Fifth Annual North Coast Farmers Convergence
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
North Coast Opportunities (NCO), the Community Action Agency for Lake and Mendocino Counties, is bringing together food producers from Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Sonoma, and Napa counties, along with food and farming support organizations, for the Fifth-Annual North Coast Farmers Convergence on Tuesday, February 28, 2017. Food producers from across the region will come together for a facilitated day of networking, sharing skills and ideas, and celebrating the vital profession of farming. Click here to read about the Fourth Annual Farmers Convergence, or click here to see pictures and here for a video. Space is limited, and early registration is encouraged by visiting: 2017convergence.brownpapertickets.com
Food producers, local retailers, local food advocates, and farmer support organizations from across the region will come together at Ridgewood Ranch, just south of Willits, for a lively, educational day of networking, sharing skills and ideas, and celebrating the growth of resilient local food systems.
The Convergence is an opportunity for the widespread farming community to gather to learn and connect while honoring the profession of farming. Farmers, ranchers, dairy producers, seed growers, beekeepers, grain growers, vendors, buyers, retailers, and food producer supporters from organizations like California FarmLink, Community Alliance with Family Farmers, The Farmers Guild, The Farm Bureau, the University of California Cooperative Extension and the Grange Farm School of Adaptive Agriculture will join arms to build a network of support while sharing best practices.
Michael Foley, a Mendocino County farmer dedicated to helping young farmers find access to land and education and a founder of the Grange Farm School of Adaptive Agriculture near Willits, will facilitate a panel discussion of area farmers talking about why they chose their particular niche and how it is working for them.
There also will be break-out roundtable discussion on a wide range of topics including on-farm composting, the impact of Proposition 64, marketing your farm, seed saving, land access and transitions, and more. While registering for the event, there also is an opportunity to suggest other roundtable topics that you want to see discussed.
Event participants also will enjoy a farm to fork breakfast and lunch featuring local ingredients. There will be an after-convergence mixer, open only to farmers and wholesale food buyers, where food producers and buyers can make market connections and establish sales relationships over glasses of locally-sourced beer, wine, and other beverages. Snacks also will be provided at the mixer from 4:00 to 5:30 p.m.
“I’ve referred to talks I heard at the last convergence multiple times throughout the year,” says Caroline Radice of Black Dog Farm. “It was worth every minute that I attended, and I can’t wait to go again this year.”
A small registration fee includes a breakfast snack, a local lunch, and all presentations. Attendees must register in advance, but no one will be turned away due to lack of funds and scholarships are available. Space is limited, and early registration is encouraged by visiting: 2017convergence.brownpapertickets.com
“Growing our local food system benefits not only farmers and local food producers, it benefits schools, restaurants, support organizations, and the overall local economy,” says Terre Logsdon, Lake County Farm to School Coordinator. “The North Coast Farmers Convergence is an excellent opportunity for attendees to learn from one another and gain access to resources, programs, and people they may not have known about. Our intent is to have everyone leave the event inspired and prepared for the upcoming growing season.”
For more information about the Convergence, contact farmersconvergence @gmail.com, or call (707) 994-4474, ext 130.
IMPORTANT NOTE ON GETTING TO RIDGEWOOD RANCH:
Most maps (including Google and Mapquest) for the official address are wrong. You can enter "1 Seabiscuit Lane, Willits" into your GPS to get to the right place, or just follow these directions:
From 101 South: From the junction of US-101 and SR20 in Willits, drive south on 101 for 7 miles. Turn right onto Ridgewood Ranch Road (look for the RV Park sign, plus a special Convergence sign with balloons) and follow the Convergence signs from there.
From 101 North: From the junction of US-101 and SR20 just north of Ukiah, drive north on 101 for 8 miles. Using the left-hand turn lane, turn left onto Ridgewood Ranch Road (look for the RV Park sign, plus a special Convergence sign with balloons) and follow the signs from there.
Northbound turnoff to Ridgewood Ranch: