[Market-farming] Conference Time!

Wiediger, Alison alison.wiediger at hart.kyschools.us
Thu Oct 10 09:54:51 EDT 2013


We haven't had first frost yet, but it is probably close, signaling the end of the outdoor growing season.  And, for us, time to start thinking about farming conferences.  For us, conferences are part of our continuing education.  But more than that, they are an opportunity to network with sizable groups of people who "speak our language".  Although sessions and workshops are wonderful for new ideas, it's the hallway and meal time, and even late night networking that really charges our batteries.

Of all the conferences we have attended, both as speakers and as attendees, the SSAWG conference is at the top of our list.  Year after year, it brings the best sessions, workshops and farmers together.  We attended our first in 1996, and our first as speakers in 2001.  It has grown tremendously, and continues to excite us.  It is the highlight of our "off season" (no such thing, really, with high tunnels! It's our slower season.) and always sends us home enthusiastic and ready to tackle the new growing season.

I know that attending conferences is expensive, and it can be difficult to decide which one(s) are going to be worth your hard earned money and time.  To help you with that decision, the organizers have collected some "first time" stories from SSAWG conference goers:     http://ssawg.org/first-time     Take some time to read through them to get a feel what this conference has meant to many farmers (and others) - from brand-new to experienced.

Paul and I will be presenting a short course on high tunnel growing pre-conference this year.  There are four 1.5 day short courses and they are always well attended.  The full conference program is here:  http://ssawg.org/2014-conference-program   And, if you just want to look at SSAWG and all it stands for and works for, their site is :  http://www.ssawg.org

The conference is in beautiful Mobile, AL this year in the Renaissance Mobile Riverview Plaza Hotel<http://www.marriott.com/meeting-event-hotels/group-corporate-travel/groupCorp.mi?resLinkData=SOUTHERN%20SAWG%20CONFERENCE%5eMOBRV%60SSASSAA%6090.00%60USD%60false%601/13/14%601/19/14%601/4/14&app=resvlink&stop_mobi=yes>.  The conference lodging rates are reasonable and good for 3 days before and 3 days after conference, so you could even work in a short vacation!  Think about it.  You will make more new friends than you thought possible, and learn more about farming sustainably than you can imagine.  We hope to see you there!

Alison Wiediger, Au Naturel Farm

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