Apple juggling
Events: February 2007

RI Livestock Producers Meeting

Tuesday, February 6 | 9:30PM - 11:00PM | West Greenwich, RI | directions

Demand for locally raised products remains high but is hampered by the lack of processing capability, including the recent closing of two local slaughter plants in Southern New England. The Rhode Raised Meat Cooperative is recently formed and inviting all livestock producers to the meeting to discuss recent and planned efforts to work together to develop the livestock and locally raised meat industry. Refreshments will be served, and representatives involved in similar efforts in Massachusetts will also speak. All RI livestock producers are invited.

Hosted by Rhode Raised Meat Cooperative at the West Greenwich Elks Lodge: 42 Nooseneck Hill Road, West Greenwich, RI.

Contact Dannielle Minto at (401) 499-2213 or by e-mail for more information.

Community Farming Conference

Saturday, February 10 | 11:30AM - 6:00PM | Madison, CT | directions | website

The Community Farming Conference will connect three groups of people - the towns and land trusts with land, the community groups that want a local farm, and the farmers who need land and local markets.

This conference features two keynote speakers: Lynda Simkins of the Natick Community Organic Farm in Massachusetts (http://www.natickfarm.org), and Elizabeth Henderson of Peacework Organic Farm in Newark, New York (http://www.gvocsa.org/index.html).

In addition to the keynote speakers, the conference will feature a forum for community farms (established and developing) to share their successes, challenges, resources, and needs, and short talks and discussions on special topics, including: working with your town government and planning your community farm as a business.

The conference costs $30 for NOFA members and $40 for non-members. Fee includes lunch.

Hosted by CT-NOFA at the Mercy Center: 167 Neck Road, Madison, CT.

Contact Kim Stoner at (203) 974-8480 or by e-mail for more information.

RI Local Food Forum

Tuesday, February 13 | 11:00AM - 6:00PM | Providence, RI | directions | website

A networking opportunity for farmers, restaurants and food service buyers.

This year's focus is on the "Value of Local": how having locally grown on the menu creates regional branding and grows the local economy.

Registration online. Free.

Hosted by Farm Fresh RI and Brown Dining Services at the Andrews Dining Hall, Brown University: Cushing St. & Brown St., Providence, RI.

Contact Noah Fulmer at (401) 863-6509 or by e-mail for more information.

Jazz for Kids

Thursday, February 22 | 4:00PM - 7:00PM | Portsmouth, RI | directions | website

During the school vacation week, Greenvale Vineyards hosts a Jazz for Kids concert for all ages. Matt Quinn, David Polansky and others will entertain with jazz classics as well as kids' favorites.

Hosted by Greenvale Vineyards at the Greenvale Vineyards: 582 Wapping Road, Portsmouth, RI.

Contact Nancy Parker Wilson at (401) 847-3777 or by e-mail for more information.

New England Farmers' Direct Marketing Conference and Trade Show

Wednesday, February 28 10:30AM - Thursday, March 1 7:30PM | Sturbridge, MA | directions | website

This event is your best opportunity in 2007 to learn new marketing ideas and fine-tune strategies for your business success. You should attend if you are a grower, value-added producer, planner, economic developer, government leader, farmers’ market manager or just interested in agriculture!

Conference highlights include nationally renowned agrimarketing expert, Jane Eckert speaking on how to “Market with More Creativity Than Cash.” A lively and informative “Best of New England” panel will feature some of the top farm marketers from all six New England states. “Kitchen Table Direct Marketing” will provide you with practical ways to combine sales and marketing thinking with the financial information that lets you know when things are really working – or not.

Over the two days there will be over 20 workshops with a wide range of marketing and business planning topics on culinary tourism, tapping into the group tour market, risk management, selling to local schools, festivals, internet marketing, export opportunities and lots more. Value-added workshops will let you know how the customer sees your products, what you can do to improve your brand, and how to conduct market research for a viable business. Agricultural processors, manufacturers and producers will get the inside scoop on developing business plans and technical assistance. Farmers’ market managers from across New England will gather on February 28th for a special half-day workshop to discuss New Marketing Opportunities and Building Alliances, including how tools such as the Rapid Market Assessment and Sticky Economy Evaluation Device can help you strengthen your market.

Register before February 2 for a reduced rate. Scholarships available.

Hosted by Harvest New England at the Sturbridge Host Hotel: 366 Main St, Sturbridge, MA.

Contact Bonita Oehlke at (617) 626-1753 or by e-mail for more information.