National heroes in the sustainable farming and ranching movement come to Grass Valley to share best practices

Grass Valley, CA January 8, 2019 – Farmers and ranchers are coming from all over the West Coast to gather in Grass Valley February 7 -10 for Sierra Harvest’s 2019 Sustainable Food and Farm Conference. Over 600 farmers, foodies and homesteaders will come to learn first-hand from local and national experts in the sustainable food and farming movement, tour sustainable minded farms in Nevada County, make connections to strengthen their farm businesses, upgrade their home garden practices and enhance their organic and sustainable food production.

The conference features a full day of national heroes from the sustainable food movement on Saturday, February 9. Regenerative rancher and author of Dawn Again: Tracking the Wisdom of the Wild, Doniga Markegard, will share her methods for restoring rangelands, building soil, and increasing profits by mimicking patterns found in nature. Paul Muller and Dru Rivers, co-owners of Full Belly Farm in the Capay Valley, have developed Three Steps to Success in their integrated, organic farming system. And mycorrhizal fungi soil food web expert and author of several best-selling books, Jeff Lowenfels, will explain what plants really want to eat and how to do less work getting it to them.

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Local experts take the stage on Sunday, February 10, and participants can craft their own curriculum, choosing from 20 food and farm workshops. Topics include something for everyone – direct market success, fire preparedness, seasonal meal planning, basic and emergency animal care, permaculture food forests, and more.

The Sustainable Food & Farm Conference, first developed in 2010 by local farmers, is designed to support farmers, ranchers, homesteaders, and gardeners to adopt innovative, sustainable practices that promote nutrient dense food and a healthier environment.   Sierra Harvest, a local non-profit that educates, inspires, and connects families to fresh local food, took over the management of the conference in 2016, but local farmers and ranchers continue to be involved in planning the curriculum each year.

“By far, it was the best agricultural conference I have attended,” says Marissa Ames, Editor of Goat Journal. “Very positive with practical information that I can put to use on my own farm as well as within our publications as we provide valuable information for other farmers.”

Ticket prices are kept relatively low to make this education more accessible to the Nevada County community. In addition, discounts are available to farmers and ranchers and a limited number of scholarships are available to students.

More About the 9th Annual Sustainable Food & Farm Conference

The conference is sponsored by: BriarPatch Coop, Vital Garden Supply, Forever Flowering Greenhouses, Peaceful Valley Farm and Garden Supply, Organic Valley, UNFI, Johnny’s Select Seeds, Nutiva, Mary’s Chicken, Shilling Seed, B&C True Value, YubaNet, KVMR, and the Union.

Thursday, February 7: QuickBooks for the Small Farmer; Whole Animal Butchery: An Immersive, Hands-on Butchering Workshop; AgTech: Innovations in Technology for Small Ag.

Friday, February 8: Nevada County Farm and Ranch Tour; Seeds for Life: Growing and Saving Seed; Cheese-making with Ruth Bleau of Blue Oaks Ranch.

Saturday, February 9: Keynote speaker presentations; Food & Farm Expo; Evening Food & Farm Mixer at Ol’ Republic Brewery

Sunday, February 10:  20 Food & Farm Workshops with local experts

About Sierra Harvest
Sierra Harvest’s mission is to educate, inspire, and connect Nevada County families to fresh, local, seasonal food. Learn more at www.sierraharvest.org

What:  Sierra Harvest’s Sustainable Food & Farm Conference

When: February 7 – 10th

Where:  Nevada Union High School

Tickets: www.foodandfarmconference.com