The Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (TOFGA) annual conference on organic production will be held February 17 – 19, 2012 in Mesquite, Texas at the Mesquite Convention Center. TOFGA is the only statewide organization focused on the people who practice organic and sustainable agriculture in Texas. The conference is designed for market growers who are either already producing or want to learn about organic and sustainably raised produce, livestock, dairy, and grains. Workshop tracks include business issues, fruit and vegetable production, livestock production, and resource sustainability. Strong emphasis will be on strategies to survive the drought.
This year, a Gardener Track has been added for those who are avid backyard gardeners who do not necessarily sell what they grow. A vendor area will provide opportunities for attendees to meet business supporters of the organic agricultural industry in Texas. A large exhibit area will provide space for equipment vendor displays such as tractors, fencing, irrigation, and others.
Highlights of the conference will include pre-conference workshops, area farm tours, hands-on workshops with organic farming experts, panel discussions, interactive exhibitors, book sales, regional meet-ups, and the farm-to fork organic banquet on Saturday with a keynote address. The Keynote Speaker for the Saturday banquet will be Mark Winne, author of Food Rebels, Guerilla Gardeners, and Smart-Cookin’ Mamas: Fighting Back in the Age of Industrial Agriculture.
Market producer’s workshops include topics such as
- Beating the Drought in Vegetable Production
- Fruit Production in North Texas
- Water Management Issues
- Grass Fed Beef Production
- Small livestock
- Integrated Pest Management
- Intensive Grazing
Gardener Track workshops include topics such as
- Organic vegetable gardening
- Edible ornamentals
- Garden design for pest control
- Utilizing low tunnels
- Backyard chickens
A must-attend event for organic ranchers, farmers, plant growers, retailers, wholesalers, consumers, gardeners, farmers market supporters and anyone desiring to support the organic industry in Texas. Eating local in Texas starts on the farm. Full conference registration starts at $135 for TOFGA members. The Gardener track Saturday only workshop is $70. Banquet tickets are $35 per person. Vendor spaces start at $300. For more information on the schedule of events, or to register contact the TOFGA Office at 512-656-2456, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at www.tofga.org.