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Permaculturist Mark Shepard to Keynote 2014 Winter Conference

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This article comes from the NOFA/Massachusetts 2013 July-August Issue Newsletter

By Cathleen O’Keefe NOFA/Mass Winter Conference Coordinator

Photo Credit: Mark Shepard -
2014 Winter Conference keynoter.

The Winter Conference welcomes Mark Shepard as keynote speaker and all-day seminar leader, January 11, 2014, in Worcester, Mass. Shepard is the CEO of Forest Agriculture Enterprises and runs New Forest Farm, the Wisconsin 106-acre perennial agricultural forest considered by many to be one of the most ambitious sustainable agriculture projects in the United States.
 
New Forest Farm is a planned conversion of a typical row-crops grain farm into a commercial-scale, perennial agricultural ecosystem using oak savanna, successional brushland and eastern woodlands as its ecological models.
 
Trees, shrubs, vines, canes, perennial plants and fungi are planted in association with one another to produce food (for
humans and animals), fuel, medicines, and beauty. Hazelnuts, chestnuts, walnuts and various fruits are the primary woody
crops. The farm is entirely solar and wind powered and farm equipment is powered with locally produced biofuels that are
not taken from the human food chain.
 
Trained in both mechanical engineering and ecology, Mark has developed and patented equipment and processes for the
cultivation, harvesting and processing of forest derived agricultural products for human foods and bio fuels production.
Mark was certified as a Permaculture designer in 1993 and received his Diploma of Permaculture design from Bill Mollison,
the founder of the international Permaculture movement.
 
Mark is founder and board President for Restoration Agriculture Institute and serves on the board of the Southwest Badger
Resource Conservation and Development Council. He teaches agroforestry and Permaculture worldwide. Mark is a farmer
member of the Organic Valley cooperative, the world’s largest Organic Farmer’s marketing co-op, and is the founder and
Master Cider Maker for the Shepard’s Hard Cyder winery in Viola, Wisconsin.
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