WILLITS, CA, 2/18/17 — The sixth annual North Coast Farmers Convergence, a regional gathering of farmers, food producers, food retailers, local food advocates, and agricultural organizations hosted at the Ridgewood Ranch, will be happening this coming week on February 21 and 22nd. The event connects people from Mendocino, Lake, Humboldt, Sonoma, and Marin counties with information on resources, techniques, and organizations to help support local farmers and strengthen the local food shed. The Convergence is organized by North Coast Opportunities and the School of Adaptive Agriculture.
The Convergence includes talks from prominent local farmers and other regional experts on agricultural issues facing small farmers, and provides a chance for farmers from around Northern California to network and build connections. You can see our coverage of last year’s event, including photos and videos, in this article. This year’s event will feature Doug Mosel of the Mendocino Grain Project as the opening speaker, and long-time Covelo organic farmers Gloria and Stephen Decatur, who founded Live Power Farm in 1973, will be the keynote speakers.
Other Mendocino locals presenting or hosting workshops include Gowan Batist of Caspar’s Fortunate Farm, Adam Gaska of Redwood Valley’s Mendocino Meats, Eric Schramm of the Mendocino Mushroom Company, the owner of the “world’s oldest solely wild-mushroom company,” Hunter Flynn and Isabel Quiroz of Tequio Community Farm discussing small farm equipment, Dr. Kim Rodrigues Director of the University of California Hopland Research & Extension Center presenting on ranching with wildlife, and many more workshops and round-tables, including seed saving, “working smarter” on small farms, humane poultry slaughter and butcher, compost building, no-till farming, a panel on “climate smart farming,” integrated pest management, commercial kitchens, CSAs, and more. West Company staff will be on hand to offer advice about Quickbooks and farm business consulting, along with a host of other farming and food agencies and organizations. More workshop details can be found here, including a longer list of presenters from around the area.
The first day of the Convergence, which takes place from 8:30am – 4:30pm, will focus on presenters, workshops, and networking, with time to enjoy a locally sourced breakfast, lunch, and snacks, ending with a mixer to help food producers connect with food purchases.
The second day, Wednesday February 21 will be from 9am – 12pm with farmer and Food Safety Specialist Kali Feiereisel with the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF), sharing information on the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). Feiereisel will also give an overview of Good Agricultural Practices (GAPs). The food safety workshop will take place half in a classroom and half on Tequio Community Farm.
Tickets for the Convergence are available here, and attendees are encouraged to register in advance. Tickets are $20/person or $30 for two people, and scholarships are available by contacting Kelly at [email protected], who can also answer questions about the event. Attendees can also “pay it forward” and give a little extra to help support the scholarships. More information about the event details can be found here.