CORVALLIS, Ore. – Helping the owners of small farms market directly to the public is the focus of a conference hosted by Oregon State University on Saturday, Feb. 16, on the OSU campus.

This eighth annual Farm Direct Marketing Conference is coordinated by the OSU Extension Small Farms Program. The conference runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the CH2M-Hill Alumni Center on campus. Pre-registration deadline is Feb. 7.

The event is aimed at growers, market managers and community food advocates as a way to explore new ways to match the products grown on small farms directly with the consumer, according to Linda J. Brewer of the OSU Extension Small Farms Program. The conference also will include information on marketing, business management, production, extending growing seasons, and food policy issues.

Fred Kirschenmann, a farmer who is a distinguished fellow at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, will deliver the keynote talk at the conference, “Small Farms: Agriculture of the Past, or Agriculture of the Future.”

Andrew Stout of Full Circle Farms in Washington will give the concluding presentation, focusing on ways to grow the small farm business, from crop diversification to unconventional sales outlets.

Participants will have the opportunity to attend some of the 12 sessions at the conference. Topics include solar “hoophouse” production, extended season growing, poultry production, pest management, horticultural updates, whole farm business management, adding value to products, farmers’ markets, grant writing, community-based projects and others.

Pre-registration costs are $30 for individuals, or $50 for two persons from the same business. Registration at the door is $40. Registration materials are available online at or call the Benton County Extension Office at 541-766-3556, or 1-800-365-0201.

Joining the OSU Extension Small Farms Program in sponsoring the event are the USDA Risk Management Agency, Western Risk Management Education; Oregon Department of Agriculture, Western SARE, and the City of Portland Office of Sustainable Development.

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Linda J. Brewer,