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Rowen White and Eric Holt-Giménez to Keynote NOFA Summer Conference

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This article comes from the NOFA/Massachusetts 2018 March Issue Newsletter

By Jason Valcourt, Summer Conference Coordinator

Save the date of the 44th Annual NOFA Summer Conference at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA - August 10-12, 2018. August sunshine and harvest season seem both distant and imminent in the midst of food producer’s late winter intensive.

Think ahead for a moment of the coming summer’s warmth, the fully blossoming flowers, the pollinators tirelessly busy at their work, and our plants and trees hanging heavy with fruit. Sooner than we think we will be in the midst of summer, liberated from our heavy winter garments and harvesting, harvesting, harvesting...

We know already that come August, we will turn to our NOFA Summer Conference for a midseason respite and refresher to connect with our broader food family and spend a nourishing weekend together laughing, learning and sharing knowledge and experience.

Our keynote speakers, Rowen White and Eric Holt-Giménez, are two very passionate, ambitious educators, both working diligently in their respective roles, to share their knowledge and experience with small agricultural communities everywhere.

Rowen White, founder of Nevada City, CA-based Sierra Seeds, is a Seed Keeper from the Mohawk community of Akwesasne. She is on a journey woven by the stories seeds tell us and the stories that form our identities. Her heartwarming presence, placid poise and demeanor embody a connection to the agricultural heritage and wisdom upon which we base our food production. Rowen’s ability to connect students to the stories inside seeds is a powerful medicine that will deeply affect the way you produce food going forward. Rowen will provide an all-day Seed Saving intensive on Friday, August 10th, and she will deliver her keynote that evening.

Eric Holt-GimenezOur Saturday keynote, Eric Holt-Giménez, is the Executive Director of Food First, an organization based in Oakland, CA. Eric has huge passion and over 25 years of experience working to create a just and fair food system. Beginning from the ground up, Eric has studied and worked with Latin American farmers that have protected their farms from natural disasters by implementing agroecological methods on their land. From that basis, Eric’s passion reaches into the structures of the food system that leave many farmworkers, food service workers and communities of color without food security on a planet that produces far more food than the earth’s population requires every year.

The full list of workshops will be announced on April 1st and conference registration will open May 1st at



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