DELAND, Fla. — Central Florida residents are invited to attend the 2001 Small Farms Conference and Trade Show at the Volusia County Fairgrounds in Deland on April 7.
Theme for the event is “Opportunities at Your Scale.” The program, which is free and open to the public, begins with registration at 8:30 a.m. and concludes at 3 p.m. The fairgrounds are located behind the University of Florida Volusia County Extension Service offices at 3100 New York Avenue in Deland.
“There will be something for everyone at this year’s expanded conference and trade show,” said Richard Tyson, UF Seminole County extension agent and chair of the program planning committee.
“Anyone who is interested in establishing or operating a small farm on a full-time or part-time basis should attend,” he said. “Last year, the small farm and trade show had more than 600 participants, and we expect more than l,000 visitors this year.”
Tyson said the program will feature educational sessions on livestock and horticulture, including information on fruits, vegetables and ornamentals. Hydroponic and aquaculture farming also will be featured. New tractors and other farm equipment and products will be on display, and information on farm financing will be presented.
Other topics include organic food standards, marketing alternative crops, goat care and management, owning a horse, pasture management, greenhouse design and management, chainsaw safety, fencing and dooryard fruit trees in Central Florida.
Tyson said “fun events” for the family include a petting zoo, pony rides, a bluegrass band and “Lollipops the Clown.”
The event is sponsored by the UF’s Extension Service in cooperation with Florida A&M University, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Florida Farm Bureau.
Mickie Swisher, associate professor with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences and leader of the Small Farm Sustainable Agriculture Extension Design Team, said small farms are important to all Floridians.
“This conference, which we conduct every year, is one of several educational programs aimed to meet the specific needs of small farmers,” she said. “Our extension programs stress alternative crops and enterprises that work on small farms and on programs that help small farmers market what they raise at a profit.”
Those interested in having a vendor display or selling livestock at the show should contact David Griffis at the UF Volusia County Extension Service (904) 822-5778. His e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org