Would you like to offer a workshop conveying your knowledge and skill in organic food and farming? If so, please consider submitting a workshop proposal for the 41st annual 2015 NOFA Summer Conference – the Northeast’s foremost conference for pioneers of organic agriculture and sustainable living. It will be held from August 14-16, 2015 at UMASS Amherst. The workshops are 90 minutes long. We have confirmed two keynote speakers: consumer activist, Ronnie Cummins, and medical doctor and nutritional consultant, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride.
While much of our policy agenda requires action at higher levels – carbon policy, National Organic Program standards and procedures, use of antibiotics in livestock production, etc. – much is also focused at the state level. With the federal changeover in party control of the U. S. Senate, many food and farming advocates are expecting little progress in Washington this year (if not some defensive battles to hold on to what we have) and are looking for state governments to be where positive action is possible.
On Thursday, December 4, NOFA/Mass held a daylong seminar, titled "When the Belly is the Beast: Dietary Interventions to Address Autism and Neuro-Degenerative Disease".
Highlights of the seminar included the following:
As 2014 draws to a close, I am excited by what 2015 will bring. For many, December is a busy time chock full of celebratory events. January typically offers us a bit more solitude, and some time to reflect and set goals for the new year. The Winter Conference takes place at a very fitting time. Leading up to the conference, conference goers can reflect on the year past, take some time to learn new concepts and techniques, and begin to set goals for the coming year.
January 10 is less than a month away but you still have time to register for all of the fun. We’ve extended the day until 6pm, so you can network more, catch up with old friends, and visit all of our wonderful exhibitors. Greg Judy, a truly inspirational grazier, will be enriching everyone’s day with his keynote address “Managing Our Farms In Sync With Nature: Heal Land And People.” Judy says: “By focusing our daily management on the patterns of nature, our farms will become a mirror of nature and thrive.
NOFA/Mass and Baystate Organic Certifiers together are testing a pilot program that could be utilized by other organizations throughout the US to assist farmers and handlers to gain organic certification. To make organic certification attainable and affordable for all, the USDA has established The Sound and Sensible Approach to Organic Certification.
The Soil and Nutrition Conference has, since the first conference four years ago, been making connections between soil, plant, animal, and human health. The 2015 Soil and Nutrition Conference offers a wonderful line-up of presenters, including two of the five presenters, John Slack and Bryan O'Hara, interviewed below.
Ronnie Cummins, co-founder and International Director of the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), will give a keynote address at the 2015 NOFA Summer Conference, August 14-16, 2015 at UMass, Amherst, MA. Conference Registration opens in May 2015 at www.nofasummerconference.org.
Yes, conquered: NOFA/Mass placed #1 10K Team, and two of our team members placed silver and bronze in their heat – nicely done Sam and Greg! Not only are we dedicated to NOFA/Mass, we're wicked fast too.
Huge, tremendous, and heart-felt thanks to our 316 online donors, innumerable offline donors, and 33 proud fundraisers. Together we raised $17,639 for NOFA/Mass' educational programs and carbon sequestration campaign. Such an incredible effort and support will prove to be beneficial for us all.
One of NOFA/Mass’ smaller programs is the Raw Milk Program. This is a network of dairy farmers around the state who produce and market their fresh, raw milk, and have a license to do so by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources. There are 29 licensed raw milk dairy farms in the state that we know of, producing either cow’s milk or goat’s milk. I coordinate the program and plan to share the stories of these farmers in coming newsletters. In this issue, I want to give a little insight into the economics of selling raw milk, using the farm where I work, Cricket Creek Farm, as
It’s a cold dreary day and I’m sitting here thinking about aging and life at Wild Browse Homestead. This is triggered by the aches and pains acquired over the last 2 days while rehabbing the access to our house – once again. We built the house about 100 feet down a moderately steep slope from the road and parking area. Thirty years ago when I visualized the farm layout, I was young and had no thoughts of growing older or that my physical capabilities might alter. Actually, it didn’t take long for us to realize that hiking up and down a “goat path” hauling heavy loads wasn’t much fun.
The NOFA/Mass bulk order opens next month on January 1st. You’ll only have a month to get your order in, so start planning now! The order is open to both members and non-members and will be available to download January 1. No order is too small or too large - all participants save by purchasing together.
Offering many organically certifiable farm, garden, and lawn care products at “bulk” prices, while also supporting NOFA. Happy ordering, and thank you for supporting NOFA.
At NOFA/Mass, we are able to get lots done with little. In our work, we start with the simplest of materials – soil, seeds, the sun – and with attention and care, create bounty. We are farmers: resourceful, frugal, and creative. In the same way, any gift to NOFA/Mass is multiplied with careful consideration of the greatest need, and the use of each penny is informed by a nearly 40-year commitment to the vision of bountiful healthful food from vibrant soil for all.
I am very pleased to announce the hiring of Glenn Oliveira for two important roles in NOFA/Mass – Education Director and Education Events Organizer. Glenn will be working for us 40 hours per week. The Education Director oversees and works closely with all of our education staff – policy, Winter and Summer Conferences, education events, bulk order, raw milk, beginning farmers, food access, and certification education.
Public concern is growing over a range of diseases such as autism, multiple sclerosis, dementia, Parkinson’s Disease, ADHD, ALS, and many others. The seminar, “When the Belly is the Beast: Dietary Interventions to Address Autism and Neuro-Degenerative Disease”, sponsored by NOFA/Mass, will present information indicating that these diseases share common underlying causes.