CORVALLIS - Farmers, farmers' market managers, food retailers, restaurant owners, agricultural professionals and anyone interested in local food supply are invited to attend "Small Farms Direct," a farm direct marketing conference at Oregon State University in mid-February.

The OSU Extension Service and the Oregon Department of Agriculture are co-sponsoring this sixth-annual conference on Saturday, Feb. 18, from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in OSU's LaSells Stewart Center.

Featured speakers will be Doc and Connie Hatfield of Oregon Country Beef, and U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer of Oregon's 3rd District.

The conference includes nine concurrent sessions, covering a range of topics of interest to growers who market their production directly to the public. The sessions also are designed for farmers' market managers and for community food advocates, said Linda Brewer, co-organizer of the conference.

Sessions include:


  • Good Signs - Good Customer Service;


  • Pricing Your Products;


  • Secrets to Farm Direct Success;


  • Choosing Crops For Diversification & Season Extension;


  • Insect Management Basics;


  • Basic Principles of Soil Fertility Management;


  • Growing Small Scale Livestock and Processing Businesses in Oregon;


  • Food, Money and Power: 2007 Farm Bill and Food Democracy;


  • Community Food Advocates: Sparking New Partnerships.

    Registration materials are online at: or through the Benton County office of the OSU Extension Service at 541-766-6750 (toll free at 1-800-365-0201). The registration deadline is Feb. 9.

    Pre-registration is $30 or $50 for two from the same farm and includes lunch and two publications. Registration at the door is $40.

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    Linda Brewer, 541-737-1408