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Direct Farm Manitoba is actively involved in advocating for the interests of its member markets and farmers.  In addition to this, our members have access to a number of other important benefits, including a farm or market profile on DFM’s website, promotion of the direct marketing sector throughout the season, and special events and programs.

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Markets

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2021 Virtual Direct Farm Marketing Conference Program

Saturday February 20th

  • 9am Opening and welcome– Andy Wood, Elder and Program Director with the Four Arrows Regional Health Authority; Honourable Blaine Pedersen, Minister of Agriculture and Resource Development; Phil Veldhuis, president of Direct Farm Manitoba;
  • 9am Indigenous relationships to land, food, and food security– Karen Flett and Byron Beardy (Four Arrows RHA) Join Karen and Byron as they share about the work they are doing with Kimeechiminan, and about Indigenous relationships to land, food, and food security. 
  • 11 am Growing the next generation of farmers: challenges and opportunities– Dana Penrice (Young Agrarians) Dana Penrice will walk us through this session as we discuss how we grow the next generation of farmers and touch on challenges and opportunities for those entering and those ‘retiring’.
  • 2 pm Exploring Growth and Opportunity for Direct Marketing (small groups): Join us as we connect in small groups about important topics related to the sector such as: developing a regional food strategy; good labour/good jobs; existing sales channels and innovations; inclusivity and under-representation in the sector.

Sunday February 21st

  • 11 am Direct Farm MB Reads Book Discussion: The Market Gardner (J.M. Fortier)
  • 2 pm Direct Farm MB Reads Book Discussion: For the Love of Soil (Nicole Masters)
  • 7 pm Direct Farm MB Reads Book Discussion: Storying Violence (Gina Starblanket and Dallas Hunt)

Monday February 22nd

  • 9am The Lean Farm: Ben Hartman (Clay Bottom Farm). Ben Hartman, author of The Lean Farm, will explain powerful concepts from the lean system that food producers of any size and type–from ranchers to grain farmers to home gardeners–can use to produce more value with less waste and work. He will provide examples from Clay Bottom Farm, in northern Indiana, where he and his wife earn a living from less than one acre of land.
  • 12pm Lunch with a fellow farmer or market coordinator
  • 2pm E-commerce for farms- what worked and what didn’t!: Jamie Zinn (Zinn Farms), Britt Embry (Hearts&Roots), Leona Staples (The Jungle Farm) 2020 was definitely a year that farms looked hard at options for moving their sales online. This session will dive into the experiences of three farms as they share about how they use e-commerce as part of their direct marketing strategy.
  • 7pm Solution Mill: Labour- How do you find employees? What programs do you use for cost sharing? How do you retain employees? Bring all your questions about farm labour to this evening’s solution mill.

Tuesday February 23rd

  • 9am Collaborative marketing: How to work together- John Muller (John Ambrose Farms), Justin Girard (Hearts&Roots) Ever thought of cooperating with another farm as part of your marketing strategy? Join John and Justin as they talk about how they market collaboratively with other farms and all the ins and outs of the process.
  • 12pm Lunch with a fellow farmer or market coordinator
  • 2pm Managed Grazing: different approaches- Carrie Woolley (Woolley Lambs), Ryan Boyd (South Glanton Farms), Jim Lintott (Manitoba Beef). Grazing sheep in orchards? High density grazing? Join farmers Carrie, Ryan, and Jim Lintott as they discuss how they manage grazing on their farms.

Wednesday February 24th

  • 9am Why you should add bees to your direct market farm- Phil Veldhuis (Phil’s Honey) Join Phil as he walks us through the ins and outs of beekeeping, and why it would be a good idea to add bees to your farm!
  • 12pm Lunch with a fellow farmer or market coordinator
  • 2pm Crop Planning for Market Gardeners– Chad Wiens (Slow River Farm), Emily Dowling (Root Radical CSA). Often production and marketing are discussed as though they are separate, while in practice crop planning and designing the field calendar is done according to your marketing plan. Join Chad and Emily as they discuss how they crop plan a successful direct marketing operation.
  • 7pm Solution Mill: Ecommerce– Have questions about selling online? How to get your product the ‘last mile’? Which software to choose? Bring your questions to tonight’s solution mill.

Thursday February 25th

  • 9am Diversifying Your Farm: Adding Fruit- Phillip Ronald (Riverbend Orchards); Darren Cormier (Cormier’s Berry Patch) Strawberries, Saskatoons, Haskap, Sour Cherries….are you thinking of diversifying your current operation?  Join Darren of Cormier’s Berry Patch and Philip of Riverbend Orchards as they discuss high level production across the seasons on their operations.
  • 11am-12pm Virtual Tradeshow– Manitoba Agricultural Services Corporation (MASC), Red River Coop, NFU, ECOCERT.
  • 1pm-2pm Virtual Tradeshow– ECOCERT, Fireweed Food Co-op, NFU, Prairie Fruit Growers
  • 2pm Farm tours discussion: Katie and Colin McInnes (Dogs Run Farm) and Stefan Regnier (Blue Lagoon Organics). We are excited to share tours of two of our member farms. Katie and Colin and Stefan will walk you through their operations- from pastured pork and sheep, to pastured poultry and chicken-tractors. Watch the tours, and come with your questions and thoughts to a live Q&A after.
  • 7pm Solution Mill: Production Practices: Bring your questions- irrigation systems? Favourite fencing? We will kick off this session with a poll to determine which topics to focus on.

Friday February 26th

  • 9am Beneficial Insects John Gavloski (MB Ag) John’s presentation will include an introduction to why having a good diversity within insect populations will be of benefit to your farm, as well as a discussion of some of the major Orders of insects which are beneficial on your farm. The session will also provide information on how to enhance & conserve beneficial insect populations on your farm.
  • 12pm Lunch with a fellow farmer or market coordinator
  • 2pm Solution Mill- market coordinators: How do you figure out vendor mix? How do you assess market health? How do you train your vendors? What about social media? Market coordinators- bring all your questions for a collaborative brainstorming session.
  • 7pm Social: Direct Farm MB games night! Login to join a game room and rub virtual shoulders with your fellow farmer and market folk!

Saturday February 27th

  • 9am Weathering the storm: Mental Health for farmers- Toby Malloy (MSW, farmer), Beth Connery (Connery’s Riverdale Farms), Easton Sellers (Plum Ridge Farm), Kirk Flaman (Prairie Dome U-pick). How do you survive the farming, family or just life hardships and come out alive?!  Join social worker and farmer Toby Malloy, as she speaks to farmers on strategies of how to get through those stressful times.  Then hear from a panel of farmers on how they manage their mental health in times of stress.
  • 9am E-commere for markets: Marilyn Firth (Le Marché St. Norbert Farmers’ Market), Asha Nelson (South Osborne Farmers’ Market), Laura Smit (Vancouver Farmers’ Markets). Join Marilyn, Laura and Asha as they talk about how they added online sales to their markets this summer and what that entailed, including platform options, staffing, aggregating and more!
  • 11am MB Community Food Currency Program: What, Why, and How? Come and learn more about Direct Farm MB’s new program and find out how you can get involved.
  • 2pm DFM AGM and Closing Remarks with Direct Farm MB Reads and contest