Keep Farming in Montgomery County: A Conference Focusing on Sustaining Farming for the Future will take place on Friday, February 10, 2017 from 8:00am to 3:30pm at the Banquet Hall of the Franconia Heritage Restaurant located at 508 Harleysville Pike in Telford. The free event, sponsored by Montgomery County in conjunction with active cosponsors, is the fifth farming conference to be offered by the County.

The conference will focus on major topics of interest to farmers including funding sources for on-farm improvements, emerging sectors of the farm marketplace, soil health, diversifying farm products, and transitioning farms to the next generation.

Keynote speaker, Lawrence Q. Kuser, Owner, Operator, and President of Fernbrook Farms in Chesterfield, New Jersey, will discuss how he has worked to diversify his farm over the last 30 years as the third generation to farm the land. Morning and afternoon sessions, led by local experts, will give participants a deeper look at current issues and trends.

Farming has played a significant role in Montgomery County’s history and is integral to the county’s sustainable future. The viability of farmland and farming is important for the economy, environment, and local food availability in Montgomery County. A total of 158 farms (9,230 acres) have been permanently preserved in the county under the County’s Farmland Preservation Program. “This year, the amount that Montgomery County has to invest in the Farmland Preservation Program will triple,” said Jody L. Holton, AICP, Executive Director of the Montgomery County Planning Commission. “Preserving farmland is a goal in our County’s comprehensive plan as a way to ensure that future generations have access to prime agricultural soils and to sustain residents of the county.”

The public is invited to attend this interesting conference and hear about ideas that will help keep farming in Montgomery County. Space is limited and preregistration is required by February 1, 2017. To register or to learn more about the County’s Farmland Preservation Program, please visit http://www.montcopa.org/690/Farmland-Preservation-Program or contact Farmland Preservation Administrator Danielle Weiden at 610-278-5239 or via email [email protected]