AUGUST 10, 2019: ALCOMDALE, AB – 1st Generation Farmer Conference

Posted by Alex on June 13, 2019 6 Comments

Are you a 1st generation farmer looking to connect with a strong community of friends and mentors? Do you want to make your farm business more resilient by improving your financial plan and communication strategies? Are you an urbanite itching to get your boots on the ground but don’t know where to start?

Join us at the 1st Generation Farmer Conference to get relevant, ready-to-apply farm knowledge from a fantastic line up of speakers and to meet other passionate farmers in Alberta! Farmers, food lovers, and the farm-curious of all ages are all invited!

When: Saturday, August 10, 2019

Where: Rosy Farms (about 1h NW of Edmonton, AB). Lots of parking and camping space available on-site.

Cost: $50/person includes conference attendance and a delicious, locally-sourced lunch (prepare your taste buds for a charcuterie style feast!). All proceeds will be going to the Young Agrarians as they continue to support and cultivate the dreams and aspirations of new farmers

Registration: Save your spot by clicking here!

Share: Join the event on Facebook and pass it along to all your farmer friends!

Questions? Please contact Andrew at or Alex at

Conference Topics

Our goal is to cover a wide range of topics that are suitable for every type of farmer at every stage of being/becoming a farmer – from hard-core farmers to the city folks just thinking about getting started!

  • Success stories – hear about the experiences of other 1st generation farmers in Alberta
  • Product development – ideas about how to turn what you grow into what you sell
  • Farm financing – how to find and apply for grants, talking to banks
  • Telling customers your story – how to develop your brand and market it effectively
  • Support networks – working with your county and other relevant organizations in Alberta

According to a Young Agrarians study, 68% of new farmers have no farming background. Lets build those numbers!


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We have gathered together 100% local cuisine, giving you a taste of some of the finest producers in Alberta!


A huge thank you to everyone that has helped shape this event!

Speaker Bios

AFSC Unique Financial ServicesMichelle Rigney, Product Specialist Lending

AFSC pic

For over 80 years Agriculture Financial Services (AFSC) has provided Alberta’s agricultural producers, agribusinesses and other small businesses with loans, crop insurance and farm income disaster assistance. Our unique role allows us to deliver services to assist our valued clients in managing their risk. AFSC partners with agricultural producers, agribusiness and commercial entities to support and advance development, create new opportunities and improve the quality of life for rural Albertans

Michelle grew up on a mixed farm near Lamont then obtained a BSc Ag from U of A. She lives on a cow-calf farm near Clyde with her husband & four kids; also working for 20 years as an ag lender, the past 5 years with AFSC in Westlock. She enjoy helping farmers start and grow their business.

Igniting your Startup with Business Link – David Bayda, Senior Business Advisor at Business Link

David Bayda headshotAre you opening a business? Learn the basic steps to get started and the support required. Topics include business planning, financing, business structures, and licensing. We’ll also show you how we can help you every step of the way as your business gets off the ground and running!

Business Link is a non-profit and Alberta’s entrepreneurial hub for helping people start their own businesses. Business Link provides one-one-one support and guidance, market research, access to experts, training, networking opportunities, and specialized support for Indigenous entrepreneurs.

Farmer 2.0, it’s all good- we got you! – Leanna McBean, Business & Economic Development Specialist

January 23, 2019 Sturgeon County Business Portraits of Economic Development Business Portrait of Leanne McBean, the Economic Development Specialist for Sturgeon County. Professional Portrait for the Sturgeon County website. Photo by: Tina Gillies Communication Coordinator for Sturgeon County

Farming is changing! Sturgeon County Economic Development is here to connect you to the right resources and walk you through any overwhelming business development moments. We support new and creative business farming ventures and will help you figure out the “how do I make this happen” question. Sturgeon County Economic Development supports growth and development in all of our major sectors- advanced manufacturing, agriculture and agri-business, petro-chemicals, and transportation & logistics.

Leanne McBean specializes in supporting Sturgeon County’s agriculture sector for new and existing businesses.

Grants- The Prosperity of Paperwork – Andrew Rosychuk, Rosy Farms

Andrews Mug ShotWhether you’re starting up or expanding, learn which grants are available, time saving writing tips, and creating & organizing a yearly plan. These will help you to position your business for maximum savings potential. Andrew lives by the quote ”there is a grant for that!”.

Andrew, city slicker turned fruit farmer, has purchased land, planted an orchard, and has a processing plant is the works. He has a love for education and a philosophy of growing from the ground up. If you dream it, plan the heck out of it and you’ll be able do it.

Get Your Head in the Game – Bryanna Yung, Bar OA Farms

Bryanna YungAre you frustrated with your business not reaching its full potential? We will get you thinking about your current situation and state of mind and how to take control of your thoughts and find your why. Dreams without plans are only wishes.

Bar OA Farms is a cut flower farm that grows flowers with passion and purpose. We provide clients with fresh, high quality, unique flowers for events, weddings, and everyday arrangements.

Educate, Anticipate, Celebrate, Inspire – Bri Vos, RYE Marketing, Detour Photography

Bri Vos Learn how to develop your brand, craft your story and bring it to the world in a way that stays true to your business, provides value for your customers and increases awareness of your products.

Bri owns and operates RYE with her husband Patrick Kerby. They help their clients tell their story by making beautiful content and using it well. Bri is an adept content strategist, sought after content writer and an accomplished photographer. Bri also owns and operates Detour Photography.

The Money Pit: Staying Sane, Appeasing the Boss, and Learning to Love PastaDustin & Anna Morton, Parsnips and Paddocks


Anna and Dustin are here for some real talk about their experiences and struggles in working to turn their farming hobby into a farming business while working to pay the bills and feed a family at the same time. If you like escapee sheep, escapee market tents, and workplace deception, this is probably the pair to watch.

Parsnips and Paddocks is owned and operated by Dustin and Anna Morton, a market garden and boarding stable just outside Wetaskiwin. When this ginger haired dynamic duo aren’t raising their 4 kids, they are working (slowly!) to create a destination for people who love good food, horses, and community right here at home.

Telling Your Story – Aga Wajda-Plytta, Herbologie

herbologie_45Did you know that the statistics on people wanting a positive impact from their purchase and also checking for place of origin is increasing by almost double in the last ten years? Learn how telling your story effectively as a producer is becoming increasingly important to ensure both the success of your farm and the food revolution.

With an education in herbalism and a personal alignment with emerging culinary trends, for Aga, spices and herbs are the intersection of wellness and culinary experience. Herbologie promises to always prioritize transparency, education and ethical sourcing which redefines how we experience spices. As a direct farm importer and spice trader, we build a deeper understanding and connection to our food.

Product Development – Ryan Mason, Reclaim Urban Farm

Innovation Award winners Ryan Mason and Cathryn Sprague of Reclaim Urban Farm package green on July 1, 2016. Photo credit - John UlanRyan will talk about product development in horticulture. Starting with audience and then moving onto market streams, merchandising, packaging, brand, quality control and consistency. Hopefully our experience will help others create a product people want and connect with, while making money on the way. Ryan will educate on what it takes to create demand and evolve your company’s product(s) among market or seasonal challenges.

Food lover, gardener, husband and pensively absent. Ryan has grown roots to gardening and Alberta that stretch way down. Previously an urban farm, Reclaim Organics focuses on leafy greens from the micro stage to large leafed beauties. Formerly growing in Edmonton, the farm has now moved out to Pigeon Lake as Ryan takes over the family farm.

Bonus: Farm Tour

Do you want to see some of these farms first hand? Join us on Friday, August 9th, 2019 for a Farm Tour & Social Potluck featuring Rosy Farms, Greener Pastures Ranching and Swiss Leaf Farms. All food-lovers and agrarians – new,  experienced and everything in between – are welcome to join!

6 thoughts on “AUGUST 10, 2019: ALCOMDALE, AB – 1st Generation Farmer Conference

  1. Hello,

    Can an old start up agrarian take part in this conference- I am a 55 year old female hoping to start a community farm.

    Thank you


    1. Hi Christine,

      Absolutely! It would be great to have you there. We’re looking forward to having people of all ages at the conference.


  2. Hi!!!!
    We were super excited to hear about this event, and then realized that it is on the same day as a Gender Reveal party our friends have been planning for us, for a while now. Is there any way that this event is being recorded, or if I can peruse the speakers presentations anywhere? We are a start up farm, who are really at a stage where we very much need mentorship and guidance, and a strong community of experience and support. This entire line-up, just as far as the speakers go, is exactly what we are looking for. And, that’s without even mentioning the people we could have met here. We are VERY much looking forward to attending next year, but would really appreciate the opportunity to glean whatever we can from this year.

    Looking forward to hearing back from you.


    Karen Huntley

    1. Hi Karen,

      Sad that you won’t be able to make it but I appreciate your enthusiasm! We don’t currently have plans to record the event but I can bring that up to the planning committee to see if we have the capacity to do that. I’m also not sure if/how we can make the speaker notes publicly available but I will do my best to make it happen! Stay tuned for details in the next few weeks…

      Here’s to sharing farm-guidance glory!

  3. Hey,

    I was wondering if there will be any children there? Or child care possibilities? We have a 3 and 1/2 yr old.



    1. Hi Michele,

      Thanks for reaching out. In general we support young agrarians of ALL ages to join this event so it would be wonderful if you could bring your kids along. I believe there is another family attending the conference and they are bringing their young children. Unfortunately we don’t have the capacity to provide child care but since this event is at a farm there is ample opportunity for “free range” children to entertain themselves. If there are other accommodations we can make to ensure that your whole family is comfortable please don’t hesitate to ask!

      See you there!

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