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Meet with the Experts

EcoFarm Presents “Meet with the Experts”

Available to conference attendees free of charge, EcoFarm’s "Meet with the Experts" is an opportunity to garner personalized advice from highly knowledgeable industry professionals. During half-hour long, one-on-one sessions in living rooms across campus, these experts offer in depth consultations focused on your individual business needs.

Sign up now to reserve your spot!


Alan Haight - Farm Business Consulting

Thursday 10:30am - 12:00pm & Friday 10:30am - 12:00pm 

Alan Haight has farmed since 2001 at Riverhill Farm in Nevada City, California. Riverhill Farm is a vibrant and economically viable farm with 85% of the farm’s produce sold within 5 miles of the farm. Alan has led workshops on farm business planning and management at agricultural conferences in California for many years. He can assist in advising how to create a farm that can serve as a model of economic viability while also enhancing the environment on which the farm and, indeed, all life depends; where the farm is highly regarded in both respects, and continues to provide its community with healthful food and a rich, biodiverse refuge.. Alan also serves as the President of the Board of California FarmLink. 

Sign up to meet with Alan Haight


Demeter Certification - Defining Biodynamic Farming

Thursday 4:30pm - 5:30pm & Friday 9:30am - 10:30am

Victoria Byrnes has a certified Demeter Farm in NY and a Demeter certified brand in the marketplace, Yellow Barn Biodynamic. She is currently on the Demeter Board of Directors, and has participated in the last 4 Biodynamic Association conferences.As the owner of a biodynamic, Demeter certified farm she is able to talk about going beyond organic, including the history of Demeter, the use of the preparations, what it takes to become Demeter certified.

With over 20 years of experience in the Natural Foods retail market place, she is available to speak with anyone wanting to explore launching new brands, the national retail landscape, distribution, and broker networks.

Sign up to meet with Victoria Byrnes


Growing Chinese Herbs for Market

Friday 10:00- 11:00am

Peg Schafer has a background in nursery management and farming and is the owner/operator of the Chinese Medicinal Herb Farm outside Petaluma, in Northern California. Since 1997 the farm has grown out more than 260 different herb crops, and has sold to practitioners, pharmacies, product manufacturers, researchers, retailers and the general public. The farm functions partly as an experimental operation trialing Asian herbs compiling an extensive database on the cultivation of herbs of medicinal and economic interest.

Education to all stakeholders about all aspects of Asian medicinal plant production, quality assessment and the emerging domestic market is always forefront of all her endeavors.

She addresses herb quality, ecological efficacious cultivation, conservation, and issues affecting Chinese botanicals. Come see if the hot emerging market for growing Chinese herbs is a good fit for you and your farm.

Sign up to meet with Peg Schafer


Vegetable Production Systems: From Till to No Till

Thursday 12:30pm- 3:00pm &  3:30pm - 5:00pm, Friday 10:30am - 1:15pm

Darryl Wong has over 15 years of hands on experience in diverse vegetable production systems including and works now at the CASFS farm (UC Santa Cruz) while concurrently completing a PhD in organic no-till and reduced-till vegetable systems. Throughout his career Darryl co-owned and operated a diversified farm, managed educational farm based programming for undergraduate and postgraduate audiences, and participated in academic field research.

Topics of expertise include farm implement “systems” selection and design for improved production and labor efficiencies, weed management, soil management, irrigation systems design, cover cropping, reduced tillage, nutrient management, reading and interpreting soil tests, business planning and farm budgeting and strategies for experiential learning in tractor-scale systems.

Sign up to meet with Darryl Wong


Strategies for Financial Sustainability on Your Farm

Friday 1:00pm - 3:00pm

Ted LeBow is a serial entrepreneur. He is the managing partner and co-founder of Kitchen Table Consultants - a 15 person, national, food and farm business management consulting firm, founded in 2009. They have provided business management consulting to hundreds of farms, food hubs, co-packers, e-commerce and direct to consumer food marketers and non-profits in the local food sector. His roots are in farming; his first business was a farm in Idaho and his degree is from Cornell’s ag school. He’s run 12 small businesses and owned 6 of them. 

Ted’s passion is financial sustainability. He is driven to help entrepreneurs understand HOW they make a profit and to share his experience from running his own businesses and consulting with hundreds of passionate food and farm clients.

Ted Lebow will assist you in Preparing for Funding: Debt or Equity how do I get Ready?

Get your story ready, from financials to unique offering how to do you get yourself ready to talk to someone who has money to invest in you. Ted will focus on the one-pager—a simple document that says it all in one page—he will bring real-life examples to share.

How to understand where your profit is coming from on an multi-enterprise farm-- When and why you should use classes in QuickBooks and how to charge yourself internally to your organization so that you can tell which enterprise is a winner.

Se puede consultar en español.

Sign up to meet with Ted LeBow


Bookkeeping and Budgeting Processes for Your Farm Business

Thursday 3:30pm- 5:30pm & Friday 10:30am - 12:30pm 

Do you have questions about your farm budget or how to keep track of your financial goals and progress throughout the year? KTC's Rebecca Frimmer can help you address your bookkeeping and budgeting processes, or how to look at an opportunity assessment through the financial lens, and what those right next steps should be.

Sign up to meet with Rebecca Frimmer


Marketing Consultant for Beginning Farmers

Thursday 2:00pm- 3:00pm & Friday 2:00pm- 3:00pm 

Dina Izzo has 40 years of produce experience. Her company, BluDog offers marketing guidance with a gentle paw to those who must brave creating a marketing strategy! 

The objective of Dina’s work is to secure a sustainable and just food system by educating growers how to be successful in their chosen marketplace. Clients also include food based business that understand the value of the direct connection with the farm.

Sign up to meet with Dina Izzo


On-Farm Nitrogen Budgeting

Friday 9:00am- 12:00pm & 3:30pm - 5:30pm

University of California crop nutrition researchers Richard Smith, Joji Muramoto, Patricia Lazicki and Margaret Lloyd will all be available for one-on-one consultations. Sign up to meet with one of them to discuss nitrogen fertilization of vegetable crops and strawberries. They can discuss nitrogen and other nutrient needs of these crops and can discuss the contribution of soil organic matter, compost, fertilizers (dry and liquid), cover crops, prior crops, irrigation water and other inputs. Bring any nutrient analyses you have—for your soil, the compost, or other amendments.

Se puede consultar en español.

Sign up to meet with Joji Muramoto, Richard Smith, Margaret G Lloyd, or Patricia Ann Lazicki


Poultry Production & Marketing

Thursday 3:30pm - 5:30pm

Ann Baier is a former poultry producer and an Organic and Sustainable Agriculture Specialist with the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT). She has also been an organic inspector since 2000, so is well-acquainted with USDA regulations, as well as organic and animal welfare certification programs. Ann can address all aspects of poultry production, including pasture based systems, egg handling/meat processing and marketing topics.

Se puede consultar en español.

Sign up to meet with Ann Baier


Get help with submitting CDFA Healthy Soils Program Grant Applications

Drop-ins welcome for this session in Pirate's Den

Thursday 8:30am- 10am & 3:30pm- 5pm; Friday 10:30am –3pm & 3:30pm–5:00pm; Saturday 8am–10:30am

The program provides financial incentives to California growers and ranchers to implement conservation management practices that sequester carbon, reduce greenhouse gases, and improve soil health. Applications will open in early 2020, and this will be an opportunity for you to learn about the program and how you might apply.

Are you a farmer or rancher who wants to apply for a Healthy Soils Program (HSP) grant? CDFA will be allocating $28 million through cost-share grants to farmers and ranchers to implement HSP practices on fields where they have not been used previously. Advisors can introduce you to the grant application process, including selection of HSP practices such as cover crops, compost, mulching, conservation tillage and/or hedgerows. You can get help with project design, timeline, and estimation of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission reductions, carbon sequestration, improvements to soil health, water-holding capacity and other co-benefits. HSP application deadline should be announced by the 2020 EcoFarm Conference.

Se puede consultar en español.

No need to sign up, just come on by!



Thank you to our EcoFarm 2020 sponsors!