2019 Western Apicultural Society Conference

Every year the president of the Western Apicultural Society is given the chance to host the “WAS” conference on their own turf and highlight what’s good about their region. I’m honored and humbled to take on this role, and am hoping to create not just a conference, but an experience that emphasizes what we are – a society.

Our theme is “Hive Mind for the Greater Good,” built on the values of persistence and authenticity and celebrating community, women in leadership, and of course, bees and their keepers.

This weekend will be a mix of dynamic keynote talks, workshops built on the themes of art, beekeeping, social media and marketing, bee habitat conservation, education, native bees, and global research.

In an effort to create community, we are also going to provide plenty of opportunities for networking:

• We will turn the microphone around to the attendees with a “storytelling hour” in the theme of #beekeeperfail (we all have them, let’s take some time to admit it and have a little fun!).

• We’ll give attendees the opportunity to sign up for the “Community Waggle Dance Tabletop Show” where we will provide a bistro table to a selected group to create a “show and tell” display of something they are working on (a hive design, research, a tech innovation, etc.).

• Staying with WAS’s ability to provide an intimate experience for conference speakers and attendees, we’ll have “Roundtable Speed Swarming.” Guests will rotate (in groups) to speaker-hosted tables and spend some time in dialogue with a leader they have been admiring from afar.

• Throughout the conference we will provide multiple breaks, and a happy hour each evening, to encourage beekeepers to meet up and waggle dance using social media, the Bumble networking app, and our special interest themed “hive towers.” The hives are the place to meet your new best friend who’s also into beginning beekeeping, honey production, co-ops and supply chain management, bee habitat, native bees, bee-themed travel and service opportunities, etc.

Keynote Speakers & Workshop Leaders include: Dr. Judy Wu-Smart, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Katrina Klett, Elevated Honey Co.; Hilary Kearney, Girl Next Door Honey; Dr. Meghan Milbrath, Michigan State University; Anna Gieselman, Bee Amour Jewelry; Sarah Red-Laird, Bee Girl; Molly Romero L.Ac., MSOM, Active Acupuncture of Ashland; the native bee team from the Logan, Utah, USDA-ARS Pollinating Insects Research Unit; streamed opening welcome by Dr. Marla Spivak, and more.

On Sunday we will have a limited number of spots on an interactive bee habitat tour. We will load up in vans to travel to the Bee Girl organization’s “Seeds for Pollinators” research project at The Farm at Southern Oregon University, our “Regenerative Bee Pasture” research project at the Sampson Creek Preserve, and attendees will also participate in native bee research with the USDA Logan Bee Lab team at Mount Ashland.

Yours Truly,
Sarah Red-Laird
Western Apicultural Society President

Labor Law for Small Farms and Hobby Farms

Do you need an extra hand on your farm but are not sure how to legally hire help? Did you know that accepting your customers offer to “volunteer” on your farm can put you in hot water? Are you curious about how to use interns? Join us for an informal discussion with Attorney Carolyn Anderson of Anderson Bradley Krant, PC. Bring your questions! Please note: immigration law will not be covered in this session. Register on line: http://bit.ly/JacksonSmallFarms or call 541-776-7371.
For updates and more information about Small Farms events, visit our website at: https://extension.oregonstate.edu/sorec

8th Annual Biodiversity Working for Farmers Tour. A collaboration among farmers, researchers, conservationists and industry.

The Western Region Functional Agricultural Biodiversity (FAB) Work Group supports scientists from the western US and specialists in agricultural biodiversity from industry, non-profits and farmers. We are partnering with Union County Extension, Natural Resources Conservation Service personnel and other regional experts to bring you the 8th Annual Biodiversity Working for Farmers Tour. We will visit two La Grande area farms, Nilsson’s Farming Inc. and The Elmer’s Farm. The farmers will lead us through their diverse operations highlighting key conservation enhancement measures and current on-farm projects, soil building techniques, and alternative crop production practices such as no-till, windbreaks and insectary plantings. Botanists, conservationists, entomologists, local farmers, extension researchers, and bird and native bee experts will be giving brief, interactive, mini-presentations throughout the day. In addition, we will provide you a mid-day catered lunch.

Slow Flowers and Native Bees

Session 3 of Our Family Farm’s The Future of Farming…is Regenerative, a six part series to learn about and implement regenerative agriculture practices on your farm or in your garden.

We will visit Le Mera Gardens field with Joan Thorndike, who has been farming organic, fresh cut flowers in Southern Oregon’s Rogue River Valley since 1992.

The Slow Flowers Movement aspires to reclaim the act of flower growing, recognizing it as a relevant and respected branch of domestic agriculture. Slow Flowers connects consumers with the source of their flowers, putting a human face of the flower farmer and floral designer behind each arrangement.

Bring a pair of garden clippers or even kitchen scissors so all can cut some fresh flowers to take home.

$30 day of the event
$25 with Preregistration
$20 for Our Family Farms members

The Future of Farming…is Regenerative

The Future of Farming is a six part learning series about Regenerative agriculture. We will begin by laying the foundation for theory about regenerative agriculture, then the series will focus on connecting theory with practices in-the-field, and conclude with examples of farms that have successfully implemented these principles.

Sign up for the full series for $130 or attend any session for $30.

Visit www.ourfamilyfarms.org for more info and to Register

SESSION 1: Featuring Dr. Ray Seidler, retired EPA scientist
1A: Regenerating Soils: The Case for Smart Agriculture Part 1
April 14 from 1-4 pm with tour of Verdant Phoenix Farm

1B: Regenerating Soils: The Case for Smart Agriculture Part 2
April 28 from 1-4 pm with tour of Tikkun Olam Research Farm

SESSION 2: Featuring Prof. Cindy Daley, Chico State University
2A: Why Regenerative Agriculture? Why Now?
May 9 – 6-8 pm – HEC in Medford

2B: How to Build On-Farm Resilience Through Regenerative Ag
May 10 – 6-8 pm – Phoenix Civic Center

SESSION 3: Slow Flowers and Native Bees
June 9 – 1-4 pm – Phoenix Civic Center

SESSION 4: Farming in the Forest
July 21 – 1-4 pm – Willow Witt Ranch

SESSION 5: Dry Farming for the Future
Aug 11 – 1-4 pm – Ridgeline Meadows Farm

SESSION 6: Future of Farming
Oct 11 – 1-4 pm – Phoenix Civic Center

Map of My Kingdom: One-Woman Play on Farmland Transition

Who’s going to get the farm, and what are they going to do with it? Will your future plans for your land create harmony or strife for your family? Or have you even started to think that far ahead?

Map of my Kingdom, a play commissioned by Practical Farmers of Iowa and written by Iowa’s Poet Laureate Mary Swander, tackles the critical issue of land transition. In the drama, Angela Martin, a lawyer and mediator in land transition disputes, shares stories of how farmers and landowners she has worked with over the years approached their land successions.

Doors open at 6:00 with the one-hour performance beginning at 6:30. The event includes a brief panel discussion facilitated by Mary Swander. A $10 donation is requested.

This event is made possible with generous contributions from Gorge Grown Food Network, Columbia Gorge Winegrowers, Six Rivers Mediation Center, Best Western Plus Hood River Inn, Solstice Wood Fire Cafe & Bar, Peoples Company and private donors.

Seed Harvesting and Cleaning Event

Join us for instructional demonstrations of small-scale seed harvesting and seed cleaning along with a farmer discussion panel on seed production. Demonstrations will focus on the timing, harvest, threshing, screening and winnowing of seed crops including tools and equipment used.
Following the demonstrations, a panel of four experienced local seed farmers will discuss the logistics, joys and challenges of small-scale organic seed production.

Our Family Farm’s Annual Seed to Table Dinner

Please join Our Family Farms for our 5th Annual Seed to Table dinner on Sunday, September 16 at 5:30 pm at Troon Vineyard in Grants Pass, Oregon. Executive Chef Tim Keller will gather foods and flavors from the neighborhood and prepare a Four-course Dinner paired with local libations.

Come enjoy the local harvest, celebrate living in a GE Free Seed Sanctuary, and help us recognize volunteers and legislators that are supporting our work to create a thriving food and agricultural system with seed diversity and farmable land for generations to come.

Celebrate Rogue Valley Terroir

Come explore and taste local food, wine, cider and fruits of the Rogue Valley which have their own distinct flavor based on a combination of factors including soil, climate, and sunlight that gives the bounty of our region it’s own distinctive character or terroir.

Our Family Farms is proud to host this farm to table tasting as part of our monthly learning series, The Future of Soil: Ensuring Resilient Food and Agricultural Systems. This final session of the series will celebrate local food and flavors.

Bring a quart jar of your own soil to add to our educational soil display.

Irrigation Efficiency Workshop

Learn how to save water and money by improving irrigation efficiency on your property. Great for farmers and gardeners alike.
Will cover topics such as converting to drip irrigation, sprinkler efficiency, moisture monitoring, frequency and duration of watering.