The recipients of these scholarships are local farmers from Indiana and Illinois, with the majority coming from farming communities in Indiana. Of the sixteen recipients, ten received free registration to the event, with funds provided by the Indiana Farmer’s Union. The remaining six farmers were awarded partial scholarships in order to attend the event, thanks to other grant money being donated to the scholarship fund.
The Indiana Small Farm Conference is an annual educational event that allows farmers to network with others around their community and the state. The conference began as a small gathering of farmers at Purdue University in 2011, and has since grown into a three-day event that hosts over 500 attendees, 50 exhibitors, and numerous national speakers.
The conference offers a series of full-day workshops, with topics including farm fresh produce, food safety, farm viability, and financial management. Throughout these full-day workshops, farmers will gain knowledge to support their own farms, as well as interact and network with farmers across the state and pass on their own knowledge.
The last two days of the conference will feature a Small Farm Trade Show, where more than 50 vendors will showcase their products and services. These two days will also include shorter workshops around the Trade Show, covering vegetable and livestock production, farm management, and farm marketing.
Each day of the conference offers an inclusive networking luncheon for farmers to meet other farmers and to discuss their farming failures and successes, which is included with the price of registration.
The Indiana Farmer’s Union and the Indiana Small Farm Conference have worked to ensure that the Indiana farming community has the tools and connections it needs to continue flourishing. With the awarding of these scholarships, they are certifying that this conference will keep growing in the future, giving farmers across the state access to each other’s knowledge and support.
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