Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Missouri Farmers Market Conference in Springfield Jan. 25-26; Greene County Extension Specialists Leading Pre-Conference Training Jan. 24 and Nutrition Panel Jan. 26

The 2013 Missouri Farmers Market Association Annual Conference and Trade Show will be held in Springfield, Mo. at the Howard Johnson’s Conference Center at 3333 S. Glenstone Ave., on Jan. 25 and Jan. 26.

In addition, specialists from University of Missouri Extension and the Greene County Health Department are offering a free pre-conference bonus day course, “Food Safety – From Field to Market,” on Jan. 24.

“This course is a comprehensive workshop about food safety on the farm and at the market and it comes complete with certification,” said Patrick Byers, a horticulture specialist at the Greene County Extension Center who will be co-teaching the pre-conference class.

Dr. Pam Duitsman, a nutrition and health education specialist with MU Extension in Greene County, will give a presentation on Saturday, Jan. 26 as part of a panel discussion entitled: “Emphasizing Nutrition and Health Benefits at the Market and Beyond.”

“Substantial, real health benefits can be associated with eating locally grown foods,” said Duitsman. “Health is more than just what you put in your body but it is also about the air and water and land that you live on, a resilient community that you can support, and which can support you.”

The conference this year will provide a great variety of farming and farmers market related workshops and discussion groups. There will also be off-site tours, meals from foods produced by our local growers, gift bags, prizes, education, fellowship and entertainment from legendary entertainer Bob Mabe, the original Branson Baldknobber.

Participants in the conference tours will visit Flintrock Bison Ranch, Murphy’s Orchard cider operation, Golden City Meat, Wilson Farm, a local high tunnel in winter production, and a local market bakery and coffee roasting operation.

The trade show will feature companies representing horticulture, agriculture, seeds, plants, machinery, tools, hardware, tractors, meat production, finances, research, development, health, fertilizers, methodology, and pick-up trucks.

To participate in workshops, take tours or enjoy meals, pre-registration is required. Registration can be done online at http://missourimarkets.wordpress.com/ or by calling 417-483-8139.

To make reservations at Howard Johnson’s 1-800-756-7318 and ask for the special MFMA Conference Rate of $59.

This year’s conference is hosted by the Greater Springfield Farmers’ Market located at Battlefield Mall in Springfield.


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