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Tilth Conference: Climate & Resiliency Workshops

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Workshops: Climate & Resiliency • Education & Policy • Finance & Marketing 
Versatile Livestock Operations • Organic Production • Tree Fruit Management

Agriculture and the Changing Climate

  • Presenter: Chad Kreuger, Northwestern Washington Research & Extension Center (NWREC) and Center for Sustaining Agriculture & Natural Resources (CSANR).
  • Description coming soon.

Hedgerow Agro-Ecology

  • Presenter: Eric Lee Mäder, The Xerces Society
  • Farm hedgerows originated more than 2000 years ago in Europe, providing living fences for livestock and protection from invaders. Throughout the centuries, Europe’s hedgerows have been subjected to multiple world wars and ongoing attempts to plow, cut and flatten them. Yet even today those hedgerows provide habitat for some of the last remnant wildlife and wild plant populations. Over the past decade, the hedgerow concept has taken root in the United States where they are being used for multiple farm functions including pollinator and beneficial insect habitat, deer-exclusion, windbreaks and living snow fences, livestock containment, wild crops, barricades against trespassing, and more. In this workshop, Whidbey Island farmer and Xerces Society pollinator ecologist Eric Lee-Mäder will share the latest findings on the contribution of hedgerows to crop pollination and pest management, provide an overview of hedgerow economics, and discuss traditional installation, tools, and management practices associated with the ancient art of ‘hedge-laying.’ Concepts will be illustrated by real world case studies ranging from multi-mile long hedgerows integrated into 2000 acre orchards to small hedgerows on diversified farms.

Fire Resiliency and Response on the Farm

  • Presenters: 
    • Carey Hunter and Albert Roberts, Pine Stump Farms
    • Maurice Robinette, Lazy R Ranch
  • Living in the dry steppe environment of the Okanogan highlands, Albert & Carey have been aware of the need to design their environment and systems to respond to potential forest fire. They have lived through four major fires since moving to their property in 1989. This past year was the most severe and tested their infrastructures and ability to respond. After the devastation of having structures burned and livestock endangered, they have responded. Hear how they responded, how the animals responded and activities post-fire to carry on. Maurice Robinette will provide additional perspective as a Holistic Management expert and talk about what farms can do moving forward.  

The Energy-Conscious Farm

  • Presenters: 
    • Jill Eikenhorst, NW SEED
    • Chris Henderson, Small Acres Farm
    • Annie Jesperson, Deep Harvest Farm
    • Colin McCrate, Seattle Urban Farm Company
  • This workshop will discuss the fundamentals of farm energy, including how to decide what kind of renewable energy technology is best for your farm, how to effectively reduce energy use on the farm and what funding sources are available for farm energy projects. This panel will include farmers sharing lessons from their current energy practices on the farm. Northwest Sustainable Energy for Economic Development (NWSEED) is a Seatted-based non-profit that provides farmers and rural small businesses with technical assistance in moving their clean energy project ideas forward. Chris Henderson is co-owner of Small Acres farm in Whatcom County, which has been retrofitted to be nearly 100% solar-powered including an electric truck. Annie Jesperson is co-owner of Deep Harvest Farm on Whidbey Island, who will talk about how the design of their new farm infrastructure was influenced by environmental considerations, the different energy technologies that they considered, and the different funding sources they were able to secure. Colin McCrate is co-owner of the Seattle Urban Farm Company, which is helping to test products from Impact Bioenergy’s mobile biodigester unit.
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