Organic Farming Conference

Speakers and Panelists

Thomas Heckman

organic dairy farmer from Yorkshire, OH.  He and his family run 105 purebred Holsteins on 340 acres.  65 acres are  for grazing and 250 acres are used for hay and row crops.  Young stock grazes the other 25 acres. The focus is on producing high quality forage for his cows.

Vernon (Shorty) Hochstetler

His farm is Schwarzerde Farm in LaGrange IN.  He is part of the 7 Brothers marketing group.  The farm produces broiler chicken and Murrey Grey cattle that are seed stock of his beef herd.  He will be sharing about establishing a grass production network for beef and marketing experiences as well genetics and feeding management.

Jim Gardiner

Jim is a veteran dairy grazier from Otselic , NY.  He will be sharing the importance of striving for healthy soils on the farm for health of livestock and humans.  His experience comes from  almost 30 years of using grass fed Holsteins on his farm.

Troy Hinkle

Troy is the owner of Living Roots Compost Tea Co in Reading, PA.  He has experience working witih Rodale Institute as a Compost Research Specialist before starting Living Roots Compost Tea Co.  He serves as a adviser to several organic farms and will be talking about methods to build soil health on the farm.

Ben Ice

Ben’s is  owner of Ice’s Soil Restoration Inc out of Ely, Minnesota.He will share about how to create mineral balance for your crops and soils. His  work  is to improve soil health for growing quality food and forages. Also, Ben will have a Q & A period for questions on mineral balancing, soil restoration practices and other related activities to unlock your farm’s potential.

Jeff Frank

Jeff is the CEO of Organic Valley.  He will focus on how to apply practical business wisdom to help figure out ways to profitability on your farm.

Patty Indermuhle

Patty is an OB nurse for Wooster Hospital.  She will share about  her experiences as an OB nurse in The Organic Home section.  She also is interested in on farm cheese production.  She will do a session on making Farm Kitchen Cheese.

Jonas Schlabach

Jonas and his family farm in Charm, Ohio.  Jonas will tell how their diverse  farm evolved. They have many different enterprises that support the farm.

Schedule

The Organic Farming Conference will have farmer speakers, soil and composting speakers, and several panels.  The Organic Home will have Patty Indermuhle speaking on Farm Kitchen Cheese and her  OB nursing experiences as well as sessions on food, flowers, and managing the household. Take a look below!

Thursday, November 07

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8:30am

8:45AM

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10:00AM

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10:30AM

12:00PM

Opening

Breakout Sessions

Room 1: My Journey to Utilizing High Quality Forages by Thomas Heckman

Thomas will explain what he did to cut $70,000 off his annual feed costs for his 80-cow dairy. He did this without sacrificing a great amount of production.

Room 2: Our 20 – Plus Years Journey of Establishing a Grass Production Network (Beef) by Vernon “Shorty” Hochstetler

The how-to and whys concerning community breeding, genetic selection, grazing strategies, feed management, and soil fertility.

(Q&A by “Shorty” and Aaron Stutzman)

Vendor Show / Morning Break

Breakout Sessions

Room 1: Why Grass and Dairy Cows Get Along So Well; Even Holsteins by Jim Gardiner

Jim will share his experience on practicing grassfed for almost 30 years; from the beginning to this day.

Room 2: Building Soil Biology by Troy Hinke

Troy will share some methods to build soil health by using cover crops, compost teas, and resources found on your farms.

Lunch 

1:00pm

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2:00pm

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2:30pm

Breakout Sessions

Room 1: Letting Go – Panel: Firman C. Miller, Pete Miller Jr., with moderator Jerry D. Miller

They will share the benefits of letting someone farm differently from what they were used to.

Room 2: Marketing for the Benefit of the Consumer by Vernon “Shorty” Hochstetler

Some do’s and don’ts on marketing, based on our observations, teachings, and sixty plus years of combined experiences.

Vendor Show

Breakout Sessions

Room 1: How Soil Impacts the Health of Livestock and Humans by Jim Gardiner

Jim will talk on why farmers should strive for healthy soils.

Room 2: Panel – Creating Habitat for Nature Abe Yoder (Unusual Encounters in Nature), Mike Hershberger (Invasive Species), Al Coblentz (Purple Martins), Jeff Miller (Vernal Pools) – David Kline (Moderator)

These panelists will share their many decades of experience in making your homestead a nature – friendly place.

Thursday, November 09

8:30AM

Welcome and Overview

8:45AM

Keynote Speaker

In Pursuit of Regenerative: Introduction and the Three F’s of Farming in the Future by Dwight Stoltzfoos

10:00AM

Vendor Show / Morning Break

10:30AM

Breakout Sessions

Room 1: Soil Prep for Weed Control by Gary McDonald

Room 2: Why We Farm? (Part-time to Full-Time Sheep Farmer) by Levi Hershberger, Jr.

Room 3: Honey Production

11:45AM

Lunch & Vendor Show

1:00PM

Keynote Speaker

Using Permaculture Methods in Organic Orcharding by Stefan Sobkowiak

2:30PM

Vendor Show

3:00PM

Breakout Sessions

Room 1: Weed Control in Organic Row Crops  by Gary McDonald

Room 2: Raising Sheep As Your Primary Income on the Farm with panelists Elvin Miller, Leroy Kuhns, Owen Schlabach and moderator Levi Hershberger, JR.

Room 3: How Do You Manage Your Bee Yard?

Friday, November 10

8:30AM

Welcome and Overview

8:45AM

Keynote Speaker

What I Learned in my 32 Years of Dairy Grazing by Nathan Weaver

10:00AM

Vendor Show / Morning Break

10:30AM

Breakout Sessions

Room 1: Is Yield Important? Panelists: David Beachy, Henry Miller, Nathan Weaver with Adam Yoder as moderator

Room 2: Organic Grain Experiences by Trent Troyer

Room 3: Winter Grazing by Dwight Stoltzfoos

11:45AM

Lunch & Vendor Show

1:00PM

Keynote Speaker

Permaculture, continues by Stefan Sobkowiak

2:30PM

Vendor Show

3:00PM

Breakout Sessions

Room 1: Calf raising panel with Amos Mast, Dwight Stoltzfoos, Robert Miller and Kevin Miller as moderator

Room 2: Stefan Sobkowiak (Q & A session)

Friday, November 8

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8:30am

8:45AM

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10:00AM

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10:30AM

12:00PM

Opening

Session

Room 1: Unlocking Your Farm’s Potential by Ben Ice

Ben will be teaching a few key steps to growing quality food and forages and maximizing your mineral inputs.

Vendor Show / Morning Break

Session

Room 1: Pennies in the Cracks by Jeff Frank (CEO of Organic Valley)

Applying business wisdom for profitability

Lunch 

1:00pm

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2:00pm

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2:30pm

Session

Room 2: Panel – Applying Lean Concepts Joe Miller (Produce Farmer), Daniel Mast (Dairy Farmer), John Miller Jr. (Sewing Business) – Leon Wengerd (Moderator)

This diverse panel will share lean principles that have worked well on their operations.

Vendor Show

Breakout Sessions

Room 1: Q and A Session Ben Ice

Room 2: Enjoying the Backyard Orchard Roy Hershberger

Roy will share their 20 -plus years’ experience on spring pruning, fertilizers, and sprays.

Farm Home Section Schedule, Thursday

ATTENTION: Let’s have a bulb exchange! Bring your extra bulbs and take new ones home.

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9:00am

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9:15AM

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10:00AM

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11:00AM

12:00PM

Introduction to the Conference

Soapmaking/Laundry – Christina & Esta Miller

Farm Kitchen Cheese – Patty Indermuhle

Feeding Wild Birds – Anna Marie Hershberger

Lunch 

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1:00pm

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2:00pm

Household Budgeting – Panel – Different ways to manage your expenses

Raised Beds/Winter Sprouting– Myrna Coblentz & Treva Hochstetler

Farm Home Section Schedule, Thursday

9:00AM

Introduction to the Conference

9:15AM

Soapmaking/Laundry – Christina & Esta Miller

10:00AM

Farm Kitchen Cheese – Patty Indermuhle

11:00AM

Feeding Wild Birds – Anna Marie Hershberger

12:00PM

Lunch

1:00PM

Household Budgeting – Panel – Different ways to manage your expenses

2:00PM

Raised Beds/Winter Sprouting – Myrna Coblentz & Treva Hochstetler

Farm Home Section Schedule, Friday

9:00AM

Introduction to the conference

9:00AM

Satisfying Snacks – Clara Miller

10:00AM

Dried Flowers & Grasses

11:00AM

Backyard Herb Garden – Kristen Smith

12:00PM

Lunch 

1:00PM

Creative Sewing: Sweatshirts & Leggings – Diane Miller

2:00PM

Stories from an O.B. Nurse – Patty Indermuhle

Farm Home Section Schedule, Friday

}

9:00am

}

09:15AM

}

10:00AM

}

11:00AM

12:00PM

Introduction to the conference

Satisfying Snacks – Clara Miller

Dried Flowers & Grasses

Backyard Herb Garden – Kristen Smith

Lunch 

}

1:00PM

}

2:00pm

Creative Sewing: Sweatshirts & Leggings– Diane Miller

Stories from an O.B. Nurse – Patty Indermuhle

Pricing & Lodging

For special conference lodging rates contact:

Sleep Inn, Mt. Hope OH | 330.294.9977

 Comfort Suites in Berlin, OH  |  330.893.7400

Organic Farming Conference

PO Box 214, Millersburg OH 44654

Call or write for a brochure to register for the conference.

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