Jan 17, 2020
Southeast Kansas specialty crops workshop to be held in February

A Southeast Kansas Specialty Crops Workshop is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020 in Burlington, Kansas, at the Coffey County Fairgrounds 4-H Building, 110 S 6th St. from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Both experienced and beginning specialty crop producers from across Kansas are invited to attend.

The workshop will feature production, marketing, and management topics. Speakers from across the state will provide timely information so that attendees can improve their current production, marketing and management aspects of their farm.

Workshop sessions will include: All About Tomatoes by Chuck Marr, KSRE Vegetable Specialist, Emeritus; What’s Special about Specialty Crops by Steve Michel, Garden City grower; Enlisting Community Support Initiative by Marlin Bates, KSRE Director, Douglas County; Resources and Equipment Needs and Importance of Crop Enterprise Budgets, by David Coltrain, specialty crops grower and educator; and Marketing Channel Suggestions by Stu Shafer, JCCC Sustainable Ag and Specialty Crop Grower.

The workshop will conclude with a tour of Bauman’s Cedar Valley Farms led by owner, Rosanna Bauman. They raise pastured poultry and eggs (chicken, turkey and ducks) employing organic practices, along with 100% grass-fed beef. They process their poultry and beef. They also sell organic fertilizers and feed supplements. Bauman Family Cedar Valley Farm is an innovative out of the ordinary family farm. They can help producers that market directly to consumers think creatively about how to connect to their potential customers.

The local food movement continues to increase in popularity across the country. Marketing directly to consumers helps both growers and their customers. Consumers receive healthy, tasty local grown food and can connect to the farm that grew the food. Growers capture the retail price of the products they produce.

David Coltrain, one of the workshop organizers and speakers is a native of southeast Kansas and has recently retired and lives in Cherryvale where he is producing and marketing a small area of fruits and vegetables. Coltrain has grown and marketed vegetables for nearly 50 years through several different marketing channels. Coltrain states, “In my estimation, the potential to provide much more local grown vegetables and fruits exists across Kansas and especially in southeast Kansas. Kansas growers currently produce around 5% of the vegetables and fruits purchased by Kansas consumers. More progressive growers are needed to fill this void. The population of southeast Kansas is large enough to support many more producers than what currently exists.

Sponsors for the workshop include Kansas Rural Center, K-State Research and Extension (Coffey County, Lyon County, Southwind District), Kansas Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education, Johnson County Community College Sustainable Agriculture, Morgan County Seeds, Johnny’s Seeds, Stokes Seeds, and McNitt Growers.

For an agenda and to register visit: kansasruralcenter.org/specialtycropworkshop. The cost including a local sourced lunch will be $30.00 for the first person and $20.00 for additional family members. For more information, contact David Coltrain at 620-330-3951 or [email protected] or Natalie Fullerton at 866-579-5469, [email protected].

The mission of KRC, founded in 1979, is to promote the long-term health of the land and its people through community-based research, education, and advocacy that advances an economically viable, ecologically sound, and socially just food and farming system in Kansas. For more information, visit kansasruralcenter.org.





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