We were privileged to attend the Satellite Farming Summit today at the Stevens county, WA. extension office. The meeting was to connect both established and up-and-coming farmers with buyers for specific products. There were three or four presentations put on ranging from a Global Harvest Foods rep looking for more sunflower growers, to a local animal feed company that is expanding. Raising pigs was talked about in length also as quality pork products seem to be heavily in demand. I think we were the only seed garlic farmers in the house..
I was amazed at how many folks turned out for the meeting. There were about 40-50 people in attendance. Some were established farmers looking for perhaps an alternative product to offer while others were potential farmers looking for a niche. I would say at least 2/3 of the attendees were over the age of 55, which to me seems in line with the aging population of farmers in general. We need younger farmers!
Overall, it was a great networking opportunity! I met a few of my microgreen customers in there; they seemed eager to get into farming too! That seems to be a theme for people who are not natives to this area; many of them move up here to homestead or farm. Can't disagree with them, we did the same---it's a excellent area to pursue farming in. Anyway, it was a good meeting to build on. The underlying take-away I got out of it was that there're a ton of folks who are eager to grow produce or raise animals (or already do) but are having difficulty selling their products due to our rural area. Seems to me this area needs a co-op to act as a central hub, find the buyers, and distribute regionally for the area.