- Author: Brenda Dawson
Calling all small-scale farmers and their supporters! Now is the season of awards and conferences in the agricultural world — and that goes for small-scale farmers too. At the moment, we are seeking nominations for the Pedro Ilic Awards, which honor dedication to small-scale farming.
Each year, the awards honor an educator and a farmer who embody characteristics that helped make Ilic a success.
Anyone can write a nomination. Take a look at the nomination form, which is now online. The deadline for nominations is Jan. 31.
The awards will be presented at the California Small Farm Conference, March 4-6 in Valencia.
This conference, which rotates location each year, is the state's premier gathering of small farmers, agricultural students, farmers market managers and others involved in the small-farm industry. The three-day educational conference includes day-long short courses and on-farm tours; 25 focused workshops; keynote addresses (Karen Ross! Farmer Hallie Muller! Chef Michel Nischan!) and many networking opportunities.
Presentations at the conference from University of California experts will address food safety, starting a new farm, agritourism, new technologies, farming with limited water, how to recognize snake-oil-like products, and many other topics. You may want to check out the full list of workshops to get a better sense of the practical approach this conference takes to farming.
Other conferences coming up that small-scale farmers may be interested to attend include:
Know of others that I missed? Please tell us about them in the comments. More events for small-scale farmers are on the Small Farm Program's calendar.
And in the meantime: Do you know an outstanding farmer or agricultural educator? Honor him or her with a nomination for the Pedro Ilic Award!