Small Farm Conference celebrating 19 years of farm education

PRINCESS ANNE, Md. – The Small Farm Conference has started at the University of Maryland of Eastern Shore.

The annual event brings training, speakers and vendor exhibits: “To be able to network, connect with farmers, to be able to learn what to do, what not to do, so all of its going to be a really nice learning experience,” says Berran Rogers, Small Farm Conference Coordinator.

Berran Rogers, the Small Farm Program Coordinator says that’s what you can expect at the conference this year as they celebrate 19 years with some big changes. “One thing we’ve done this year is we added more interactive workshops, we’re trying to give farmers hands-on training, so for beginning farmers who are interested to get into farming, we really want to give them some real-life experiences on how to improve their skills and farm successfully,” says Rogers.

Event officials say there is so much more to learn about farm life. “I want these small farmers to take home the knowledge or even spark their interest to even start collecting seeds,” says Dr. Nadine Burton, Alternative and Organic Crop Specialist at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. “I hope people take away the fact that how important bees are and how important pollination is to farms and to everything that we eat,” says Bee Keeper Thomas Babcock.

Bee Keeper Thomas Babcock is now on the other side of the table – presenting and sharing his knowledge. “Looking forward to – I like talking about bees and pollination, just looking to find like-minded people that are interested in it,” says Babcock.

Officials agree that this is important for the longevity of farm life as the industry changes. “There is a relentless effort to industrialize Ag and sort of monopolize it and when that happens it decreases diversity. 45 so for them to understand this is one for them to learn how to secure themselves 52 and to grow crops that they desire 54 and not just what the large seeds company provides,” says Dr. Burton.

Bee Keeper Babcock says to learn more about beekeeping, get involved. The local club on Delmarva is the Lower Eastern Shore Bee Keeper Association. The Small Farm Conference will be going on Saturday as well, 9 AM to 3:30 PM. For more information, click here.

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