Midwest Winter Production Conference In Joplin Offers Education For Expert And Beginning Growers Feb. 13-14

    Midwest Winter Production Conference will be held Feb. 13-14 at the Continental Banquet Center, 2728 North Rangeline, Joplin. A master class for experienced growers will be offered along with an introduction for beginning growers interested in three- or four-season production.
   “Winter production, and extended season production in the spring and fall have become increasingly important sources of revenue for Missouri farmers. Off-season production is also essential for year-round markets and their customers who want fresh local produce throughout the year,” said Robert Balek, horticulture specialist, University of Missouri Extension.
   There are currently about 30 winter markets in Missouri including Webb City, Farmers Market of the Ozarks, Greater Springfield, City Market in Kansas City, and Columbia.
   The conference will include multiple program tracks. Speakers will cover topics ranging from high tunnel production and soil solarization to the economics of winter production and how to market your production.
   This conference features national and regional presenters.
   Paul and Sandy Arnold, owners and operators of Pleasant Valley Farm in Argyle, New York, are considered some of the "Rock Stars" of winter production. They have specialized in winter growing/season extension since 1992 and operate a completely solar-powered farm.
   Michael Kilpatrick of Ohio is a farmer, presenter, inventor and blogger who specializes in teaching farmers to make their farms profitable without working 24/7.
   Liz Graznak owns and operates Happy Hollow Farms. This year-round operation supplies veggies, fruits, eggs and flowers through its CSA, the Columbia Farmers Market and to restaurants and grocery stores.
   Pre-registration is required at the cost of $50. Additional registrations from the same farm or family are $35 each. Registration at the $50 level includes the just published “Greenhouse and Hoophouse Grower’s Handbook,” a $35 value.
   Complete conference information is available at online at or by calling 417 483-8139.
   The Midwest Winter Production Conference is sponsored by the Webb City Farmers Market, Lincoln University Co-operative Extension and University of Missouri Extension. It is underwritten by a specialty crops grant from the Missouri Department of Agriculture. ∆
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