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

Growing Organically Since 1982

Request for Workshop Proposals

2018 NOFA/Mass Winter Conference
Proposal deadline: September 15, 2017

You are cordially invited to submit a workshop proposal for the 2018 NOFA/Mass Winter Conference, Saturday January 13, 2018, at Worcester State University. The conference draws about 1,000 people from Massachusetts and neighboring states. Participants include seasoned and beginning farmers, homesteaders, backyard gardeners, farm agencies, food activists, and many other engaged learners.

The conference trade show, meals, annual meeting and keynote provide ample opportunity for building connections in the food and farming world, but our presenters are the heart of the conference. Within the 60-70 workshops we accept each year, we work hard to balance the learning needs of our broad community, so some topics have a very limited number of slots available. Therefore it is a good idea to contact the Workshops Coordinator (contact info below, email preferred) regarding the topic you want to present before you submit a full proposal.

We are particularly interested in receiving workshop proposals for the following subjects:

  • Organic gardening, especially small space, intensive and urban gardening/ micro-farming
  • Season extension (farm or garden)
  • Farm and food policy & healthy food access
  • Growing specific crop families organically, both fruits and vegetables
  • Specific livestock workshops, and livestock integration with cropland
  • Farm management and profitability (i.e. marketing, financial planning)
  • Irrigation, farm machinery and appropriate technology
  • Homesteading skills (ie food preparation, slaughter, food preservation, fermentation)
  • Beekeeping and planting / landscaping for native insect support
  • Organic land care (i.e. landscaping with natives, organic turf)
  • Building healthy soils for improved food quality, quantity, and farm longevity
  • Techniques for maximizing soil carbon sequestration
  • Applying agroecological or permaculture principles in the farm, garden or homestead

We encourage you to submit a proposal on any relevant subject, even if it does not pertain specifically to one of the above subject areas.  All proposals will be reviewed by the Winter Conference staff with the objective of coordinating a workshop lineup that provides a variety of beginner, intermediate, and advanced workshops for farmers, gardeners, homesteaders, and landscapers, as well as consumers and advocates. We are working toward supporting, and engaging youth at the conference, and would like a number of the workshops to be youth centered.


Standard workshops are 90 minutes long. You may also propose a two-part workshop, for two successive 90-minute sessions, but please submit two separate proposals for the two sessions so we can consider them independently if needed. Each 90-minute workshop session receives a $50 honorarium. Co-presenters split the per-session honoraria. All presenters receive up to $35 in workshop expenses reimbursed, free conference registration, and a free organic lunch.

Presenters who donate their stipend, which provides scholarships for farmers and people in financial need, will be recognized in the program book.


  • NOFA/Mass stands for organic practices. We are seeking presenters who use agronomic practices related to the topic of the workshop they are teaching that are certifiably organic. For example, a workshop about raising wool and/or lamb would feature presenters who feed their sheep certified organic feed and exclusively use veterinary practices that are consistent with organic certification.
  • The workshop description should accurately describe what you will present. Take care in describing your workshop and consistently presenting what you described—the Winter Conference staff may edit your description for brevity or clarity, and will email you the changes before publishing.
  • Conference attendees want practical information. What really draws people to a NOFA conference is their desire to learn practical things that can apply at home or on their farms. Please focus your intended workshop on a practical topic. More theoretical topics are less likely to be accepted.
  • NOFA/Mass promotes a culture of intellectual generosity. For many presenters, their passion has driven them to start businesses in which they sell things relevant to the very topics that they teach. A workshop is a place to convey the insights that you've gained in all your life's work, but not a venue in which to sell one's products or books. Of course, it is appropriate to mention your credentials as an author, and you are welcome to reference parts of your books pertinent to the core educational content of your workshop, but please do not utilize the winter conference purely as a marketing opportunity for your products or services.

To submit a workshop proposal, please complete this online form by September 15th.  Workshops will be accepted on a rolling basis.  If you encounter issues with the above link or the form, or if you have any other questions, please feel free to contact Caro Roszell, Winter Conference Workshop Coordinator, at or 508.360.0874 (cell) or 978-544-9838 (home)


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