Southwest Marketing Network Conference in Durango

Southwest Marketing Network announces a conference in Durango, to be held April 6-8.

This year’s conference at the DoubleTree Hotel will host a popular array of speakers and participants from the Southwest and beyond.

This year’s theme, “Building a Good Food System in the Southwest,” comes out of the growing desire to get “good food” — healthy, green, fair and affordable — to more people.

Registration fee is $150, and includes several meals.

Presenters include: Marty Gerencer of the National Good Food Network; Diana Endicott of Good Natured Family Farms; Rich Pirog of Iowa State University’s Leopold Center; and Paula Garcia, of the New Mexico Acequia Association, to name a few.

There will also be interactive workshops geared at helping producers to identify and expand their role in developing the local food system. Those workshop tracks include:

1. Scaling up to New Markets: What you need to know to expand your farm or ranch business to sell to schools, restaurants, grocery stores and other institutions.

2. Growing your Organization’s Capacity to Grow the Food System: Focused on community groups, this track will provide presentations and small group consultation on key organizational development issues such as grant-writing, project development, and developing collaborations.

3. Making your Farm/Ranch Business Work for YOU: This track will focus on making life easier as a farm/ranch business owner; including new business management and record-keeping tools, information on alternative energy, and planning for the next generation.

4. Mooving More Livestock: How to make your ranch a marketing success story.

While participants are not required to stay in one track for the duration of the day, it is strongly encouraged, as each session will build on the previous one.

The Southwest Marketing Network was initiated to increase regional marketing expertise and opportunities for farmers and ranchers in the Four Corners states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. Their goal is to ensure that new, existing, and prospective Southwest producers — especially small-scale, alternative, and minority producers — have the connections with others, technical and financial assistance, marketing information, business and marketing skills, and peer examples to improve their marketing success, viability, and bottom line.

For more information on the upcoming workshop, check out their Web site at www.swmarketingnetwork.org/.

Sign up for gardening classes

If you’ve tried and failed, or you know “nothing” about gardening, we’ve got just the thing for you.

The Colorado State University Extension Office in Archuleta County will conduct a series of basic gardening classes, and we invite you to attend.

Each class session will be from 10 a.m. to noon or 6 to 8 p.m. on the dates they are offered. Thursday dates are as follows: March 26, April 9, April 16 and April 23

These classes are free, but participants are asked to R.S.V.P. so presenters can prepare for correct amounts of course materials and supplies for hands-on activities. The classes will be held at the Archuleta County Fairgrounds in the Exhibit Hall. Please invite a friend to come along with you to learn the basic skills for a new hobby or for learning how to provide fresh food for your dinner table. For more information or to R.S.V.P., contact Kim at the Extension Office at 264-5931.

Calendar

March 19 — 4 p.m., Leathercraft project meeting.

March 19 — 6:30 p.m., Dog Obedience project meeting.

March 19 — 7 p.m., Dog Agility project meeting.

March 20 — 1:45 p.m., Cloverbuds Club meeting.

March 20 — 2 p.m., Rabbit project meeting.

March 20 — 3 p.m., Turkey project meeting.

March 20 — 3:30 p.m., Poultry project meeting.

March 23 — 4 p.m., Sewing Project meeting.

March 24 — 6 p.m., Water in the San Juan Basin Program.

March 25 — 4 p.m., Sportsfishing project meeting.

Check out our Web page at www.archuleta.colostate.edu for calendar events and information.