TOFGA Conference

Thursday, February 7, 2013 (All day) to Saturday, February 9, 2013 (All day)

Join us in Austin for the 2013 Texas Organic Farmers and Gardeners Conference February 7-10, 2013.

Keynote by Jim Hightower, America's #1 Populist!
To take advantage of low member pricing, log in using your TOFGA membership (your email address).  If you need help, call Lee at 512-656-2456, the TOFGA office.
If you're not a member, join today and then login to register at discounted member price. Memberships start at just $20! Members save $35 on full conference registration and Student/Senior discounts are available to members.
Thursday, Feb 7
8:00 am - Registration opens


9:00 - Noon -- Pre-conference workshops

(except for the Farm Smart-Grow Smart which ends at 5:30pm)

These great add-on workshops will provide in depth, specific information on specific topics. This is a great opportunity for those just getting started or for someone wanting to go deeper into a subject.  Check them out!


  • Each workshop runs from 9:00am to noon, except for the all day Farm Smart, Grow Smart. 
  • All will be at the Austin Airport Hilton center, except as noted below.
  • Workshops are $50 per person, Farm Smart, Grow Smart is $175, member or non member, and do not require conference registration to participate.


Urban Homesteading -$50.00 - Dorsey Barger, HausBar Farms - hosted at HausBar Farms

Whether a 4X8 garden in the back yard, 1/2 an acre in town, 2 acres in the county, learn to grow lots of fresh fruits, vegetables, milk, eggs, fish and more to feed your family organically and economically.  Topics include: proportional planting for family size; water source; layout and design of an urban garden, including square foot gardening; preparing the space for fruits, vegetables, trees, and livestock; importance of organic feed for plants and animals; pest management; harvesting methods; preserving the harvest.


Starting the Small Family Farm - $50.00 - Brad Stufflebeam, Home Sweet Farm
Getting started in farming? Thinking about getting started? This workshop is for you! Come learn what you need to get started in farming with those who have been successful. Learn what to do as well as what not to do along with some great business planning advice.


SOLD OUT! Butchering & Dry Curing Basics Class - $50.00

- Hosted at Salt & Time (away from hotel)
A unique experience with of the nation’s most up and coming butcher shops, Salt & Time.  Learn the basics of butchering and then what to do with some of various cuts through dry curing. This session will be led by business partners Ben Runkle and Bryan Butler.  Location: to be determined (one of two of their facilities). Please check website for more about Salt & Time


Organic Certification: Everything You Need to Know- $50.00 - Leslie McKinnon
This workshop will provide an overview of the organic certification requirements as well as information about how to proceed through the steps of becoming certified. Record keeping boxes available for purchase separately


Community Food Projects – $50.00 - Susie Marshall, GROW North Texas

Community food projects address the issue of access to healthy, fresh foods by creating innovative programs and projects that engage the community to get involved and support the local food system. Come learn about these projects and those happening in the Austin area. The session will include tours of local projects.


SOLD OUT! Farm Smart-Grow Smart: The basics of soil fertility and plant nutrition - Full day Intensive presentation – $175.00 - Texas Plant & Soil Lab

This workshop presented by Texas Soil Lab’s Noel Garcia and Dr. Larry Zibilski will discuss basic soil science, micro nutrients, trace minerals, soil organic matter, foliar sprays, nutrient uptake, and much more.

            Click on this link for more detailed description.


5:00-7:00pm - Happy Hour



Friday, Feb. 8

Schedule subject to minor changes


7:30am – Registration opens


8:15-9:30am– Session 1

1. Organic IPM for Commercial Growers - Thomas Harr, Earthwise Organics

2. Soil Work: Setting the Table Organically for What you Want to Grow – Betsy Ross, Sustainable Growth Texas

3. Aquaponics in Texas – Arturo Arredondo, AquaponicAustin

4. Seed Saving – Marilyn & Donelle Simmons, Garden Inspirations


9:30-10:00am - Break - snacks in the exhibitor area (Atrium) during the breaks


10:00-11:15am  Session 2

1. Value-Added Products – Larry Butler, Boggy Creek Farm

2. Serengeti Grazing – Sabino Cortez, Erath Earth

3. On Farm Education - Skip Connett & Erin Flynn, Green Gate Farms

4. Planning an Organic Farm – Leslie McKinnon, Organic Certification Consulting


11:15am-12:45pm  Lunch


1:00-2:15pm  Session 3

1. Alternative Distribution Systems – Marie Tedei, Eden’s Organic Garden Center/CSA Farm

2. Homesteading: Backyard Livestock – Heidi Sloan, Genesis Gardens

3. Organic Fruit Tree Management – Glen Miracle, Laughing Frog Farm

4. Building a Community Food System – Susie Marshall, GROW North Texas


2:15-2:45pm  Break


2:45 -4:00pm - Session 4

1. Ask the Plant: Nutrition & Testing – Frank Schultz, Texas Plant & Soil Lab

2. Goats Turn Woodlots into Savannas – Will Winter, DVM

3. Farm to School in Texas – Andrew Smiley, SFC & Alyssa Herold, TDA

4. High Tunnel Construction – Mengmeng Gu, Texas A&M University


4:00 -4:30pm  Break


4:30 – 5:45pm  Session 5

1. Diverse Markets for Vegetable Production – David & Katie Pitre, Tecolote Farms

2. Building Farm Energy Self-Sufficiency – Mike Morris, NCAT

3. How to Start and Sustain a Community Garden – Jess Guffey, Sustainable Food Center

4. Small Farm Irrigation - Brenton Johnson, Johnson's Backyard Garden


6:00-7:30pm - Texas Water Issues Forum : The State of Our Water Today and Tomorrow

     Panel with
            Judith McGeary, Attorney and Executive Director of FARFA (Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance) , Rancher

            Luke Metzger, Executive Director of Environment Texas

            Drew Miller, Attorney and Partner of Kemp Smith LLP, Water Law
            Raymond Slade Jr, Former Hydrologist US Geological Survey

            Karen Ford, WaterPR (Karen Ford will be presenting for Raymond Slade)

            Susana Canseco, Attorney and Rancher, Rancho Ojo De Agua


7:00pm – Seed Swap with TEXAS READY Liberty Seed Bank

                                  Screening of Truck Farm 


Saturday, Feb. 9
Schedule subject to minor changes

7:30am – Registration opens


8:15-9:30am – Session 1

1. Heirloom Tomatoes – Lucinda Bailey,

2. Top Ten Resources TOFGA Members Hardly Ever Use – Robert Maggiani, NCAT

3. Food Laws: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly – Judith McGeary, FARFA

4. Holistic Herd Basics – Will Winter, DVM

5. SARE Update/ Texas Well Owners Association – John Smith, SARE & Dr. Diane Boellstorff


9:30-10:00am  Break – snacks in the exhibitor area (Atrium) during the breaks


10:00-11:15am  Session 2

1. Permaculture – James & Elizabeth Samudio, Elizabeth Anna’s

2. Promoting Your Farm Business Through the Press & Media – Andrea Ridout, Ask Andrea

3. Growing Mobile: the DFW Truck Farm – Donelle Simmons, DFW Truck Farm

4. What’s This Label Mean? – Sue Beckwith, Shades of Green Farm

5. Organic Vegetables All Winter – Tony Manasseri, Roland Farm


11:15am-12:45pm  Lunch & Regional Meetings


1:00-2:15pm  Session 3

1. Keyhole Gardens & the Larger Context of Drought Gardening – Deb Tolman, Avant Gardens

2. Meet Your Central Texas Farmer – facilitated by Sue Beckwith

3. Transfarming: Turning Backyards in to Farmyards – Arturo Arredondo, AquaponicAustin

4. Collaborative Urban Farming – Paige Hill, Urban Patchwork Farms

5. Herbs for Health – Justin Duncan, Prairie View A&M


2:15-2:45pm  Break


2:45 -4:00pm - Session 4

1. An Introduction to Wild Edible Plants – Amy Crowell, Eat Wild

2. On Farm Research: How to Do It Right – Robert Maggiani, NCAT

3. Insights into the Impact Of Glyphosate & GMOs on Soil, Crop, Animal & Human Health – Gerald Wiebe

4. Basic Soil Fertility & Testing – Frank Schultz, Texas Plant & Soil Lab

5. Pin It!: How to Promote Your Organization Through Social Media – Kristen Michaelis, Food Renagade


4:00 -4:30pm – Break


4:30 – 5:45pm Member meeting

6:30 pm - Organic Banquet with keynote by Jim Hightower!

Sunday, Feb 10


9:30 - leave hotel for Urban Farm Tour Brunch -  visit 2 farms with food and drink at each.




Posted by selwyn on Tue, 02/05/2013 - 6:28pm

Event Location

Austin Airport Hilton
9515 Hotel Drive
Austin, TX 78719
United States

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