Thursday & Friday Program

January 25-26, 2018: Montrose County Fairgrounds
Friendship Hall

Thursday, January 25 – Montrose County Fairgrounds

  • 2pm-6pm – Produce Safety Training Certification Course Part 1 – Sold Out – To be put on a wait list please email
    • This workshop will familiarize farmers with the part of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) that applies to growing vegetables and fruit.  You’ll learn:
      • What is FSMA, what is the Produce Safety Rule, and who is affected
      • Relevant Microorganisms that impact  produce safety and where they may be found on the farm
      • How to identify microbial risks, practices that reduce risks, and how to begin implementing produce safety practices on the farm
      • Parts of a farm food safety plan and how to begin writing one
    • This workshop is valued at $135 but we’re offering it at $50.  RMFU, NYFC, and Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers will get a further discount on this workshop. Your registration fee includes snacks, Friday lunch, a hefty binder of information and a certificate of completion required under FSMA.

Friday, January 26 – Montrose County Fairgrounds

Morning Workshops (choose one)

  • 8am-12pm  Produce Safety Training Certification Course Part 2 (see above, both sessions must be attended to receive certification)
  • 10am-12pmExpanding Western Colorado Livestock Processing Options

Kathryn Bedell, DVM, Roan Creek Ranch will present the results of a CSA feasibility study on regional livestock processing and fabrication options on the Western Slope. Further discussion will surround developing a market for Western Colorado producers.  Fee $0 but registration is required.

Afternoon Workshops (choose one)

1-4:30pm – Managing Nature as a Whole for Healthy Land, People and Profit 

Join Kirk Gadzia, certified Holistic Management Educator with 30 years experience, to learn how to implement animal and land management practices that mimic nature to benefit both grazing stock and biodiversity. Graziers across the world have discovered that they can increase production of their herds while also improving water and mineral cycles of environments using the Holistic Management (HM) decision-making framework. HM is applicable to all management contexts and offers land stewards a way to make grazing, land management and financial decisions that positively impact land health and productivity. Many now consider this type of grazing management to be the single most beneficial technique for restoring both profits and biodiversity to independent grazing operations.

Registration costs $30 (or $25 if adding on to your Saturday registration).

1-4:30pm – Scaling Up for Produce Growers with Dan Hobbs

Advanced strategies for scaling up your produce operation to meet the demands of wholesale, food hub, grocery chains or institutional markets will be covered in this half day workshop by Dan Hobbs of the Hobbs Family Farm and the Rocky Mountain Farmers Union. Topics will include core business functions for wholesale success, a buyers panel with Nick Chambers of Valley Roots Food Hubs, Anita Hix  and Emma Stopher-Griffin of Farm Runners as well as a producers panel with First Fruit Organics, Tyler Willbanks of Rocky Draw Ag services and Mike Nolan of Mountain Roots Produce.


Registration costs $30 (or $25 if adding on to your Saturday registration).

5:30 – Mixer at 2 Rascals Brewing (147 N 1st St. Montrose, CO 81401)

Please join us at Two Rascals Brewing for an evening of camaraderie and networking.  All conference goers are welcome.  Delicious soups by the Camp Robber will by provided thanks to the National Young Farmers Coalition and Rocky Mountain Farmers Union.