Direct Farm Manitoba is excited to bring you the 2020 Direct Farm Marketing Conference! The 2020 conference is in Brandon, Manitoba, at the Keystone Centre, February 28th-29th.

Learn, connect, and grow as you explore new marketing strategies, investigate emerging trends for your farm business and connect with producers and market coordinators.

Come check out Saturday’s tradeshow. Lunches on both days will again feature wonderful local food from our own producers!

Friday evening’s hoedown and local farm mixer is a free bonus for registering for the full two-day conference, so bring your dancing shoes!

To receive our special group rate at the Canad Inns Destination Centre Brandon, let them know you are with the 2020 Direct Farm Marketing Conference when making your reservation.

Looking for childcare? Childcare is available both days at a cost of $20/family. If you are interested in childcare  please contact Kristie at [email protected] by February 21st.



Friday February 28th

 1:15-4:30 p.m.

Integrating Regenerative Practices on Your Farm– Mary-Jane Orr, Manitoba Beef and Forage Initiative (MBFI); Lydia Carpenter, Luna Field Farm  ; Curtis Brown, Food Ethos

The first part of the workshop will be used to discuss examples and contexts where regenerative practices are being applied on farm, including in the work and experience of the workshop hosts. The second part of the workshop will be interactive. Plenty of time will be allotted for questions as well as discussions on how to integrate regenerative practice on your own operation or within your context by focusing on soil health, water and nutrient cycling, plant and animal diversity, livestock integration and landscape scale planning.

Creating the Farm Budget– Phil Veldhuis, University of Manitoba and Phil’s Honey

Part 1: Crop Budgets

Part 2: Fixed costs, insurance, and tax


4:30-5:00 p.m.

Our Relationship with the Land: An Indigenous Perspective- Allen Sutherland

In this session, we explore our relationship with land from the perspective of indigenous law, culture and spirituality and what role farmers could play in the journey to reconciliation. Join a representative from the Treaty Relations Commission of Manitoba as they walk us through historical and cultural knowledge to support our self-reflection and learning.


7:00 p.m. Hoedown: Join us for the 3rd annual Direct Farm Manitoba Hoedown!


Saturday February 29th

 9:00-10:00 a.m.

Integrated Pest Management– Sajjad Rao, Assiniboine Community College

This presentation will include Integrated Pest Management strategies growers can use to manage a pest situation effectively. Developing a well-planned IPM plan provides growers with a variety of strategies where they can use a combination of cultural, physical, biological and chemical controls to help manage pests in both field and greenhouse conditions. How to diagnose pest problems, provide solutions and predict how the manipulation of growing conditions can influence other factors of production will also be covered.


Beef Production: Genetics for Specialty Markets– Juanita Kopp, MB Ag, and Jonathan Bouw, Edie Creek Angus

This presentation will discuss the different beef genetics available for conventional, organic and grass-fed production systems, as well as how to use the appropriate genetics to start-up a market specific beef operation or transition from conventional beef production.

Farmers’ Market Round Table

Are you a market coordinator that wants to give a kick start to their market planning? Come and join our market managers as they discuss how different markets handle various issues such as finding vendors, setting fees, space limitations, assigning booths, and how to create a vibrant market setting.


10:30-11:45 a.m.

 Annual General Meeting– Direct Farm Manitoba


1:00 – 2:00 p.m.

 The Market Gardener’s Solution Mill

How do you set your prices? How do you limit rodent damage to your vegetables? How do you explain the benefits of signing up to a CSA? What do you do for soil health? In this session for market gardeners everyone will get to ask one question to a small group of fellow vegetable producers and have them share their solutions in short round table discussions.


Is there value in value-added?– Vickie Derksen, Grandpa’s Garden

From the field to the store front, join Vickie Derksen from Moosejaw, Sk, owner of Grandpa’s Garden and Prairie Bee Meadery as she talks about their business and how Value Added has kept them doing what they love….growing fruits, vegetables and raising bees


Tech Tools for Direct Marketing– Britt Embry, Hearts&Roots & Michelle Schram, Fresh Roots Farm

Britt Embry and Michelle Schram delve into some of the available platforms for marketing farm products. Drawing on their own experiences using DIY automation, EmailMe and Local Line, the session will also showcase other options available to their fellow producers including CSA management platforms and all-in-one farm management software.



Greenhouse Production of Seedlings for Ecological Market Gardeners– David Neufeld, Room to Grow

Join David to learn about his experience and recommended practices from Room to Grow which have been honed over decades of production in the Manitoba environment.


Livestock Panel: Farm Partnerships– Brad Anderson, Anderson Farms & Jessica Chamberlain, Spring Creek Farm

The Andersons and Chamberlains have decided to create an official partnership which includes the pasture raised meat business and the Spring Creek farm butcher shop.  This presentation will look at the partnership, as well as challenges and benefits of working together as the situation evolves over time.


Fibre Farming and Local Textile Production– Anna Hunter, Longway Homestead

Imagine if locally sourced clothing was as accessible as local food. Join Anna Hunter as she discusses fibre farming, local textile production, and value-added products from a small fibre farm.




Round Table Discussions: Sparking active dialogue to chart our way forward


2020 Conference Presenters:

Mary-Jane Orr is the General Manager for Manitoba Beef & Forage Initiatives Inc. where she leads a dedicated team in advancing innovation and knowledge transfer in the beef cattle and forage sector. She deeply values the opportunity to collaborate with producers, researchers, extension specialists, conservation groups, and all stakeholders to grow productivity and understanding of sustainable beef production in Manitoba. Mary-Jane’s academic background in soil microbial ecology in agricultural systems and career experience in field agronomy gives her a unique perspective on the challenges facing agriculture today.”


Lydia Carpenter and her partner Wian Prinsloo run a multi species grazing operation south of Belmont Manitoba. They currently run cattle, sheep, hogs and poultry. Both Lydia and Wian are first generation farmers. They started farming together in 2011 with nominal savings and the opportunity to lease 80 acres of pasture. By 2014 they were both employed full time on the farm with much of their income coming from direct market sales of cut and wrapped meats. They have recently purchased land and graze additional leased acres using planned grazing methods.



Phil Veldhuis is a lifelong beekeeper who first learned from his grandmother the thrill of understanding a hive filled with buzzing bees. Phil’s apiary is nestled against the banks of the La Salle River near Starbuck, where it has been producing top-quality honey for Canadianas from coast to coast for many generations. Most Saturdays you can find Phil at his booth, Phil’s Honey, at the St. Norbert Farmers’ Market, where he has been a vendor for more than 30 years. Phil teaches farm business management at the University of Manitoba’s School of Agriculture



Dr. Rao is an accredited Canadian Plant Breeder and Agrologist, with over 25 years of progressive experience in applied research and teaching. Dr. Rao holds a PhD degree in plant science from The University of Liverpool, England U.K.


Juanita Kopp has worked for Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development for 13 years as a beef specialist. She is currently located in the Beausejour office but provides feed/forage and beef production information to producers, staff and industry representatives from all over the province. Juanita grew up on a mixed farm in western Saskatchewan. She obtained a BSA in Animal Science from the University of Saskatchewan in 1991 and in 2002 graduated with a PhD from the University of Manitoba. The title of her thesis was ‘Beef cow-calf production from fertilized and unfertilized alfalfa-meadow bromegrass and meadow bromegrass-only pastures.’

Juanita spends most of her time working on departmental requests and program development, however, she prefers working with producers and extending production information.


Jonathan Bouw  has been married to Eileen for 10 years, and they have 4 kids: Lucie (7), Karis (5), Lukas (3), & Kian (3 also!). Jonathan along with brother Stefan & wife Kendra & their 4 kids ages 4-10, and parents Marilyn & Herman Bouw care for 600 cattle on 1700 acres of heavy clay at Anola, MB—20 minutes East of Winnipeg. Those 600 cattle are anchored by a 200-cow purebred herd known as Edie Creek Angus, and they sell 50 bulls per year as their main enterprise. They also sell 30+ head per year as GrassFinished or Grassfed beef to 4 restaurants and a bunch of private customers who buy quarters of beef. Both of those enterprises are based on a planned grazing system that shoots for a minimum of 60 days of rest from animals between passes, and mostly uses paddock sizes that result in a 1-2 day graze period. Bale grazing has been used with great results for 12 years or so, and the “Carbon-centered” Holistic Management mindset has succeeded organic grain production & rotational grazing as the overarching philosophical guideline.


Michelle Schram co-owns Fresh Roots Farm, near Cartwright, MB on Treaty 1 territory. She, her partner Troy Stozek and son Sydney produce grass-fed beef, grass-fed lamb, raw honey and eggs from a pasture-based laying hen flock on land that they are stewarding using regenerative agriculture methods. Fresh Roots Farm makes monthly direct “farm-to-eater” deliveries into Winnipeg, and also sell their raw honey wholesale to various Manitoba retailers.


Britt Embry co-farms Hearts & Roots, a small-scale, diversified farm near Elie, MB on Treaty 1 Territory. Although best known for its certified organic market garden, the farm has put 80% of its land into perennial agriculture and is working toward more animal integration. Hearts & Roots markets over 80% of its goods directly to the consumer.


Vickie Doerksen is a former educator and a co-founder of Grandpa’s Garden, Ltd (2012). Grandpa’s Garden began as a U-Pick fruit and vegetable garden, as well as a local apiary. Vickie was instrumental in the development of a line of fruit honey products, based on the fruit and honey from Grandpa’s Garden. She was also an avid home mead maker, who turned her passion into Saskatchewan’s first and largest craft meadery, Prairie Bee Meadery. Prairie Bee Meadery has more than 12 different varieties of mead, including it’s newest entry into the marketplace, a champagne-style honey wine called Sparkling Bee.


David Neufeld learned to garden on his childhood farm near Boissevain and then again as a community development worker in Southern Africa through the 80s. He purchased a dilapidated greenhouse in Boissevain in 1993 and immediately began learning how to grow robust bedding plants as a certified organic grower. They’ve built a variety of styles of greenhouse since then – with an emphasis on using local materials and maximizing the collection and storage of solar heat so as to minimize fuel consumption. David emphasizes using natural nutrients in their soil mixes.  They paused the operation of this home based commercial greenhouse two years ago to focus on building a solar powered rammed earth home, but continue to grow food for market and for themselves in their greenhouse. Davie doesn’t have many photos of their greenhouses from years past (due to a house fire a year or so ago) but will offer tips on what he’s learned over the past 26 years – and will appreciate learning from you.


Brad Andereson and Jessica Chamberlain farm south of Cypress River.   They raise pasture raised chickens, turkey, pork and beef. For years Brad and Jessica have been collaborating on production and marketing.  The loss of Jessica’s step dad left Jessica without access to sufficient land and equipment, meanwhile the Andersons were having trouble completing the work of the farm and were looking for solutions.  The unfortunate situation opened up an opportunity for a mutually beneficial partnership.  The Andersons and Chamberlains have decided to create an official partnership which includes the pasture raised meat business and the spring creek farm butcher shop.