Focus on Farming Conference

Snohomish County, WA

Focus on Farming— 2013 & 2014

Focus on Farming is Washington’s annual pre-eminent farming conference. Hosted by Snohomish County, it provides educational and networking opportunities for farmers to stay connected and learn about agricultural trends, farming techniques and prospects for new markets. Focus on Farming also plays an important role in ensuring the success of local agriculture as it continues to deepen and disseminate the importance of understanding of terroir – the sense of place in foods and significance of appreciating food grown close to home and where we eat.

Kathryn Gardow worked as a key organizer of the 2013— Back to our Roots and 2014— Back to the Farm conferences. She organized a Hot Topics in agriculture session and served as the representative of Washington Sustainable Food and Farming Network, the conference’s fiscal sponsor. Kathryn’s session focused on organic seed production, the Asian medicinal herb industry, the expanding hard cider business, and the burgeoning production of malt from Skagit Valley grains. Until recently, grain cultivation in the Skagit Valley has had low economic return. At events such as the Focus on Farming conference, the rapidly changing significance of grains is highlighted. Along with their value in making malts for beer, breads and other products— grains have a critical and necessary role in crop rotations to maintain soil health.

Learn more about Malting in the Skagit and why grains are important agricultural crops.

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