It will be a weekend of activity the first weekend in April, as the UF/IFAS Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Extension Team will be the hosting the Regional Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference. This educational event — aimed at Florida fruit and vegetable producers and stakeholders of Florida local food systems will take place from Friday, April 1 until Saturday, April 2 in Fort Myers.

The festivities kick off on Friday, April 1st at 12:30 p.m. There will be a bus tour of four area urban farms and field workshops at ECHO Farm. In the evening, from 6-9 p.m., attendees will gather at Buckingham Farms in Fort Myers and enjoy keynote speakers, such as Gabriele Marewski (Paradise Farms), Karen Dakin (Dakin Dairy Farms in Myakka City); and Michael Greenwell (31 Produce in Alva, FL.); an optional farm-to-table banquet celebration; and Florida beverages music and dancing.

The main sessions will take place Saturday, April 2 at the Holiday Inn Fort Myers Airport at Town Center, Fort Myers from 7:30 a.m. until 5:20 p.m.Topics covered will include Agri-Tourism, Integrated Pest Management, Financing, Cottage Foods and more. A trade show will also take place with agricultural vendors and educational organizations — and there will be plenty of time for networking. (See the full schedule of events.)

Cost for this conference is $90, if purchased by March 21 and $100, thereafter. This include refreshments, lunch and educational materials.Tickets can be purchased online at: — and range from $45-$125.