Future Farms 2008: Planning for Change
Information, food, fellowship, and fun: all four were
found in abundance at Future Farms 2008: Planning for Change.
The two day event featured a day of farm tours and a day of sessions
on financial planning, production and marketing.
Future Farms 2008 was the fifth in the Future Farms series of conferences
sponsored by the Kerr Center, in partnership with the USDA Risk Management
Agency (see complete sponsor list below).
On Tuesday, Aug 5, about 150 people got up early to go on one of the
three bus tours that visited farms in the central, northwest and eastern
parts of the state.
Tour-goers included farmers, ranchers and students looking for first
hand information. Each tour included a livestock operation, a fruit and
vegetable farm and a winery.
Food raised on Oklahoma farms were served for lunch. At Wichita Buffalo,
central tour-goers were treated to a full buffet featuring buffalo burgers.
At Cattle Tracks Ranch in northwest Oklahoma, the Gosney family served
organic meats raised on this centennial farm overlooking the Glass Mountains.
At Tiger Mountain Ranch, a cowboy serenaded the group as they ate a
chuckwagon lunch. Indian dancers and storytellers also performed.
Almost everyone who filled out evaluation forms believed the information
they received would help them better manage production or marketing risks,
and help with financial planning.
On Wednesday, Aug. 6, the conference moved inside the Bricktown Convention
Center for a full day of sessions with expert speakers.
Oklahoma Commissioner and Secretary of Agriculture Terry Peach addressed
the lunch crowd of about 150, describing his department’s many
innovative programs such as agritourism and farm–to-school.
Lunch, catered by Kam’s Kookery in Oklahoma City, was also an
According to the evaluations they were asked to complete, conference/farm
tour attendees said they found ideas and inspiration in abundance.
After visiting Christian Cheese in Kingfisher one farmer commented, “Now
I know I can do it also.”
To see many of the conference presentations, see below. For photos and
information on the farm tours, click here.
Wednesday, August 6:
Presentations may be downloaded in PDF format by clicking on the link below
the speakers names.
Speaker Bios and Presentations
Dr. Derrell Peel
Professor & Extension
Livestock Marketing Specialist, OSU
Dr. Peel received his undergraduate and Master's degrees from Montana
State University and Ph.D. from the University of Illinois. In addition
to extension and research responsibilities, Dr. Peel teaches Introduction
to Agricultural Economics and other courses. He has numerous publications
and is a co-editor and a chapter author of the Oklahoma Beef Cattle Manual,
published by the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.
View presentation (2.66
Making a Business Plan
Dr. Rodney B. Holcomb
Agricultural Economist, Oklahoma State University,
Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural
Business plans serve as both a personal “things to do” list
and a tool for obtaining capital. Using examples of various types
of agribusinesses, Dr. Holcomb will discuss the basic components of a
business plan, what lenders usually request, and how to develop financial
analyses. He studies processing alternatives and business structures
for adding value to farm products, and their impacts on local and state
presentation (540 KB)
Getting the Most Out of Your Business Tax Returns
Are you are taking all of the legal deductions and depreciations possible
on your federal business tax returns? Ms. Oakley will address general
expenses and where to file returns, as well as highlighting some commonly
overlooked expenses that can help reduce your tax burden. The information
presented will be useful for farmers preparing their own tax returns
as well those who hire accountants. Join her as she de-mystifies
the tax process. With her partner Mike Appel, Oakley jointly owns
and operates Three Springs Farm, a diversified, certified-organic vegetable,
fruit, and herb farm an hour outside of Tulsa. They cultivate over
fifty different crops and more than 150 individual varieties on five
acres of land. They strive to maintain a two-person operation not
dependent on hired labour that demonstrates the economic viability of
small-scale agriculture. They sell produce through two area farmers’ markets
and through a community supported agriculture (CSA) Program.
Insurance Options for Farmers, Ranchers, and Small Food Businesses
Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner
Risk Management Specialist, USDA
Risk Management Agency
Legal Issues for Producers: Liability and Food Safety
Harrison M. Pittman, B.S., J.D., LL.M.
Director, National Agricultural
Law Center, University of Arkansas
Harrison Pittman is a frequent presenter on various agricultural law
and policy topics, including environmental law, the impact of globalization
and the World Trade Organization on U.S. agriculture, conservation programs,
legal liability issues in agritourism operations and other landowner
liability issues, agricultural liens, the future of farm commodity programs,
and the interrelationship between local food systems and public health
View presentation (174
Getting a Loan: What Farmers and Ranchers Need to Know
Agricultural Business Coordinator, Caddo
Kiowa Technology Center
presentation (1.28 MB)
Senior Vice President, First American Bank
What do commercial banks require of applicants for agritourism loans?
Mr. Taylor, in banking since 1974, will talk about the questions
bankers will ask and what applicants need to be successful.
Panel: Professional Resources
USDA Risk Management
Oklahoma State Conservationist, USDA
Natural Resources Conservation Service
USDA Rural Development
Dr. Damona Doye
Assistant State Conservationist, Director of RC&D
presentation (2.74 MB)
State Executive Director, Oklahoma
Farm Service Agency
Affordable Year-round Vegetable Production in
Greenhouse and Plasticulture Extension Specialist, Israeli Plants Board
Israel has very similar growing conditions to Oklahoma, from forested
areas with higher rainfall to flat, arid growing areas. Israel is a world
leader in season extension research and successful application. Mr. Esquira
will present current technology for year-round vegetable production with
respect to energy reduction, environmental friendliness and economical
Organic Production for Market Gardeners
Owner/Partner, Organic Gardens
Built on inspiration 8 years ago, Mr. Leonard’s family-owned farm
has become a success, providing unique herbs, bedding plants, and certified
organic produce to farmers’ markets and restaurants in central
Oklahoma. He will share his experience in organic production, focusing
on soil building, integrated pest management (IPM), and crop management.
Bumper Crops Early and Late: Season Extension and Plasticulture
Deep Valley Farms
Ms. Coleman and her family run a small-scale farm operation on 40 acres,
selling at the Okmulgee Farmers’ Market. They apply sustainable
agriculture principles and holistic management practices. A participant
in ODAFF’s plasticulture program, Coleman will address plasticulture
as a means of season extension, weed control, and increased competitiveness
for small scale farmers in local markets.
View presentation (3.16
Horticulture Consultant, Noble
Mr. Upson will give an overview of the various components used in a
plasticulture growing system. including drip irrigation, plastic mulch,
floating covers, mini tunnels and high tunnels (hoop houses). He
will highlight examples of the application of this technology by local
has been with the Noble Foundation for the past 20 years, and previously
worked as a county and district horticulture agent with OSU Cooperative
Extension, and as manager of a commercial market gardening operation.
presentation (3.21 MB)
Pasture Monitoring and Management
Rebecca Baril for Charley Orchard
Land EKG, Inc.
Mr. Orchard grew up in Wyoming, a fourth-generation rancher. His
innovative "Land EKG" is a way to monitor the health of rangeland
that is comprehensive yet easy to understand and simple to master. He
will explain how to do it and what ranchers will learn using this approach.
Multi-species Grazing in Oklahoma
Dave Sparks, D.V.M.
Area Extension Food Animal Quality and Health Specialist, OSU
Dr. Sparks will relate the findings of his current research grazing
cattle and goats together under range conditions. He will consider
impacts on parasites, range plant composition, and economics. Dr.
Sparks has practiced veterinary medicine in Oklahoma, Kansas, California,
and Arizona, and joined the OSU Cooperative Extension Service in 2006,
covering 40 eastern Oklahoma counties.
presentation (1.7 MB)
Goat Production Basics
Dr. Steve Hart
Goat Extension Specialist, Langston
Dr. Hart will share the fruits of his 17 years of work in goat extension
at Langston, asking several questions that producers need to answer before
getting into the goat business, and discussing some considerations in
planning a goat enterprise. He will also provide a list of suggested
resources, and discuss several current Oklahoma goat
presentation (449 KB)
Marketing through Farmer-Consumer Co-ops: The Oklahoma Food Cooperative
Mr. Waldrop is a 4th-generation Oklahoman, born and raised in Tillman
County in southwest Oklahoma. He will discuss the history and operation
of the Oklahoma Food Cooperative, which is a monthly order and delivery
network connecting Oklahoma farmers and customers. In addition
to founding and directing the Oklahoma Food Cooperative, he is the founder
of the Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House, which delivers food to people
in need who don’t have transportation.
Elements of a Marketing Plan
Business & Marketing Relations Manager, Oklahoma State University,
Robert M. Kerr Food & Agricultural
Just like the business plan, the marketing plan serves as a tool that
directs and evaluates the marketing activities of an organization. Marketing
can be defined as the process of initiating and building mutually beneficial
relationships with customers. While no two marketing plans are
alike, Chuck will present and discuss recommended elements that should
Out of the Sale Barn: Marketing Alternatives for Livestock Producers
Cowboy Storyteller, Rancher
Mr. Shivers raises goats and cattle and is also a popular humorist and
cowboy storyteller. His Kiko bucks were among the top performers in the
Kerr Center's 2007 Meat Goat Performance test.
View presentation (1.22 MB)
Challenges in Value-Added Marketing
Dr. Richard Ortez
After a career as a microbiology professor, Dr. Ortez achieved his lifetime
goal of owning a farm. In 1994, he established El Sueño Enterprises,
consisting of gardens, commercial kitchen, and café, as portrayed
in the company motto: “Nurturing your meal from seed to table.” He
has since closed the café, but continues to grow and transform
fresh vegetables into value-added processed foods to sell at a local
farmers’ market. The 20 items in his stable product line each contain
at least one ingredient grown on his farm. His practical presentation
is aimed at helping those interested see through the mystique of starting
a small commercial food processing business. He will describe how El
Sueño Enterprises got started and developed into its present form,
addressing such issues as health regulations, setting up a commercial
kitchen, business and other skills, and product cost analysis.
presentation (975 KB)
Catering from Your Garden
Kookery and Guilford Gardens
Chef Gamble operates a catering service featuring fresh produce from
her own suburban organic garden as well as other local growers, and meat
and dairy items from Oklahoma farms and ranches. Kam’s Kookery
and Guilford Gardens also host cooking classes and run a CSA (Community
Supported Agriculture) program. Gamble helped to found the Oklahoma City
Slow Food Convivium.
Agritourism Director, Oklahoma
Department of Agriculture, Food, & Forestry <
Farm to School Program Administrator
Commissioner of Agriculture, Head of Marketing Division, ODAFF
Community Foods Coordinator, Kerr
Center for Sustainable Agriculture
Diversified Agriculture Marketing Development
Department of Agriculture, Food, & Forestry