Northern Growers & Marketers Conference

  • Rivers' Edge Convention Center, 10 4th Ave. S., St. Cloud, MN 56301
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  • RSVP to Kim Guenther, MFMA, 573-470-4445, kguenther@mfma.org

The Northern Growers and Marketers Conference (NorGrow) will take place Jan. 16-17, in St. Cloud, Minn. at the Rivers’ Edge Convention Center. The event is hosted by Minnesota Fruit & Vegetable Growers Association, Minnesota Farmers’ Market Association, and Minnesota Apple Growers Association. The conference will bring together fruit and vegetable growers, farmers’ market managers, and marketers from across the state.

The conference keynote speaker is Tera Johnson, founder of the Food Finance Institute (FFI) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Johnson is a serial entrepreneur whose mission is to create the next generation of environmentally and economically resilient food and farming businesses. The founder of teraswhey and host of the Edible-Alpha podcast, Tera has personal experience in being an entrepreneur, raising money, launching a national brand, and selling a company. Now the founder of the Food Finance Institute, Tera is a speaker, teacher and financial consultant to sustainable food and farming businesses, social venture funds, and investors. Her keynote talk, "Finding Calm Water in the Rapids," will address a variety of changing conditions in the food and farming industries, and what it will take to find quieter waters for farmers and markets.

In addition to the keynote, Johnson will be leading a mini boot camp, a warm up for FFI’s four-day boot camp, for food and farm enterprises designed to introduce participants to the process of transforming their business into a successful financial venture.

Other sessions include:

  • Prevention: Key to Disease Control in Organic Vegetables
  • Grower Experiences with Exclusion Netting
  • Growing Apples for Cider
  • Unraveling the Mystery of Phytopthora Rot
  • Building Your Team-Transferring Farm to Next Generation
  • Learning From Our Northern (Alaskan) Neighbors

A full schedule of events, keynote address details, registration information, lodging, and more is available on the conference website at: www.mfvga.org/ngm-conference.php.

FSMA PSR Training

One day prior to the NorGrow Conference, on Jan. 15, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture will be hosting a Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule (PSR) Training, also in St. Cloud. The deadline for registering for the St. Cloud FSMA PSR Training is Jan. 7. For more information on FSMA PSR, see www.mda.state.mn.us/fsma-produce-safety-rule-grower-training-courses.