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scroll down to learn more about the event’s educational sessions!

Opening Keynote Session: “Rooted in Local Food and Farming”

Time: 9:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Speaker: Andrew McCrea – American Countryside

Farmer and broadcaster Andrew McCrea tells rural America’s stories on his radio and podcast channels. At Farm to Fork, he will share his perspective on the important role that local foods and regenerative agriculture have in building a new rural American prosperity.

Following Andrew’s keynote address:

Speaker: Andrea Clark – Kansas City Healthy Kids

Andrea Clark with Kansas City Healthy Kids will follow up Andrew McCrea’s keynote address with a short introduction to the Regional Food Systems Planning project, and how you can participate.

morning breakout sessions

Breakout Session 1 TRACK: Soil Health   |   Title: “Livestock’s Role”

Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Speaker: Josh Payne

See how farms are building profitability with multi-species rotational grazing. Presenter Josh Payne of Plowshare Farm in Concordia, MO, will describe how rotational grazing of sheep and cattle is building full-time incomes on the family farm while also building soil health for future productivity and profitability. Grazing activity stimulates soil biology and, with strong management, can accelerate the benefits of soil health strategies, such as cover crops.

Breakout Session 1 TRACK: Diversification   |   Title: “New Crops”

Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

PANEL: Ben Bennett, Lynn Meinershagen, & Josh Abercrombie

This session will feature families working with different types of farm crops, such as agroforestry. Specifically, our panel will share the wide world of crop characteristics and related products that they have built and are presenting to buyers. Each is making the most of their basic commodities – honey, pecans, and black walnuts – with differentiation strategies that broaden the customer base and keep those customers interested.

Breakout Session 1 TRACK: Food Policy   |   Title: “Farm to Food Bank

Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Speaker: Bill McKelvey & Lisa Ousley

Learn about hunger in Missouri and how community-based programs are making a difference. This session will present hard facts about hunger in Missouri. It will also present examples and perspective on the positive and powerful role that farmers and community-based organizations can play in meeting immediate need and in building food security.

Breakout Session 1 TRACK: Entrepreneurs   |   Title: “Business Plan How-To”

Time: 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Speaker: Tiffany Frost

Download business planning steps and real-life experience in this “getting started” session. Farms are businesses. Thinking like a business, and working through the questions that any business must answer for startup and growth, is the focus of this session. Our presenters are a business counselor and a local farm entrepreneur. They will team up to walk participants through Business Planning 101 and what getting started looks and feels like in practice.

afternoon breakout sessions

Breakout Session 2 TRACK: Soil Health   |   Title: “Cover Crop Basics”

Time: 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Speaker: Kelly Wilson

Learn how to protect and nourish soil with cover crops. This session will walk producers through the why and the how of adding cover crops to their operations. Cover crops help other crops grow more successfully. The “why” includes reducing soil erosion, increasing water filtration, crowding out weeds, and adding beneficial micro-organisms. Next-step practical “how’ questions that the session will cover include when to plant which cover crops and how to integrate them with other crop planting.

Breakout Session 2 TRACK: Diversification   |   Title: “New Markets”

Time: 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

PANEL: Hemme Brothers, Matt Moreland, & Monty Smith

Check out how some farms are shaking up their market mix for long-term sustainability. Building new farm enterprises to keep farms going and growing is the focus of this session. Panelists will share their experiences venturing into cheese making and retailing, meat processing and retailing, and agritourism in the social media age. Each will share lessons learned along with the story of their success moving forward with new market opportunities.

Breakout Session 2 TRACK: Food Policy   |   Title: “Farm Bill Action”

Time: 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m

Speaker: Patrick Westhoff

Explore the law that covers everything from nutrition programs to price supports, and how you have a say in it. It is high time to get engaged with the 2023 Farm Bill. This session will explain the wide-ranging package of legislation, which federal lawmakers pass roughly every five years. It will dig into how the Farm Bill affects each of us, and how to make your voice heard. The Farm Bill is “seed-to-plate” legislation with components that cover not only what we eat, what is grown, and how it is grown, but also funding for rural communities.

Breakout Session 2 TRACK: Entrepreneurs   |   Title: “Regenerative Main St.”

Time: 1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m

Speaker: Chett Daniel

Learn how small towns are growing stronger with small businesses, and small farms. Rural communities, like farmers, must be innovative and entrepreneurial to make it in a “get big or get out” world. This session will explore the critical role that entrepreneurship plays in building stronger rural places, and the key role that farmers and local food play in that story. The love of land and neighbors that goes into regenerative agriculture extends to the Main Streets that farmers both support and rely upon.

Closing Demonstration: LIVE! The Power of Healthy Soil

Time: 2:45 p.m. – 3:30 p.m

Speaker: Ray Archuleta – Soil Health Academy

Ray Archuleta is a distinguished soil scientist and founder of the national Soil Health Academy and Understanding Ag LLC. His live demonstration of healthy soil’s power to hold water and nutrients provides a closeup look at what regenerative agriculture can do. He’ll showcase a simple model that shows how land management impacts soil function. Healthy soils cycle water and nutrients throughout farm and landscape. Diversity of animals, plants, insects, and soil biology determine the level of soil function. Increased soil health will reduce the need of fertilizer, pesticides, and energy which increase farm profits!