CORVALLIS, Ore. - Registration has opened for the 12th annual Oregon Small Farms Conference on Feb. 25 at Oregon State University.

Kristin Kimball will open the daylong event with a talk about Essex Farm, which she and her husband run in New York. She'll discuss the evolution of their farm, the advantages and disadvantages of scaling up and the importance of holding on to a clear vision in the face of rapid change.

Kimball, a graduate of Harvard University, is the author of "The Dirty Life," a memoir about her first year farming after abandoning a career as a writer in New York City.

The conference will feature 21 workshops on topics that include:

  • Harvesting rainwater;
  • Marketing meat products;
  • Extending the growing season into winter;
  • Developing a farm business plan;
  • Attracting customers to farmers markets;
  • Writing about farming;
  • Using permaculture on farms;
  • Grafting vegetables to reduce soil-borne diseases and improve vigor and yield;
  • Selling products to schools and health care facilities;
  • Organizing dinner events on farms;
  • Legislation affecting small farmers who sell condiments at farmers markets;
  • Advocacy plans for reforming Oregon's land-use policies to favor agricultural producers;
  • Resources for financing farms.

The event, one of the flagship educational offerings of the OSU Extension Service's Small Farms Program, is geared toward farmers, agriculture professionals, food policy advocates and managers of farmers markets. Speakers will include farmers, OSU faculty and representatives from the Oregon Department of Agriculture and the Oregon Farmers' Markets Association.

The cost, which includes lunch, is $45 per person or $80 for two people from the same farm or organization through Feb. 15. It rises to $50 per individual on Feb. 16, and will be $55 at the door. The conference will take place at the LaSells Stewart Center on campus. To register, go to

A special hands-on workshop on poultry slaughter and marketing will take place on Feb. 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. It aims to help poultry producers comply with the requirements of a state law that exempts businesses that slaughter up to 1,000 birds per year from certain licensing requirements. The class requires an additional registration and is limited to 25 people. The cost is $100. To register, go to To inquire about scholarships for the poultry session, contact Linda Brewer at

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Linda Brewer, 541-737-1408