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Focus On Farming agricultural conference set for Nov. 29

The Corner Produce stand on Cemetery Road sells giant cabbages perfect for coleslaw. More and more produce stands are popping up around the area with farmers also selling produce straight from the farm, partly due to changes in rules and regulations that make it easier for farmers to sell directly to customers. -
The Corner Produce stand on Cemetery Road sells giant cabbages perfect for coleslaw. More and more produce stands are popping up around the area with farmers also selling produce straight from the farm, partly due to changes in rules and regulations that make it easier for farmers to sell directly to customers.
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ARLINGTON Farmers from around the county are looking forward to the fourth annual Focus on Farming conference which features national agriculture leaders speaking on issues that fit the theme, From Soils to Sales.
Arlington farmers, Barbara and Rodney DeVol, who own several Dexter cows at Heather Meadows Farm, on Jim Creek Road, are looking forward to the day-long event in Lynnwood, Nov. 29. As is S.J. Gahm who raises about 70 head of lambs at her On the Lamb Farm on Moran Road near Arlington.
Its mostly about networking and sharing ideas, said Gahm, whose day job is as a medical doctor. She also raises dogs to herd the sheep.
Barbara DeVol said the same thing.
Weve been attending the conference since it started and always learn a lot, DeVol said. Its really important that the local government get involved in helping farmers make a living.
Gahm has a specific mission in mind for this years conference.
I plan to talk with other cattle growers about the possibility of starting a butcher co-op here in Snohomish County, she said, adding that there is no USDA approved butcher here, which may impact her ability to sell the organic lamb she raises to restaurants.
We just slipped in at the Bow facility on a cancellation this year, but I dont know if we can count on that, she said.
Another Arlington farmer, Linda Neunzig, is active in coordinating the event through her full-time job representing agriculture in Snohomish Countys economic development department.
This years focus, From Soils to Sales, will give farmers more resources to meet the demands of a changing marketplace and shifting environmental conditions. The keynote speakers include Congressman Rick Larsen who will speak about the U.S. Farm Bill in the Northwest.
Washington State Universitys Chad Kruger will present the morning keynote, Climate Change Impacts on Regional Agriculture. Kruger currently serves as the Director of Outreach for the Climate Friendly Farming Project, which is researching agricultural practices and technologies that reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions and provide renewable, biomass substitutes for fossil fuel-based products. And Dr. Fred Kirschenmann, from Iowa State Universitys Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, will speak on Meeting Agricultures Challenges in a Rapidly Changing World.
Breakout sessions include the latest research, methodology and techniques for on-farm efficiency and will explore trends in local and organic farm to market; alternative grains; environmentally friendly nursery technology and bio-energy.
Check-in begins at 7 a.m. and the conference starts at
8 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 29, at the Lynnwood Convention Center, at I-5 & 196th St. SW in Lynwood.
Admission is $40 and $10 for those under 18 after November 15.
Our partnership with farmers across the region has allowed us to identify innovative ideas and proven strategies to promote agriculture, said Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon.

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