This time of year always brings with it a sense of calm and quiet, and is so welcome after the busy summer season. During the winter months we have time to think, relax, read, plan, cook and really be with our family, in the moment. One of the moments we most look forward to during these dark months is winter conference time.
This weekend Chris and I will be attending the Vermont Grazing Conference in Fairlee, Vermont. Aside from the absolutely beautiful surroundings on Lake Morey, we will be sharing meals and ideas with like-minded farmers from all over New England and soaking up knowledge from some great national and local speakers. Oh, and the conference organizers do a great job of making all the farmers feel pampered (something most farmers rarely feel) with delicious meals and great accomodations.
For the past 7 years we have enjoyed going to this particular conference. The topics of the sessions are diverse and include everything from boosting your communication skills to animal behavior, improving your soil composition to biogas and composting. The conference seems to have a little something for everyone, beginning farmers and seasoned farmers alike.
Farmers need to be educated just like in any other profession. Chris and I both came to farming from other fields of work and both of us did a lot of learning along the way in our former careers. Professional development is important to staying on track not only with current trends but also in keeping an open mind to different ways of doing things. Farming is no different, there are so many ways to farm and there are always advancements in technology and sustainability.
We are really looking forward to this weekend of sharing, learning and catching up with farmer friends. We'll be sure to come back home again with new ideas and a fresh outlook for the 2013 season!