assistant Manager, Utah State University Botanical Center Farmers Market: Sherlyn grew up in Logan, attended USU, and graduated in Electrical Engineering. After roaming the West for 20 years, she recently returned to Utah, became a Davis County Master Gardener, and then the Assistant Manager at the USU Botanical Center Farmers Market.

      Corinne Hoffmann, Utah State University:

      Corinne Hoffmann graduated from USU with a degree in English and Secondary Education but found her family was happier when she was working with her hands.  So, she had been volunteering around the community in various areas when she came upon the Master Gardening program through extension.  She finished that program in 2016 and loved volunteering at the Botanical Center.  It lead to her volunteering at the USU Botanical Center Farmers Market where she eventually signed on as the assistant manager.  This is her second year as the manager at the USU Botanical Center Farmers Market.   Additionally, she leads tours and teaches the community about our resources at the local landfill, water district and sewer district and loves to hang out with her family and dogs.
       
       
      Michael Kilcrease, Property Manager Utah State University Botanical Center: Michael Kilcrease received his BS degree from Utah State University in Landscape Design and Horticulture. He has experience with turf management in the Golf Industry and a Nursery background and he is currently the Property Manager at Utah State University Botanical Center in Kaysville. Michael is a member of CWEL (Center for Water Efficient Landscaping), and he has been involved in researching and reporting on new irrigation technologies.   
       
       

      Representative Mike Kohler, Utah State Legislature: Representative Mike Kohler was born and raised in Midway, Utah. Born into a family dairy business, he still farms 150 acres and enjoys time on the tractor. Kohler continues his work in the industry as a governmental advocate for dairy and agricultural in Utah. He was elected to the Utah House of Representatives in 2020, where he now serves as Vice Chair of the ‘House Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee’. Kohler previously served as a long-time Commissioner and Councilman for Wasatch County where he has been a pillar of that community: coaching multiple sports at Wasatch High in Heber City and serving as both an emergency medical technician and member of the Wasatch County Search and Rescue. He currently works as the manager for Midway Irrigation Company, and when he’s not working or serving, you will find him on a boat or four-wheeler, enjoying time with his wife Laurie and their six children, and 25 grandchildren. 

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      Dr. Ryan Larsen, Associate Professor and Extension Economist, Utah State University: Dr. Ryan Larsen is an Associate Professor and Extension Economist in the Department of Applied Economics at Utah State University. He specializes in farm and risk management. He teaches courses in agricultural finance, risk management, and decision analysis.

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      Maegen Lewis, Assistant Extension Professor of Horticulture, Wasatch County, Utah State University: Maegen Lewis has a passion for the cut flower industry and received her master's degree in plant science from USU with an emphasis on cut flower production in Utah. After graduating, she accepted a position as a USU Extension faculty in Wasatch and Summit counties. She now advises home gardeners and farmers on how to be successful despite a short growing season along the Wasatch Back.

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      Cary Martin, USU Extension Intern and Student, Utah State University:

      Cary recently retired from a career in Healthcare data analytics to pursue his passion of producing food in a sustainable way. He is currently working towards a second bachelor's degree in Sustainable Food Production at Utah State University. Cary is interested in small scale urban farming and producing food that is highly nutritious grown in a diversified and sustainable environment. He is interested in the entire food production chain from seed to harvest.

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      Josh Martin, MS Student, Utah State University:  Josh Martin is currently a master’s student at Utah State University working with Dr. Dan Drost. He grew up in southwest Utah working on farms and growing vegetables on family property. At USU he has managed the university’s Student Organic Farm. He graduated with dual majors in Plant Science and Land, Plant, and Climate Systems with a focus on sustainable food production. His passion is growing, studying, and sharing what he knows about vegetable crops.

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      Travis Mote, Assistant State Conservationist - Programs, USDA NRCS:

      Travis Mote is a Utah native. He grew up in Northern Utah working on his parent’s orchard operation and helping family on a local cattle ranch. Today he lives in Willard, Utah. He and his family continue to raise fruit, horses, cows, and any other animal his wife and kids can sneak on to the farm.

      Travis earned bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Rangeland resources from Utah State University. He started to work for NRCS in 2006. Since that time, he has served as a Range Conservationist, Resources Conservationist, and Area Programs Specialist. Travis currently serves as the Assistant State Conservationist for Programs where he enjoys helping the Utah Ag community prioritize resources issues and focus federal programs toward solving those concerns.

      In his spare time Travis loves spending time with his wife and kids riding, roping and helping friends on their ranching operations.

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      Mair Murray, Professional Practice Extension Assistant Professor, Integrated Pest Management for Specialty Crops, Utah State University:  Since 2006, Marion has managed the Utah Extension Integrated Pest Management Program.  Her primary mission is to deliver high quality and relevant outreach and research in sustainable plant pest management for growing fruits, vegetables, and landscape ornamentals.  She oversees the Utah IPM Pest Advisory Service, which includes distribution of seasonal newsletters to over 13,000 subscribers, and develops online pest management tools through a collaboration with the Utah Climate Center.  Marion also manages the Utah IPM website, authors fact sheets and specialty crop production guides, and is passionate about helping producers profitably raise healthy crops.

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      Chad Page, Utah State University: Chad works for Utah State University as the Sheep and Goat Extension Specialist. He also teaches a variety of classes at the university, including sheep and wool management. Originally, he and his wife are from Chandler, AZ, but now reside in Logan, UT with their four children. Chad has worked across the intermountain west conducting applied sheep research while he obtained his Bachelor, Masters, and PhD degrees.

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      Alyssa Palmer, Utah State University: Alyssa Palmer was born and raised in Cache Valley. She is currently finishing her master’s degree in Plant Science and teaching floral design at Utah State University.

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      Jamie Rex, Farm Service Agency: Jamie Rex has worked at Farm Service Agency since 2009.  She started out as a Program Technician assisting farmers with the safety net disaster programs.  In 2016, she was hired as a Farm Loan Officer that covers Summit and Rich County.  

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      Kate Richardson, Utah State University: Kate is a second year masters graduate student working with Diane Alston and Lori Spears on biological control of BMSB.

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      Paula Salazar, NOPHNRCSE Western Region Representative, Utah Beginning Farmer Liaison, USDA NRCS:

      Paula Salazar is the Urban Conservationist in the Ogden Field office, Utah. She has been with the Agency for 6 years and has cultivated a broad range of knowledge, not only technical from 3 different states but also in leadership.

      Paula started her career as a Pathway’s Student in NW Ohio. After graduating in Environmental Studies, with an Agroecology Minor from Florida International University, she started as Soil Conservationist full time in Massillon, North East Ohio. Chasing the small, diversified farms, she moved to Augusta, Maine, where the organic agriculture is big and known for. After 3 years in Maine, she had the opportunity to move to Utah, where she can expand her knowledge and start a new position. Paula is motivated that her experience and efforts will help and strength Utah entities, landowners, and conservation partners to protect natural resources, even in the cities.

      During her spare time, Paula is a snowboarder in winter, gardener in summer, and loves to hike with her two dogs.

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      Julee Savage: Julee has lived on a farm most of her life and has raised quite a few different animals and birds. She saw and fell in love with alpacas about 7 years ago, bought her first 5 and have just grown and improved from there. She now has 33 animals and have shown breeding quality, fiber quality, and pet quality alpacas. Her goal is to be one of the top breeders of alpacas.

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      Benjamin Scow, Agriculture Extension Agent, Utah State University: Benjamin Scow is the Utah State University Agriculture Extension Agent in Washington County, and has been serving that community for nearly 5 years. Ben has a large focus on backyard farms and has worked with USU’s Poultry Specialist and Urban Small Farms Specialist on various chicken related projects, including online classes aimed at raising chickens from start to finish. Ben raised his own chickens solely for egg production, which he sells at the local farmer’s market, to neighbors, and of course for his own family. Ben and his wife Emily have 3 daughters who love spending time on their farm, growing peaches and tending to a large garden. Small and large livestock have often been a valuable part of the farm and they love having the whole family involved in running it.

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      Melanie Stock, Urban and Small Farms Specialist, Utah State University: Melanie is an Assistant Professor / Extension Urban & Small Farms Specialist in the Plants, Soils, and Climate Department at USU. As a soil scientist, her research targets improving cut flower production in the Intermountain West, small farm resource use efficiency – particularly soil fertility and water management, and urban soil contamination. She is also an avid urban homesteader.

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      Clare Sullivan, Small Farms and Specialty Crops Extension Agronomist, Oregon State University: Clare Sullivan serves as the Small Farms and Specialty Crops Extension Agronomist for Central Oregon. She has developed a research and Extension program for commercial small-scale horticulture and specialty seed crops that focuses on 1) soil and nutrient management, 2) cover crops, and 3) innovative practices for the high desert. Beyond local needs, Clare is actively involved with the Western Sustainable Agriculture and Extension Program, and is a founding member of the Western Cover Crops Council. Originally from Canada, Clare earned her MSc in Soil Science from the University of Saskatchewan.

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      Laci Tagge, Tagge's Famous Fruit and Veggie Farms: Laci Tagge is the Farmer's daughter for Tagge's Famous Fruit and Veggie Farms. We are located in Brigham City Utah. She has many roles on the farm. She is selling at our fruit stands and farmers markets, hires and trains all of our workers, manages our CSA Farm box, and is over Social Media.  

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      Dr. Stephanie Walker, Vegetable Specialist, New Mexico State University:

      Stephanie Walker is the Extension Vegetable Specialist and an Associate Professor in the Extension Plant Sciences Department at New Mexico State University. She serves as the Co-director of the Chile Pepper Institute and Chair of the annual NM Chile Conference. Her research has focused on trialing and identifying vegetable cultivars and production practices optimum for New Mexico producers and improving chile pepper cultivars through traditional breeding.

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      Ruby Ward, Professor, Utah State University: Dr. Ruby Ward was raised on a farm and ranch in South-eastern Idaho. From Texas A&M University she received an MBA and a PhD in Agricultural Economics. Dr. Ward is a professor in the Department of Applied Economics at Utah State University. She teaches agricultural finance and community planning. Dr. Ward has delivered educational programs in Utah and the surrounding region for the last 18 years. Ward currently co-chairs the Urban and Small Farms Conference in Utah. Ward is the project leader for the Rural Tax Education website (RuralTax.org) and Co-chair of the National Farm Income Tax Extension Committee.

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      Kate Wheeler, Utah State Board of Education: Kate Wheeler is the farm to school specialist for Utah State Board of Education.

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      Albert Wilde, Wild Valley Farm: Albert is a 6th generation sheep and cattle rancher, who has a love for all aspects of farming. Albert was the 2017 Green Business Award innovation recipient for his creation of an organic water saving fertilizer "NutriWool pellets". Albert has made presentations and been involved with numerous studies with Universities from all over the world showing the amazing benefits of using NutriWool pellets in gardens, urban farms, and greenhouses.

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      Cody Zesiger, Assistant Extension Professor of Agriculture, Utah State University:  Cody Zesiger is a Utah native living in Ogden with his wife and two daughters. He joined Utah State University Extension in 2019 after leaving the K-12 classroom. Cody's interests include the sustainable management of small family farms, weed ecology and management, and production horticulture.

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      •  
    • 2017 Program
    • 2017 Presentations
      • Day 1 Presentations -
        • Commercial Track: Vegetable Production, Utah Berry Growers
        • Beginning Farmer Track: Soils/Fertility/Nutrition, Vegetable Pest Management 101
        • IRC Beginning Farmer Track
      • Day 2 Presentations -
        • Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA)
        • High Tunnels for Beginners
        • Stone Fruit Production
        • Government Agencies and Resources
        • Strategy, Marketing, & Management
    • 2016 Program
    • 2016 Presentations
      • Day 1 Presentations -
        • Commercial Track: Vegetable Production, Utah Berry Growers
        • Beginning Farmer Alternatives Track: Small Flock Chickens, Aquaponics in Practice, The Value in Selling Farm Experiences
        • IRC Basic Farming: USDA Programs, Small Farm Realities, Soil Fertility
      • Day 2 Presentations -
        • Commercial Track: Good Agriculture Practices (GAP) Introduction, Irrigation 
        • Beginning Farmer Alternatives: Organic Farm Plans, Production and Marketing of Specialty Ethnic Crops, Farm Incubator
        • Government Agencies and Resources: USDA-NRCS,Crop Insurance Overview, Whole Farm Revenue Insurance
    • 2015 Program
    • 2015 Presentations
      • Vegetable Production: Grafting Melons, New Vegetable Diseases, Large Scale Shade Structures
      • Utah Berry Growers: Raspberry Viruses, Iron Nutrition, Leafhopper & Currant Borer
      • Irrigation Management: Low Flow or Drip Irrigation Systems, Irrigation Issues
      • IPM and Organic Research Updates: Organic Peach Research, Soil Testing