Malatya Haber Living and Working on the Land conference Sept. 3-4 in Sheridan
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Living and Working on the Land conference Sept. 3-4 in Sheridan

Backyard poultry, horse health and boarding, beekeeping, growing small fruits and alternative energy are among topics at a conference Sept. 3 to 4 in Sheridan, Wyoming, that celebrates rural living.

Other sessions include making local food systems work, women on the ranch, marketing, small-scale dairies (including cheesemaking) and ag of the future.

One of the organizers, University of Wyoming Extension specialist Cole Ehmke, calls the “Living and Working on the Land: Building Blocks of Success” conference a superb networking and learning event for the region’s agriculture community.

“Bring your coffee cups and gather in Sheridan for food, workshops, tours and the best insight from preeminent rural thinkers,” Ehmke said. “The conference is an excellent opportunity for people interested in exploring new ventures on their land, direct-marketing, stewardship and networking with others of similar interests.”

Agricultural producers, land managers, hobby farmers, small-acreage owners, backyard gardeners and local food enthusiasts will all find something to fit their skill level and areas of interest, he noted.

Ehmke said the conference will feature two nationally recognized experts in their fields: Ken Meter, president of the Crossroads Resource Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Fred Kirschenmann, distinguished fellow at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture in Ames, Iowa.

Meter is one of the foremost analysts of food systems in the country, said Ehmke. His work with communities on local food systems integrates market analysis, business development, systems thinking and social concerns.

Kirschenmann is a longtime national and international leader in sustainable agriculture. In addition to his work at the Leopold Center, he manages his family’s 2,600-acre certified organic farm in North Dakota.

Talks by the two keynote speakers and others will help participants who want to accomplish more with their properties. The event is also for those interested in the future of rural areas.

Registration is $65. This includes meals and tours.

The conference begins 10:45 a.m., Sept. 3, at the Sheridan Holiday Inn Convention Center. The day includes talks and concurrent sessions on practical homestead and rural enterprise management followed by dinner and entertainment at 6 p.m.

After the morning sessions and lunch on Sept. 4, participants can choose from three tour/workshop options: a trip to an apiary and a community-supported agriculture operation near Sheridan, a trip to a fiber mill in Buffalo, or participation in a food preservation workshop.

Sponsors include University of Wyoming Extension, U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency, Wyoming Business Council’s Agribusiness Division and Audubon Rockies.

To register, contact Kacy Atkinson with the WBC’s Agribusiness Division at 307-777-6319, or

For additional information, visit, or contact Ehmke at 307-766-3782 or

Date: 8/25/2014


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