Friday afternoon attendees were welcomed at the beautiful new Southwest Applied Technology Center campus and received bags with their programs printed by a local printer, Image Pro, and filled with swag from over a dozen sponsors; one national sponsor, Baker Creek Rare Seeds in Missouri, and a dozen Cedar City and Utah businesses, according to a release.
For dinner, pork from a butchering class was used with a food presentation done by one SWATC culinary arts student. And during dinner we had live music from a mother/daughter string trio. Friday evening, a film screening with an intro by the Polyface Farms farmer, Daniel Salatin was shown.
Saturday morning started with early morning yoga at Sage Hills. The day’s activities consisted of groups in various conferences to hear from different speakers. During the sponsored Farm to Consumer Legal Defense fund drive, many new members joined via email sign up. A dozen speakers presented throughout the conference, coming from places throughout Utah and across the country.
“We had several breakout sessions during the day with subjects varying from stories of successful small farms to compost, and poultry to georgics,” said Symbria Patterson, of Red Acre Farm and one organizer of the conference. “One presenter, Candace Schaible, from the USU extension office, even took her workshop on a field trip to the local Year Round farmers market. Saturday's Keynote address was given by Daniel Salatin, of the famed Polyface. He spoke to us about building a forever farm.”
Snacks during break out sessions were 100 percent donated, which included popcorn from Peterson Farms, chocolate from Salt Lake City's Chocolate Conspiracy and cheese from Heber Valley Cheese and Beehive Cheese.
“We feel fortunate to have had Broken Banjo Photography from Oregon capturing images of the event,” Patterson said.
Some attendees who traveled far said they enjoyed the time in Cedar City. Salt Lake Farm Bureau President Luke Peterson said the conference and the Cedar City Community is great.
“Pulling this conference together was epic,” Peterson said. “Let’s keep this going. The level of engagement was unique.”
Utah House of Representative Marc Roberts (R- District 67) said it was an honor to be at the conference.
“It as a memorable experience and I am already looking forward to next year’s event.”
Next year’s date is set for Jan. 12-13. Keynote address Eliot Coleman, author of “Winter Harvest Handbook,” and Woody Tasch of the organization, Slow Money, which works to catalyze capital and local food systems by connecting investors throughout the world, will be part of the program.