Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference Celebrating 20th Anniversary

Crosshatch Center for Art & Ecology welcomes a crowd of ambitious family farmers, homesteaders, farm interns, students and conscientious eaters to the 20th annual Northern Michigan Small Farm Conference. The event is being held at Grand Traverse Resort in Acme on Friday, January 25 and Saturday, January 26.

Each year, the conference connects more than 1,000 producers and growers from across the region, making it the largest gathering of its kind in the state. Farmers from wildly different backgrounds gather to network, share ideas and gain new skills that will make small farms in Michigan more economically and environmentally sustainable.

This year’s conference kicks off on Friday with Farm School, a full day of advanced education, including three tracks led by national experts:

  • Permaculture School—Richard Perkins, author of Making Small Farms Work, will make his first teaching appearance in the United States, sharing how Sweden’s Ridgedale Farm brings financial success, ecological sustainability and community resilience through replicable farm enterprises.
  • Flower School—Gretel and Steve Adams of the highly successful Sunny Meadows Flower Farm in Columbus, OH will teach cover crop planning, season extension and the business of flower farming.
  • Hoophouse Growing School—Andrew Mefferd, author of the Greenhouse and Hoophouse Growers Handbook, will cover techniques used by commercial greenhouses that can be applied on a smaller scale.

On Saturday, attendees can choose from more than 30 educational sessions and panels, including topics on no-till farming, farmers markets, solar power, soil health, grass finishing, vermicomposting, planning for profit and more. Delicious, locally sourced lunches will be provided both days.

Back again this year, the two-day trade show will feature nearly 100 exhibitors from national and regional food and farming businesses. Trade Show attendance is also open to the public for $5 at the door after 1:30 p.m. on both Friday and Saturday.

Conference and Farm School attendees are encouraged to join Friday night’s festivities starting at 5 p.m. in the trade show. The opening reception will have a cocktail hour (cash bar) and live music from 1000 Watt Prophets. New this year: Friday night dinner at 6 p.m. Dinner tickets are for sale online with your conference registration ($25 for adults; $12.95 for youth ages 4 to 14).

Pre-event ticket sales end January 18. The full schedule, including more details about panels, classes and discussion topics, can be found online.

On-site registration will be available. Registrants will be charged an additional 20% and cannot be guaranteed lunch availability. For more information or to register, go to, email, or call 231-994-3944.

Press release provided by Crosshatch

Northern Michigan Farms & Agriculture