Organic Farming Conference on Soil and Nutrition, Massachusetts

Soil and Nutrition: An Education and Coalition-Building Conference presented by Northeast Organic Farming NOFA Mass Organic LogoAssociation (NOFA) Massachusetts Chapter and Real Food CampaignReal Food Campaign Logo February 9-11, 2012 (Thursday to Saturday); First Churches, 129 Main St, Northampton, MA

Featuring leading thinkers and practitioners of building healthy soils, this conference aims to grow the movement for enhancing soil fertility as a basis for the long-term ecological and economic sustainability of farming, the environment, and our society as a whole. Each of the three days is organized with a different format. Participants are invited to listen and share, as we all deepen our soils knowledge. FOR FULL CONFERENCE SCHEDULE, DESCRIPTION OF EVENTS, AND REGISTRATION INFORMATION CLICK "READ MORE"

Thursday, February 9, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.: Seminar with John Kempf, National and international speaker on soil fertility, farmer consultant, and proprietor of Advancing Eco-Agriculture. John speaks in clear practical language about scientific understandings of plant eco-systems and how the health of people is connected to healthy land and quality produce. He will explain three stages of plant health, and how by reaching each stage we can grow plants that are not only nutritious, but resistant to soil-borne and airborne fungal disease and insect damage. He will present practices and principles that we can take to the field – practical applications of what this information means for us as farmers and how we can generate disease and insect resistance with nutrition. Read a full outline of John’s Seminar here; Read John’s article in Acres, “Carbon Building, Carbon Cycling“; Read John’s article from his newsletter, “Crop HEALTH Transitions“; Read the education page on John’s Website.

Thursday, February 9, 7:30 p.m.: Envisioning the Social and Ecological Implications of Soil-building Systems that aim for Quality. Plenary Speakers: Dan Kittredge, director of the Bionutrient Food Association and John Kempf.

Friday, February 10, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.: Collaborative Symposium with Regional Experts on Managing Soils for Quality – 4 sessions:
1. 8:30am to 10:15am: Bio-dynamics and Energetics Panel (John Kempf; Dan Kittredge; and Stephen Storch -biodynamic grower)
2. 10:30am to 12:15pm: Fruits and Vegetables Panel (Derek Christianson -CSA farmer; and Bryan O’Hara -soil building pioneer, vegetable grower)
3. 1:45pm to 3:30: Pasture, Forage, Grain, Grass, and Animals Panel (Dan Holmes -diversified livestock farmer enhancing pasture fertility; Jack Lazor -organic dairy farmer and producer of Butterworks Yogurt; Doug Flack -diversified grass and vegetable farmer, and Julie Rawson -organic farmer striving for nutrient density) Read Session Three Outlines.
4. 3:45pm to 5:30pm: Wrap-Up Panel: All panelists gather to ask questions of each other and to take questions from conference participants.

Read full bios on the presenters

Saturday, February 11, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.: Strategic Action Working Conference: Participants will discuss building on the knowledge of building healthy soils to affect the broader world, forming work groups on areas of common interest. The sessions will be facilitated to foster a spirit of collaboration and the continued development of collective knowledge. By identifying some key strategies for action, we can achieve goals that could otherwise not be developed by just individuals or single organizations.

Registration Cost: The registration cost for the seminar is $85 for Thursday, February 9. It is $60 to register for the other two days: Friday, February 10 and Saturday, February 11. Members of Real Food Campaign, any NOFA chapter, or MOFGA receive a membership discount of $10. Registration info and more details at: http://www.nofamass.org/seminars/winterseminar.php

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