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Annual Winter Conference 2020

"Diversity From Farm to Table"

Saturday February 1st

Batesville Middle School

9am – 2:30pm

Purchase tickets from Eventbrite by clicking HERE Or contact Deanna Hookway@ 812-212-5432.

Prices are:  FGA Member:              $35

                   FGA Member Couple:  $55 (both must be members)

                   General Public Single:  $45

                   General Public Couple: $75

                   Student:                         $20

Presenter Spotlight:

Atina Rozhon

Atina will be speaking to the eater's track on various food preservation techniques, some you may not have even considered.

Atina Rozhon is the County Extension Director and Health and Human Science Extension Educator in Jennings County for Purdue Extension.  She has a Food Science degree from Purdue University.  Atina has taught a variety of food safety classes in the last 14 years including ServSafe and Mastering Home Food Preservation.  Prior to Purdue Extension, Atina worked in Quality Assurance for The Kroger Company.  She enjoys the opportunity to teach food safety to others.


Hans Schmitz

Hans will be speaking to our growers about Weather Weirdness and Implications for Diversified Agriculture

Extreme weather events are becoming more common.  What weather trends exist locally, and how can farmers adapt to any change in climate?  Hans Schmitz will be discussing weather trends and factors to consider in adoption of alternative crops.

Hans Schmitz received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Agricultural Meteorology from Purdue University.  He worked for the National Air Emissions Monitoring Study during his time in college and after graduation until his hiring into Purdue Extension.  He has had official roles in five Southwestern Indiana counties over 11 years with Extension, currently serving in Posey County as the Ag and Natural Resources Educator.  During his tenure, he assisted in development of the “Dynamics of Climate” teaching curriculum and a series of Purdue Extension publications on basic climate science.  He currently co-chairs the North Central Climate Collaborative, a 12-state team of Extension professionals with climate expertise.  Hans lives in Cynthiana, Indiana, with his wife, Cindy, and son, Jackson.  In his spare time, Hans assists on the family farm, a sixth-generation grain operation.


Liz Yetter

Liz will be presenting to our growers on the basics of what is an invasive plant, how they spread, the damage that they can cause and possibly highlight a few specific plants as time would allow.


Liz is currently a Regional Specialist for Southern Indiana Cooperative Invasive Management (SICIM) working on the Indiana Invasives Initiative project. SICIM and its partners work with landowners and citizens to increase awareness of invasive species and act to reduce and prevent their spread across all landscapes to protect Indiana’s lands and waters. Originally from Upstate NY Liz attended the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and graduated with her bachelor's in Natural Resource Management. From there she spent 3 years in Minnesota, one with the Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa and 2 with Three Rivers Park District working predominantly in invasive species id, removal, and management.  

Liz and Nate Brownlee


Liz and Nate Brownlee are our keynote speakers and will be presenting to both growers and consumers with a talk entitled:  Where We All Fit in a Diverse and Thriving Food System.  A personal look at the Indiana food system - what's working, how these farmers have contributed, and where there's room for growth. Join Liz and Nate as they imagine a thriving food future - and see how you can be a part of it.


Liz and Nate Brownlee raise livestock on Nightfall Farm in Crothersville, Indiana. Liz grew up on the farm, and Nate's first job was on a farm - and neither thought they would grow up to be farmers. After learning more about where food comes from (through college classes and their experiences being vegetarian), Liz and Nate realized that the best way to control the food they ate was to produce it. They gained experience farming throughout New England, and returned home to Liz's family farm to put those lessons to work. Six years later, the sell food through their 55-member meat CSA, three farmers markets, and three chefs. They raise meat chickens, laying hens, pigs, lambs, and turkeys on pasture, using rotational grazing. They are officers in the Hoosier Young Farmers Coalition, and are very interested in making sure that Hoosiers have access to all of the good food that we can grow in Indiana.

Susann Wendel      

Susann will speak to the growers on agri-tourism.

Phil and Susann began in 1973 as grain and hog farmers but in 2000, decided to share their love of farming with others. Since then, Wendel Farms has opened its doors to visitors for a unique farm experience of education and fun. Still grain farmers, they produce corn, beans, wheat, and hay but have now added pumpkins, fall mums, and a multitude of animals for all to enjoy. Every year our family invites you to come and enjoy the wonderful fall activites at Wendel Farms. Since our farm is on the state line, we are uniquely located in both Butler County, Ohio and Franklin County, Indiana. We are grateful to be featured in The BLT about the 30 Perfect Pumpkin Patches in Indiana.Come get your perfect pumpkin today! 

Erika Tebbens


Erika will be speaking to our growers on marketing.

Erika's talk is titled "Maximize Your Marketing: How to Stop Wasting Time & Money Speaking to the Wrong People".  We also have a special treat.  There will be a special after conference session with Erika where she will dive deeper into this topic and also be able to answer your specific questions regarding your own business.  This special session will be priced at a nominal $5 per person.  So, no matter what you produce: meat, vegetables, soap, bread...if you have a product, this marketing session is for you. 


Erika Tebbens is a Business Consultant and Sales Coach focused on teaching entrepreneurs how to make more money without complex systems or sleazy sales tactics. She's been running successful businesses and teaching others to do the same for the past 15 years. As a former farmer and farm manager herself, she's passionate about teaching farmers and producers how to run thriving, profitable businesses. She lives near Ann Arbor, Michigan. 

Matt Nobbe

Matt will be speaking to our consumers on the many ways you can plant a garden, and not just in a traditional plot of land in your yard.

Matt runs Five Oaks Garden Center and has become a knowledgeable resource for the Batesville community – Matt has gardened his whole life, getting his start in his teens as a gardener for the Hillenbrand family.  Matt opened Five Oaks when he was 23, and on top of his work with the garden center also raises pumpkins, corn (and corn meal), popcorn, wheat (for milling) and a big garden.

Braden Trauth

Braden is from the Cincinnati Permaculture Institute and will be speaking to our consumer group on permaculture in your own backyard.

Braden been training people in Permaculture Design, Sustainable Design and Sustainable living for over a decade, now assisting students to become leaders in the field. With the Cincinnati Permaculture Institute and the other institutions he works with he is always looking for partners to work with to build more robust mutualistic systems that enhance our collective sustainability.

Dr. Trent Austin

Dr. Austin will speak to our consumer group on the the effects of solar cycles on Growing Food.

Dr. Austin has over 14 years of clinical experience. Over these years he began to realize a need to help patients suffering from the harmful side effects of prescription medications used to manage chronic illness/disease.

It was through his personal experience with high blood pressure that he began the search for natural treatment options. During his research he realized that treating symptoms was NOT the answer. He had to find the "Root Cause" and treat appropriately. It was through his love of nature that he discovered some alternative treatment options that ultimately led to helping his patients.

Today, Dr. Austin has a thriving practice of patients seeing remarkable success through these Natural options. 

The sun is descending into a period of decreasing activity.  Farmers are struggling to plant and harvest.  Understand the science behind the repeating cycles of Grand Solar Minima.  What changes can we expect and how can we thrive during the Grand Solar Minima?



Back by popular demand the Winter Market featuring vendors selling locally grown or handmade items.  Open to the public from 9 AM to 11 AM and 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM.

If you would like to be a vendor, please email us at



8:15 Arrival and Registration

Speakers and Schedule

  • Grower/Producer Speakers

    • 9:00 – 9:45 Hans Schmitz (Weather Weirdness and Implications for Diversity)

    • 9:55 – 10:40 Susann Wendel (Agri-tourism)

    • 10:50 – 11:30 Erika Tebbens (Marketing) Maximize Your Marketing: How to Stop Wasting Time & Money Speaking to the Wrong People

    • 11:30 – 12:45 Lunch/Networking

    • 12:45 – 1:30 Liz Yetter (Invasives)

    • 1:40 – 2:30 Liz and Nate Brownlee (Where we all fit in a diverse and thriving food system)

    • 2:30 -- 3:30 Erika Tebbens special Marketing session "Creating Raving Fans for your Product".  Fee is $5 for this special session with Erika, a leader in Marketing small farms.  

  • Consumer/Eater Speakers

    • 9 – 9:45 Braden Trauth (Diversity as it relates to permaculture)

    • 9:55 – 10:40 Trent Austin (Solar Cycles and Growing Food)

    • 10:50 – 11:30 Matt Nobbe (Growing Food in Different spaces)

    • 11:30 – 12:45 Lunch/Networking

    • 12:45 – 1:30 Atina Rozhon (Food Preservation)

    • 1:40 – 2:30 Liz and Nate Brownlee (Where we all fit in a diverse and thriving food system)


Liz Yetter.jpg
Nate Brownlee.jpg
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Matt Nobbe.JPG
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