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Pre-Conference Workshops

Sunday, August 8

In the LBJ Student Center at Texas State University

Boosting Resilience (and Preventing Failure) for Your Farm (Full-Day)

The morning will cover “Personal Resilience,” focusing on developing resilience as a family or farm unit; “On-Farm Resilience,” with emphasis on preparing for drought, flood, and market crises as part of farm planning; and resilience “backups” through USDA programs, from crop insurance to disaster relief. Throughout the morning, one-on-one consultations are available to any farmer currently in crisis and needing immediate assistance.

The afternoon offers three alternatives for attendees:

  • Roundtable session with FARFA, TOFGA, Farm Aid, and others involved in the disaster relief efforts, to discuss how to better coordinate and support our community in future disasters.
  • Individual consultations (15-20 minutes, one-on-one meetings with farm crisis experts).
  • Attend one of the other afternoon sessions (Small Farm Marketing or Starting a Successful Co-Op).

Designing Food Safety Into the Farm (Morning/Half-Day)

This half-day workshop will present ways you can set up your wash-and-pack area for optimal flow and produce safety as well as offer tips and best practices for worker training and management in the wash-and-pack space. We’ll also touch on any recordkeeping necessary for the process. All of the topics discussed in the workshop will focus on produce safety within the FSMA produce safety rules.

Small Farm Marketing Strategies & Tools (Afternoon/Half-Day)

This workshop will help new and beginning farmers determine which marketing strategies will work best for their farm and will provide seasoned farmers with new information about local food marketing strategies. You’ll hear from a panel of Texas farmers and ranchers about the benefits, drawbacks, and their personal experiences with several local food marketing strategies: community supported agriculture (CSA) programs, farmers markets, and wholesaling, to name a few.

In the second half of the workshop, you’ll learn about online marketing platforms and how this rapidly expanding technology can help farmers connect to the thousands of consumers who now shop for their food online. There will be plenty of time for Q&A, so bring your questions!

Starting & Running a Successful Co-Op (Afternoon/Half-Day)

Co-Op development experts and co-op founders from across Texas will explore the many ways that cooperation can build strong, resilient farmer and rancher networks as well as a committed, reliable customer base. Topics include:

Reducing expenses and increasing market access.
Start-up basics.
Co-op business planning and design.
Worker cooperative farms and cooperative land trusts.
Legal and tax considerations.