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Alcona Farm to Fork presents first Farm Conference

LINCOLN — The Alcona Regional Farm Conference will be held 8 a.m. through 5 p.m., Feb. 10, at the Lost Lake Woods Club in Lincoln — in correlation with the Farm to Fork program of Alcona — a first time event to promote and educate about the benefits of farming, buying local, and how to grow farming businesses.

The event begins at 8 a.m. with a breakfast and keynote speaker, Alcona native and entrepreneur, Kristine Ranger followed with a lunch ending at 5 p.m. the event will showcase three major parts of agriculture: The business of farming, inform those who are interested in learning agriculture and provide success stories, and to promote local farm shopping.

“The event will be made with local foods — local pasties for lunch made with locally grown beef and even rutabegahs local from the Traverse City area,” said project manager, Maureen Castern-French. “We are aiming for 75 percent of the food at the event will be local food which is pretty hard to find in Feburary. The eggs are local, bacon will be from Michigan even the cider will be local.”

The conference will host 20 different speakers that will include farmers, a place concurrent with the event where vendors can sell food and educate more about what they do and the life of an agricultural farmer from 1-4 p.m. Supporting the Farm to Fork initiative is made mostly through donations and buying local produce when possible.

“The biggest problem is people don’t want to drive to different farms do their shopping efficiently,” said Castern-French. “We want to do pre-packaged boxed produce from the farm — we are hoping to promote that sort of a program.”

The $25 event is at low cost; Castern-French said they expect to lose money at that price because of all the vendors, fresh food and people they are hosting to put on the event.

“There will be a hay ride through dark cold woods followed by making s’mores at the outdoor fireplace,” she said. “Admission is $5 — we will also provide local wines and beer at the event. People will get one ticket for a drink and can purchase more if they would like.”

Castern-French said the health benefits of local fresh foods are substantial and helps recycle money into the economy. To learn more about the event, contact Maureen Castern-French at 335-4112.

Beth Gohs can be reached via email at bgohs@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5693.