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The 18th Annual Michigan Family Farms Conference
"Growing Back Stronger"

Session Descriptions
Wednesday, March 16, 2022


Jen Silveri, Co-Executive Director, MIFFS

Kickoff to our Annual Event!

Welcome to the 18th Annual Michigan Family Farms Conference. This conference offers beginning, small-scale and culturally diverse farmers a chance to network, learn, and build sustainable family farms. Thanks for joining us today!


Small Farm Risk & Management Approaches

Marcelo Siles, Julian Samora Research Institute - MSU and

Filiberto Villa Gomez, MIFFS

This session provides an overview of the risks faced by small farms and the approaches to reduce their impacts. Farming is a risky business. Farms face risks and uncertainties in several areas, including natural disasters, finances, diseases, labor, personal, and others. It is important to understand the types of risks faced and the approaches that can be taken to minimize their negative effects when a risk event occurs.


Put USDA to Work for Your Farm: Income Safety Nets

Brian Frieden, RMA Regional Director and

Benjamin Belkholm, FSA Program Specialist

In this Spanish-English bilingual session, experts from the USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) and Farm Service Agency (FSA) introduce programs designed to support economic stability on small, medium, and diversified farms. Programs discussed will include the Whole Farm Revenue Protection Program, Micro Farm Program, and Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program. The presentation will be followed by a bilingual discussion session, where you can share your experiences and ask questions.


Working with an Agent – A Partnership That Insures Success

Phillip Preston, Senior Crop Insurance Specialist

GreenStone Farm Credit Services

Crop Insurance is the corner stone of crop risk mitigation and one of the primary tools the USDA uses to stabilize American agriculture. Your connection to crop insurance is a quality, trustworthy agent. Learn how to identify a quality agent and forge a long term relationship that insures your farms future!


Afternoon Session Q&A

Afternoon Presenters

Post your questions in the comment box!


Welcome Back!

Savannah Halleaux,

Farm Service Agency Outreach Coordinator

Welcome back to the evening sessions.


Storytelling Session with Bee Wise Farms

Lacey and Adam Ingrao

Bee Wise Farms

Bee Wise Farms, a diversified farm located in Newberry MI, produces lavender, herbs, cut flowers, honeybee products, and recycled art with a focus on healthy lives and healthy land. Bee Wise Farms is verified as environmentally sustainable through the Michigan Agriculture and Environmental Assurance Program (MAEAP). Bee Wise Farms owners, Adam and Lacey Ingrao, are the proud founders of the HEROES TO HIVE program, dedicated to supporting the live of those returning from war. Our mission is to support the health and wellbeing of the land and community (humans and other animals) through FOOD, CONNECTION, MOVEMENT & PURPOSE. Bee Wise Farms achieves this by offering personal and professional support through on-farm education and nature-based therapies.


Put USDA to Work for Your Farm: Cost Share & Rental Payments

Savannah Halleaux, FSA Outreach Coordinator; Di'Shun Melbert, NRCS District Conservationist,

Ana Zazueta-Daulton (Linguist), Cherlin Valera (Linguist)

In this Spanish-English bilingual session, experts from the USDA Farm Service Agency (FSA) and Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) introduce programs that provide financial resources and technical assistance for farmers to make improvements to their farm, recover from natural disasters, and protect natural resources. Programs discussed will include the Environmental Quality Incentives Program, Conservation Stewardship Program, Tree Assistance Program, Conservation Reserve Program, Emergency Assistance Programs, and Farm Loan Programs. The presentation will be followed by a bilingual discussion session, where you can share your experiences and ask questions.

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