Farmers Gather In Grand Island For Annual 'Healthy Farms' Conference

Dave Vetter (back) owns Grain Place Foods. Vetter spoke at the conference about building and maintaining an organic farm for the past few decades. (Becca Costello, NET NEws)
About a hundred people attended the 2020 Health Farms Conference in Grand Island. (Becca Costello, NET News)
An attendee asks a question after Dave Vetter's keynote address on Friday morning. (Becca Costello, NET News)
February 3, 2020 - 6:45am

About a hundred farmers gathered in Grand Island over the weekend to learn about sustainable agriculture.

Sustainable agriculture covers a multitude of farming practices, including off-season cover crops, certified organic, and pesticide free. 

The title of the conference sums up the goal of all these producers, large and small: Healthy Farms. 

The gathering is put on by the Nebraska Sustainable Agriculture Society, a group going back nearly four decades. 

Farmers had the opportunity to learn about topics like agrotourism, the Farm Bill, and no-till organic farming from groups like the Center for Rural Affairs and Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education. 

"The people that are here, and it is a core group of people that come back every year, that have just a wealth of knowledge," said outgoing Board President Brent Lubbert. "And for a young farmer it has been inspiring and also just, I learn so much when I’m at this conference."

Lubbert says the group operates as a network to connect ag producers, and the annual conference is a rare chance to get those farmers in the same room.

But that’s not the best part of the meeting. 

"So, there’s really good food at this conference," Lubbert said. 

That’s because farmers from the area donate the food to make each meal.

Attendees heard from keynote speakers Dave Vetter, farmer and owner of Grain Place Foods in Nebraska, and Bill Bullard, CEO of the Ranchers-Cattlemen Action Legal Fund, United Stockgrowers of America (R-CALF USA). 



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