The Massachusetts chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association. NOFA/Mass welcomes everyone who cares about food, where it comes from and how it’s grown

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Announcing Summer Conference intensives, new keynoter, and live registration

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This article comes from the NOFA/Massachusetts 2016 May Issue Newsletter

By Jason Valcourt

Leah Penniman

The Summer Conference took an unexpected turn last month, as keynote speaker Dr. Christine Jones had to cancel her visit due to health concerns.  She has been in touch regularly, helping us in our search for a replacement that can further our work on carbon sequestration for healthier soils and climate.  We are happy to say her updates are positive and encouraging regarding her health, and we hope for a NOFA visit in the near future.

André Leu In addition to keynoter Leah Penniman, social justice activist, educator and farmer at Soul Fire Farm, we are excited to announce our second keynoter, Andrè Leu, President of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM).We look forward to hearing Andrè’s international work fighting climate change, his experience at the Paris climate talks in 2015, and his work regenerating his own 150 acres of depleted farm land into a lush oasis.

On Friday before the conference begins, we will host four rich and diverse intensive seminars.

  • Regenerative Agriculture. KeynoterAndrè Leu will discuss how to turn agriculture from a climate change problem to a significant solution.
  • The Art and Science of Grazing. Sarah Flack has a new book of the same title due out May 31. She will cover fencing, water systems, lanes, paddock sizing and acreage requirements, as well as selecting different plant species and grazing techniques for optimal pasture and livestock health.
  • The Nourishing Homestead. Ben Hewitt’s homestead provides almost 90% of his family’s food, and he is the author of several books on homesteading.
  • High Tunnels: From Three Seasons To Four. NOFA-NY’s Andy Fellenz will thoroughly guide you through the process of establishing your high tunnel production so you can take your farm to the next level.
  • Digestive Wellness: A Gut Feeling. Beth Colon will explore and unpack the link between the brain and gut microbiology and give direction for those seeking to navigate the plethora of dietary protocols available today.

We are now finalizing our workshop program and will be sharing the list of amazing workshops and presenters on our website and through our Facebook page. As the program is taking shape, we are looking forward to sessions on topics such as soil fertility, no-till farming, urban agriculture, draft horses, organic orchard care, mushroom production and identification, farm planning, herbalism, biochar, permaculture, climate and GMO policy, agricultural social justice, winter crop storage, composting systems, hop production, raw milk, and many more.

Lastly, we are proud to announce that Summer Conference registration is now open! Visit www.nofasummerconference.org for more information and to take advantage of the early bird registration rates!

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