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Speakers Confirmed for Ag Sustainability Conference Feb 10-12

PULLMAN, Wash. — A long list of leaders in sustainable agriculture have been confirmed to present at a three-day conference designed to guide a sustainable future for the rural Northwest from Feb. 10-12 at the Shilo Inn at Richland.

Scheduled speakers for Creating a Sustainable Future for Agriculture in the Pacific Northwest include the following:

  • Joel Huseby, a Touchet farmer, who has transformed his traditional crop and livestock farm into one that produces and processes pasture-finished livestock and poultry products that he markets directly.
  • Karl Kupers, a Harrington farmer, who links diversification, no-till and direct marketing. He and an alliance of other eastern Washington grain growers are selling branded flour under the Shepherd’s Grain label directly to artisan bakeries in Portland to obtain higher returns for their crops.
  • Craig Madsen, an Edwall farmer, who established a contract vegetation management business that utilizes a herd of goats and sheep to mitigate weeds.
  • Bonnie Mager, Spokane County commissioner, who has been active in the Washington Environmental Council, Rural Roots and other organizations
  • Shannon Horst, senior director of Strategic Initiatives for Holistic Management International. HMI has created a world-wide network of independent holistic management educators.
  • Jeff Goebel, regional director of the Natural Resources Conservation Service in central Oregon. Goebel worked with and within agencies in building teams to overcome conflicts and achieve goals.

“Our committee is convinced that through this conference, we in the Pacific Northwest can make significant progress toward improving the use of sustainable practices in managing all of our agricultural land and natural resources,” said Don Nelson, Washington State University Extension beef specialist and member of the conference planning committee.

The conference is co-sponsored by Washington State University Extension, the WSU Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources BIOAg Program, the Kittitas County Conservation District, the Washington Sustainable Food & Farming Network, Rural Roots, Managing Change Northwest, NU View Evaluation & Learning, the Pacific Northwest Direct Seed Association and Solar $.

Early registration ends January 15. After that, fees increase from $150 per person and $275 for two people from one family to $175 and $300. High school and college students can register for $120 before Jan. 15 and $145 afterwards. The fee includes four meals during the conference. Send payment to the Kittitas County Conservation District c/o KCCD, 607 E. Mountain View Ave., Ellensburg, WA 98962. Indicate that payment is for the Sustainability Conference.

Contact Nelson at nelsond@wsu.edu or 509 335-2922 or Doug Warnock at dwarnock@charter.net or 509 525-3389 for more information.

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Media Contacts

Don Nelson, WSU Extension beef specialist, 509-335-2922