Back by popular demand, the Midwest Winter Production Conference features national & regional presenters with hands-on experience in winter production. The conference will be held Thursday and Friday, January 21 and 22, 2016 at the Continental Banquet Center (immediately behind Granny Shaffer’s), 2728 North Rangeline, Joplin, MO 64801. The demand for locally grown vegetables & fruit knows no season & the opportunity for innovative farmers to expand production into the winter months is huge.
Registration is limited to 100 participants.
Thursday, January 21
Registration – 8 to 9 am
9:15 am - Welcome
9:20 - 10:20 am - Concurrent Sessions – pick one
For Beginners – High tunnel siting, choices of equipment, costs and returns – Shon Bishop and Patrice Gros
Garlic, a favorite through the centuries, only seems to get more popular every year - Patrick Byers and Tammy Sellmeyer will discuss the history, background and classification of garlic, as well as production and post-harvest handling of this crop which can add sales during fall and winter.
10:20 - 10:30 am - break
10:30 - 11:30 am - If you grow it, will they buy it… And will you make money doing it?
Economics and marketing for winter grow leafy greens. (Adam Montri) High tunnels and hoophouses have allowed for winter production of leafy greens like spinach, kale, and Swiss chard, but just because we can grow these crops doesn’t mean we can sell them. If we can sell them that also doesn’t mean we are making money on them. This session will focus on production and planning for winter leafy crops, selling and marketing them, and determining prices to make sure you are making money on these leafy greens.
11:30 - 12:30 pm - lunch (included in registration fee)
12:30 – 1:45 pm - Farmer Symposium - Top winter producers from Missouri’s winter markets discuss their favorite winter production tools, crops and techniques. Patrice Gross of Arkansas and Adam Montri of Michigan will join in.
1:45 - 2:00 pm - break
2:00 - 3:00 pm - Marketing Strategies for Winter Sales (Dru Montri) Marketing your product during the winter can require a strategy different from your peak season approach. Learn more about planning, target marketing, building relationships with your customers and communicating with them regularly. After a review of lessons learned from other winter markets, you’ll leave this session thinking about ways to increase your profits and make your winter market more successful.
3:00 - 3:15 pm - break
3:15 pm - Concurrent Sessions (each will be approximately 50 minutes)
Tammy Sellmeyer - Adding value and expanding your profit through storage crops and dried products. Turn your surplus summer produce into extra winter sales through drying. Make your stand the go-to place for storage crops.
Dan Kuebler - Dan spoke at our first conference about his moveable high tunnel. This year he shares his extensive knowledge about fermenting and pickling and the profit it can add to your winter market sales.
Jennifer Morganthaler and Marilyn Odneal of Missouri State University – Raspberry Production in High Tunnels - an on-going research project examining the cost benefits and challenges of high tunnel raspberry production, including bag growing.
Adam and Dru Montri of Ten Hens Farm will present on their diversified marketing strategy. This session will focus on building relationships with buyers, communication, marketing and sales strategies. Ten Hens Farm currently sells on farm, to other farms, to food trucks, restaurants, specialty grocers, and a medium-sized distributor.
Friday, January 22
8:30 to 10:00 am - Winter Storage Crop Production and Economics. (Adam Montri)
Winter storage crops such as beets and specialty turnips add to a farm’s product list but are not always the most economically viable crops to grow in a winter high tunnel. In this session we will focus on summer and fall production of root crops for winter storage. Plant spacing, weeding and cultivation options, when to harvest, winter storage requirements and options, labor needs, packaging and pricing will all be discussed along with how the storage crops help to sell other winter high tunnel grown products.
10:15 to 11:45 am - Integrated Pest Control in Tunnels - a panel discussion including Dr. Jaime
Pinero and case studies presented by local high tunnel farmers.
Noon to 1 pm - Lunch (included in registration fee)
1:00 to 2:00 pm - Starting your own plants for winter production—seed selection, crop varieties, cost, quality control (Patrice Gross)
2:15 pm - Update on grants, food safety and other government programs and opportunities
3:00 to 5:00 pm - Farm tour
$50 for full registration includes lunch each of the two days and materials Additional registrations are $35 per person from the same farm or group each include lunch each of the two days but no materials.
Mail with check made out to Webb City Farmers Market to: Webb City Farmers Market, PO Box 1, Webb City, MO 64870. Questions? Call Eileen at 417 483-8139.