For the first time in it’s 14 year history the Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference (SFC) will be held in Traverse City. The conference, held in Grayling for many years, has outgrown that facility with almost 800 attendees in 2013. This year attendance is expected to reach 1000 participants as the single-day event moves to the Grand Traverse Resort at the northern edge of the Traverse City community, in Acme.
And also for the first time, the Northwest Michigan Food & Farming Network (FFN) will host its Annual Meeting and Farm Summit to coordinate with the Small Farm Conference. The FFN will move its half-day of activities to January 31, 2014 on the Friday before the SFC. This is designed to help others get engaged in the work of the FFN while they’re already in town for the Small Farm Conference.
FFN Summit events will take place at the Inside-Out Gallery on Hall Street in Traverse City’s warehouse district. The Inside-Out Gallery is a great community space with just a touch of naughty edge. Exactly what we need to spice things up a bit. Activities will include the annual summit session where quick, five minute or less, updates are given on topics covered by the network over the past year. This is a fast-paced session with strict timing controls put on speakers. It makes for a fun and informative meeting. The summit will be followed by a local foods dinner served a la carte by Roaming Harvest’s food truck.
The whole day is designed to be low key, informal, and collegial. Organizers want to encourage broad participation from the community on food & farming activities. Keeping it “real” and to the point is the philosophy, with the goal of igniting some passion before Saturday’s Small Farm Conference.
Then after you’ve spent all day Saturday taking in the plethora of programs that make up the SFC, don’t stop there! The Food & Farming Network wants to provide you with an outlet to take what’s inspired you over the past two days and move toward action. They’ll be hosting an Action Breakfast on Sunday morning at the Inside-Out Gallery to help put more direction to your weekend.
Friday’s Food & Farming Summit, (January 31, 2014) and Sunday’s Action Breakfast (February 2, 2014) activities are managed by the Northwest Michigan Food & Farming Network. To find out more go to http://foodandfarmingnetwork.org.
Saturday’s 15th Annual Small Farm Conference (February 1, 2014) is managed by a consortium of organizations under the banner Northern Michgian Small Farm Conference planning committee. To find out more, go to http://smallfarmconference.com/.