North Coast Opportunities (NCO), the Community Action Agency for Lake and Mendocino Counties, is bringing together food producers from Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Sonoma, and Napa counties, along with food and farming support organizations, for the Fifth-Annual North Coast Farmers Convergence on Tuesday, February 28, 2017.
Food producers, local retailers, local food advocates, and farmer support organizations from across the region will come together at Ridgewood Ranch, just south of Willits, for a lively, educational day of networking, sharing skills and ideas, and celebrating the growth of resilient local food systems.
The Convergence is an opportunity for the widespread farming community to gather to learn and connect while honoring the profession of farming. Farmers, ranchers, dairy producers, seed growers, beekeepers, grain growers, vendors, buyers, retailers, and food producer supporters from organizations like California FarmLink, Community Alliance with Family Farmers, The Farmers Guild, The Farm Bureau, the University of California Cooperative Extension and the Grange Farm School of Adaptive Agriculture will join arms to build a network of support while sharing best practices.
Keynote speaker Michael Foley, a Mendocino County farmer dedicated to helping young farmers find access to land and education and a founder of the Grange Farm School of Adaptive Agriculture near Willits, will facilitate a panel discussion of area farmers talking about why they chose their particular niche and how it is working for them.
There also will be break-out roundtable discussion on a wide range of topics including on-farm composting, the impact of Proposition 64, marketing your farm, seed saving, land access and transitions, and more. While registering for the event, there also is an opportunity to suggest other roundtable topics that you want to see discussed.
Event participants also will enjoy a farm to fork breakfast and lunch featuring local ingredients. There will be an after-convergence mixer, open only to farmers and wholesale food buyers, where food producers and buyers can make market connections and establish sales relationships over glasses of locally-sourced beer, wine, and other beverages. Snacks also will be provided at the mixer from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.