FARFA may be visiting your town!

 


You work hard to raise food. Now raise your voice!

Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance is hitting the road to meet with and hear from independent family farmers, ranchers, and others in small-scale agricultural production across the State of Texas.

This campaign, called “Raise Your Voice,” provides opportunities for farmers, beekeepers, and local food producers to tell FARFA about the issues most impacting them. Our goal is to visit as many regions of the state as possible over the coming months.

“With a state this size, we can’t assume the challenges are the same for farmers in every region,” says Executive Director Judith McGeary. Each stop will include a half-day listening session during which she will gather input on policies that are either helping or hindering farmers in running successful businesses. Also on the agenda is an activism training session so that farmers gain skills to have their voices heard at all levels of government.

“The key to FARFA’s success in advocating for small farmers is in grassroots advocacy building,” says McGeary. “In order to shape the policies that impact local food producers, we need all voices to be heard so we can identify concerns and possible solutions.”

FARFA will utilize the information gathered during these sessions, which will continue through the spring, to shape FARFA’s work on the federal Farm Bill and to prepare for the 2019 Texas Legislative Session.

As details are confirmed, we will continue to add stops to the Raise Your Voice schedule. Every attempt is being made to make participation low- or no-cost to participants. If you are interested in helping us plan or promote any of these sessions, please email to let us know.

Raise Your Voice is supported by grants from Farm Aid and the Clif Bar Family Foundation.

 

Watch coverage of FARFA’s recent visit to Amarillo!

 

North Central Texas

For the North Central Texas events, we are joined by Grow North Texas, who will host 2-hour workshops on topics of significance to growers and local food producers.

Wichita Falls

May 2, 2018, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. | Fox Hill Restaurant & Garden | 800 Kemp Blvd., Wichita Falls

Agenda:

10 a.m.-12 p.m. Grow North Texas’ Small Farmer Workshop. Cottage Foods and Local Food Regulation. This workshop will cover the Texas Cottage Food Law in detail, for producers who want to make food in their home kitchen (rather than a commercial kitchen). Learn what & where you can sell, as well as get more information about common concerns like advertising, sampling, and insurance. The workshop will also cover state laws on selling eggs, meat, and other products (note that local regulations on these topics may differ).

12-12:30 p.m. Lunch provided by FARFA & Grow North Texas

12:30-3 p.m. FARFA’s “Raise Your Voice” listening session and advocacy training.

REGISTER HERE

 

Decatur

May 3, 2018, 3 p.m.-8 p.m. | Black Creek Farm | 2324 Old Decatur Road, Decatur

Agenda:

3 p.m.-5 p.m. Grow North Texas’ Small Farmer Workshop. Legal and Business Issues for Farmers. This workshop will cover common legal questions that local farmers have, including insurance, forming a corporation or other entity, employees & volunteers, right to farm, & zoning. The information is not a substitute for individual legal advice, but will give you the basics on these topics and suggestions on how to find the right answers for your farm or small food business.

5-5:30 p.m. Refreshments

5:30-8 p.m. FARFA’s “Raise Your Voice” listening session and advocacy training.

Sponsored by Wise County Market Days.

REGISTER HERE

 

Hillsboro

May 4, 2018, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. | Hill County College | 112 Lamar Drive, Hillsboro

Agenda:

10 a.m.-12 p.m. Grow North Texas’ Small Farmer Workshop. Legal and Business Issues for Farmers. This workshop will cover common legal questions that local farmers have, including insurance, forming a corporation or other entity, employees & volunteers, right to farm, & zoning. The information is not a substitute for individual legal advice, but will give you the basics on these topics and suggestions on how to find the right answers for your farm or small food business.

12-12:30 p.m. Lunch provided by FARFA & Grow North Texas

12:30-3 p.m. FARFA’s “Raise Your Voice” listening session and advocacy training.

REGISTER HERE

 

East Texas

For the East Texas events, we are joined by Grow North Texas, who will host 2-hour workshops on topics of significance to growers and local food producers.

Winnsboro

May 15, 2018, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. | Downtown Train Depot | Broadway between Main & Walnut Streets, Winnsboro

Agenda:

10 a.m.-12 p.m. Grow North Texas’ Small Farmer Workshop. FSMA Exemptions. Most small, direct-marketing farmers and food producers will be exempt from the major new FDA regulations under the Food Safety Modernization Act – but “exempt” doesn’t mean you can ignore them! Record-keeping, signage, and dealing with institutional buyers all mean you need to understand the specifics of the FSMA exemptions. This workshop will explain the scope of the exemptions as well as issues to consider as you grow or diversify your business.

12-12:30 p.m. Lunch provided by FARFA & Grow North Texas

12:30-3 p.m. FARFA’s “Raise Your Voice” listening session and advocacy training.

REGISTER HERE

 

Tyler

May 16, 2018, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. | Foundry Coffee House | 202 S. Broadway, Tyler

Agenda:

10 a.m.-noon. Grow North Texas’ Small Farmer Workshop. Cottage Foods and Local Food Regulation. This workshop will cover the Texas Cottage Food Law in detail, for producers who want to make food in their home kitchen (rather than a commercial kitchen). Learn what & where you can sell, as well as get more information about common concerns like advertising, sampling, and insurance. The workshop will also cover state laws on selling eggs, meat, and other products (note that local regulations on these topics may differ).

Noon-12:30 p.m. Lunch provided by FARFA & Grow North Texas

12:30-3 p.m. FARFA’s “Raise Your Voice” listening session and advocacy training.

REGISTER HERE

 

Nacogdoches

May 17, 2018, 3 p.m.-8 p.m. | City Hall | 202 E. Pilar St., Nacogdoches

Agenda:

3 p.m.-5 p.m. Grow North Texas’ Small Farmer Workshop. FSMA Exemptions. Most small, direct-marketing farmers and food producers will be exempt from the major new FDA regulations under the Food Safety Modernization Act – but “exempt” doesn’t mean you can ignore them! Record-keeping, signage, and dealing with institutional buyers all mean you need to understand the specifics of the FSMA exemptions. This workshop will explain the scope of the exemptions as well as issues to consider as you grow or diversify your business.

5-5:30 p.m. Refreshments

5:30-8 p.m. FARFA’s “Raise Your Voice” listening session and advocacy training.

REGISTER HERE

 

South-Central Texas

Coming in June: San Antonio, June 15


COMPLETED STOPS:

South Plains & Coast

Rio Grande Valley

January 24, 2018, 9:30 a.m.-4 p.m. | Valley Nature Center | 301 S. Border Ave., Weslaco

Corpus Christi

January 25, 2018

Local Food Producers Conference | Del Mar Center for Economic Development | 3209 S. Staples, Corpus Christi

Listening Session | Bellino’s Italian Restaurant | 3815 S. Alameda St., Corpus Christi

 

Northwest/Panhandle

Amarillo

February 28, 2018, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. | High Plains Food Bank | 815 Ross St., Amarillo

Lubbock

March 1, 2018, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Farm to Fork Gastro Kitchen | 8310 E. FM 3523, Ransom Canyon

Abilene

March 2, 2018, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. | 201 Mesquite Event Center | 201 Mesquite St., Abilene

 

West Texas & Central Hill Country

Midland-Odessa

March 20, 2018, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. | French Press Cafe | 511 N. Grant Ave., Odessa

Lampasas

March 22, 2018, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Bar 17 on the Square | 402 S. Live Oak St., Lampasas

 

Southeast Texas

Beaumont

April 3, 2018, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. | St. Mark’s Episcopal Church/Guild Room | 680 Calder Ave., Beaumont

 

Wharton

April 4, 2018, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. | Wharton Civic Center  | 1924 N. Fulton St., Wharton

 

Hempstead

April 5, 2018, 4 p.m. – 8 p.m. | Blackwood Educational Land Institute  | 27144 Rock Island Road, Hempstead