Minority and immigrant farmers are invited to participate in the upcoming 12th Annual Immigrant and Minority Farmers Conference (IMFC). The conference, a program of the Minnesota Food Association, will be held on Jan. 28 and 29 at the University of Minnesota Continuing Education and Conference Center, 1890 Buford Avenue, St. Paul, Minnesota.

Immigrants and women are among the fastest growing sector of farmers. This conference is designed to address the unique needs and challenges of historically under served, immigrant, and minority growers. It highlights the contributions they are making to build an adequate supply of local foods, stimulate local economic development and build healthy communities.

The theme of the 2017 Conference is “Sharing Tools and Stories for our Success.” One of the keynote presenters Rodrigo Cala, a Farm Consultant for Latino Economic Development Center and an organic farmer who runs Cala Farms with his brother.

Anticipated workshop topics include: pest management, weed control tools, farm law, how to network with wholesalers and store owners, a farmer panel and many more.

The conference is free to farmers. The cost for others is $60 for one day and $100 for both days. Language interpretation is based on registration and is typically available in Spanish, Hmong, Karen, Bhutanese, and Somali. Other languages would be available if there is a need.

Registration is available at www.imfconference.org, or by calling Moua Meng Yang at 651-495-1528. Registration closes Jan. 18, but no farmer will be turned away. Interested farmers and community-based members who have questions should contact Moua Meng Yang at Hmong American Partnership, 651-495-1528 or Emily Squyres at Minnesota Food Association, 651-433-3676.

Major sponsors of the event include Farm Credit, USDA -- Natural Resources Conservation Service, Asian Economic Development Association, Land Stewardship Project, National Immigrant Farming Initiative, Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Lakewinds Food Co-op, USDA -- Farm Service Agency, Farmers’ Legal Action Group, Hmong American Partnership, University of Minnesota -- Extension, and the Latino Economic Development Center.

Persons with disabilities who require accommodations to attend or participate in this event should contact Angie Roering, USDA-Farm Service Agency at 507-332-7418 by Jan. 18.