Final notice: Small Farm Conference offers sessions for youth by youth

posted on January 16, 2013 5:24pm

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Final Notice: Small Farm Conference offers sessions for youth by youth

GRAYLING, Mich. – The Northern Michigan Small Farms Conference has featured top speakers on important issues in agriculture for the past 14 years. And since 2009 some of those speakers haven’t even been old enough to drive a car.

Running concurrent with the conferences many adult-oriented session are a series of youth track sessions aimed at a younger audience and presented by youth involved in agriculture, farming, and entrepreneurial projects. At the 14th annual Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference three youth sessions will be offered. The conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Jan. 26 at Grayling High School in Grayling, Mich.

Monroe Family Organics operator Fred Monroe will talk about how his small five-acre farm went from zero to 90 members in just a few months of starting operation.

A youth panel of AJ McArthur of AJ’s Berry Farm, Jon Plummer of Moomer’s Ice Cream and the staff and students of The Children’s House Montessori school in Traverse City will discuss how they got their start and how food and farming is helping them make a difference in their communities.

The conference will also offer a youth skill share, where youth involved in agriculture projects will provide demonstrations in food, farming and sustainable living.

“This year’s sessions demonstrate how much young people have contributed to our food and farming system,” said Wendy Wieland of Michigan State University Extension, a sponsor of the conference. “It shows that kids are already making a difference and to other youth interested in agriculture it can serve as the last needed push of encouragement before they get involved.”

The youth track sessions are available to people ages 8 to 18. Youth Registration is $20 and includes lunch. The registration deadline is Jan. 19 and the conference often sells out. Limited youth scholarships are available.

To register for the conference go to For more information you can email the Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

The conference is sponsored by Michigan State University Extension, the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems, Michigan Land Use Institute, Institute for Sustainable Living, Art & Natural Design, Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation, and Edible Grand Traverse.



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