Setting Priorities, Land & Climate Challenges, and Finding Opportunities

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Designed for curious, beginning farmers, this free day-long workshop introduces agriculture in the Middle Rio Grande Valley, including environment, community, markets, and farmer goals.  Activities will include on-farm tour, guided self-assessment, expert presentations, and panel discussions to examine farming options in the Middle Rio Grande Valley, climate trends, principles of regenerative agriculture, and crop choices matched to consumer demand in local markets, ranging from CSAs to commercial and municipal entities.  Participants will self-assess their attitudes about farming as individuals and as members of family and community, thereby identifying gaps and goals for improvement.

  • Agricultural climate and trends, now to the year 2100.
  • Appreciate the major soil types and irrigation needs in the Middle Rio Grande Valley.
  • Farm tour of best practices, infrastructure, and equipment choices.
  • Find out how to join markets in the area.
  • Consider your attitude about running a small farm involving finances, family, community, and future generations.

Agenda

  • 8:30 AM Arrive at the Los Ranchos Agri-Nature Center4920 Rio Grande Blvd. NW.
  • 8:45 AM Welcome from Rio Grande Community Farm — Jamie Welles, Ex. Dir.
  • 9:00 AM Overview: The Holistic Picture
    • Self-knowledge pre-assessment
  • 9:15 AM Knowing Your Attitude: The ABC Model — Bruce Milne
    • Assess Your Attitudes about farming, money, food, family, work
  • 10:15 AM Break
    • 10:30 AM Gap Analysis: What are my priorities for creating success?
  • 11:00 AM Sense of Place: Land, Water, and Climate Trajectory
    • Geography 101 — The Middle Rio Grande Valley – Chris Duvall
    • Climate Change, 1985 to 2100 — NM Envir. Dept.
  • 12:00 PM Lunch Outside
  • 12:30 PM Panel: Strategies for Sustainable Agriculture
    • 12:45 PM Incubator programs at RGCF, Tres Hermanas Kitchen — Jamie Welles, Anzia Bennet
    • High-value Specialty Crops
  • 1:45 PM Break
    • 2:00 PM How to join markets: public, private, institutional
    • Principles of regenerative agriculture
  • 3:00 PM Tractor Ride Tour: RGCF and Agri-Nature Center — Kelvin Schenk
    • Soils, no-till, & cover cropping
    • Infrastructure & Equipment
    • Solar power & carbon neutrality goal
    • Weather station for smarter irrigation
    • Beneficial biodiversity
  • 4:45 PM Assessment of Today’s Program — Colleen McRoberts
  • 5:00 PM Adjourn and Pre-Registration for the Next Workshop

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