Late Morning Sessions 10:45 am - 12:15 pm

Challenges & Opportunities for New Specialties Crops

Breakout Room: Dogwood

Learn about some of the opportunities & challenges for growing new specialty crops on your farm from researchers from the University of Florida through their research & trials on tea, peach, and olive production in Florida. 

Lead by Dr. Tripti Vashisth, Dr. Brantlee Spakes-Richter, Dr. Jennifer Gillett-Kaufman

Farm Policy in the Year of the Farm Bill 

Breakout Room: Live Oak




Breakout Room: Hickory

The farm bill, which is set for renewal in 2018, has a tremendous impact on farming livelihoods, how food is grown, and what kinds of foods are grown.  This in turn affects the environment, local economies, and public health.  These are some pretty good reasons to become involved in advocating for a farm bill that supports health and sustainability!

Lead by Sarah Hackney & Marty Mesh & David Vaina


Running a farm business means being exposed to a never ending list of variables & risks. By diversifying your farm operation, you can help maximize your returns and help mitigate risk to the operation as a whole. Join Noah Shitama of Swallowtail Farm to learn about and get inspired by their super diversified farm that includes rotating vegetable crops, cut flower production and arranging, egg & pork production, a creamery, farm festivals, on-farm dinners, other value added products, a CSA, direct marketing, and more! 

Lead by Noah Shitama

Soil Health & Management

Breakout Room: Azalea



Breakout Room: Hawthorne

Healthy soils are the foundation of all organic farming systems.  Healthy soils grow healthy plants, to provide healthy food and feed for people and livestock, to help make us (and our world) healthier, too.  We’ll talk about how the physical, chemical, and biological properties of soil interact and how we can use natural systems and management practices to keep our soils as healthy as possible. We’ll cover topics including soil tilth, fertility, nutrient cycling, managing organic matter, and cover crops in this session.  Bring your questions and your willingness to share your experiences. Whether you’re a beginning organic farmer or have lots of experience, we’ll have plenty of opportunities to learn from each other.

Lead by Mark Kopecky & Dr. Erin Silva

Learn all you need to know to raise ruminants and poultry organically.  This interactive session will cover the art and science of organic livestock production from the ground up.  Agronomy and soil fertility, forages and grazing, nutrition and herd health, housing and animal care, organic certification and marketing.  Bring your questions and your willingness to share your experiences. This session will help everyone from beginner to grizzled veteran learn more about organic livestock principles and opportunities.

Lead by Gerry Cohn & Linda Hart