2018 NPSAS Winter Conference

2018 NPSAS Winter Conference
January 25-27, 2018

Keynote Speakers

Blake & Blaine Hitzfield
Seven Sons Farms
Roanoke, Indiana

Seven Sons Family Farms was established in 2000 by Lee and Beth Hitzfield and their seven sons. Their mission is simple; to produce nutrient-dense foods that heal and nourish our land and those who eat of its bounty.

Beginning in the ‘80s thru the early ‘90s they operated a conventional row crop and confinement hog operation producing pork for IBP and later Tyson Foods. As a result of a family health matter, they became aware of the problems that plague the conventional food system and how it is affecting the wellbeing of consumers. Through their personal life experiences they have come to the belief that how they manage their soil, plants and animals will directly affect the physical and mental health of those who consume the products of their farming choices.

In the late ‘90s they embarked on a journey to transition their farm to a sustainable multi-species pasture based farming and direct marketing operation. After years of much effort, learning and dedication, their vision was eventually realized as a successful farm-to-consumer food business that thousands of dedicated patrons know as Seven Sons Family Farms. The vocation of bringing food to your table is not just a business to them, but also a personal ministry and responsibility that they take very seriously!
Blake Hitzfield
In addition to overseeing day to day farm operations, Blake is responsible for the careful planning and management of livestock grazing rotations, winter stockpile reserves, forage rotations as well as animal health and genetic improvement.Through several years of trial, error and success in pasture-based farming, Blake has many insights to offer others and routinely provides consulting to producers venturing into pasture-based livestock production. Blake currently sits on the board of the American Herbataurus Society and works close with renowned cattleman Gearld Fry.
Blaine Hitzfield
Blaine has spent his life working on the family farm. During high school Blaine pursued an interest in multimedia design and marketing. Blaine’s interest in marketing served as an integral part of helping his family develop a direct marketing business. Today Blaine is employed full time at Seven Sons and is responsible for overseeing daily marketing and distribution activities. Blaine enjoys sharing the Seven Sons story by speaking to consumer and producer groups and has offered consulting to numerous direct marketers and has written for Allan Nation’s Stockman Grass Farmer.

Dr. Jonathan Lundgren
Blue Dasher Farm www.bluedasher.farm
Estelline, SD

Dr. Jonathan Lundgren is an award-winning scientist in the fields of agroecology and risk assessment, and has strong ties with the scientific community, policy makers and regulators, and numerous farmers, ranchers and beekeepers from around the world. Jenna Lundgren has played a strong role in improving community in Brookings, S.D. Her tireless work in youth mentorship, fitness promotion, and small business development and support have given her the tools to achieve the lofty goals set forward for the farm. They stand up for what they believe is right and have made Blue Dasher a flag around which supporters of ecologically-based agriculture will rally.

Their vision: “We can grow food AND conserve the environment. Blue Dasher Farm is well situated for investigating the practices and farming systems that are adapted to the northern plains and upper Midwest. Over the next several years, we will expand our Deuel county South Dakota farm from 50 acres up to a few hundred acres. Simultaneously, we hope to establish a network of research, education, and demonstration farms throughout the country that will promote our mission while accounting for geographical variations and circumstances.”

Pre-Conference Workshops

Net $4k/acre With Stacked Enterprises & Direct Marketing
by Blake & Blaine Hitzfield (Seven Sons Farms)

Brothers Blake and Blaine Hitzfield of Seven Sons will share the ins and outs of what they’ve learned over the past 15 years of operating a pasture-based livestock and direct marketing operation. Seven Sons raises grassfed beef, free-range pork and eggs on their 500-acre farm in Roanoke, IN. In this workshop you will learn how Seven Sons has built scaleable production models that generate profits to support over 10 full-time family members and staff. You will also learn how Seven Sons used the latest in internet marketing strategies to direct market their products to over 5,000 customers in the midwest. This workshop will be sure to leave you better equipped and inspired to take your farm to new levels.

Building Back Our Landscape
by Jay Fuhrer

Workshop components will build the foundation of soil health:
What is a soil?
Soil Function/Demonstrations
Carbon Cycle
Principles of Soil Health
Cropping Systems
Grazing Systems
Cover Crops
Gardening (High Tunnel & Outdoor)Jay Fuhrer is a Soil Health Specialist employed by the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Bismarck, North Dakota. He has boots on the ground the last 38 years working with cropping systems, grazing systems, cover crops, and gardens.  Jay also has an extensive background working with groups and entities, such as; soil and water conservation districts, national and international no-till organizations, watersheds, farm organizations, urban groups, and more.  Recently, Jay spends his time at the Menoken Farm minimizing soil disturbance, adding soil armor, maximizing plant diversity, maintaining living roots in the soil, and integrating livestock.

Farmilies – Supporting Farm Women & Families
by Annie Carlson, Jill Jerde, Courtney Luhmann and Darcee Weber

Farm women face unique challenges:  managing home, business, marriage, family…all at the same time.  It can be wonderful and awful, and often on the same day.  Join experienced farm women as they share their tips and tricks and their joys and struggles.  We will offer practical ways to help you feel more connected, confident, and calm as we grow and share together.  Come early to Winter Conference and relax for an afternoon with friends and fellow farm women!  Kids are certainly welcome, husbands optional.

Thank You Cosponsors!

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