SUNY Cobleskill welcomed 129 attendees to the inaugural Lifestyle Farming Conference on April 8 for a full day of courses and workshops for the home-based farmer.
The conference offered 17 courses and hands-on workshops in three tiers covering topics like beer brewing, apiary management, yogurt and ice cream making, and wild edibles. They were accompanied by a specialized exposition of professional equipment and supplies as well as a tasting of beer, cider, wine, and spirits from around the state.
Participants traveled from as far as Buffalo, Cape Cod, Connecticut and Long Island for the opportunity to improve their skills, network with industry professionals, and explore topics in homesteading.
“The Lifestyle Farming Conference models what we do best at SUNY Cobleskill: Real Life, Real Learning,” said Adam Wild, Visiting Professor in the Department of Plant and Animal Science at SUNY Cobleskill. “Many of the workshops offered hands-on experiences for the participants as well as the opportunity to take their finished products home. Whether it was inoculating a shiitake mushroom log, building a vermicomposting bin, grafting an apple tree, or a mini herb garden, attendees were able to get their hands dirty and learn by doing. That is what SUNY Cobleskill has been doing for over a century.”
The SUNY Cobleskill Landscape Club and the Plant Science and Sustainability Club assisted with the conference. Proceeds will be used to help fund competitions and trips for the student club members and sustainable initiatives on campus. Alongside professional artisans and experts, students presented their own research in three of the workshops.
SUNY Cobleskill will hold a Lifestyle Farming Conference each spring and fall with topics that match the farming seasons.
The next conference is scheduled for November 11 with courses in cheeses, breads, ciders and food preservation.