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Northeast Organic Farming Association/Massachusetts Chapter 2011 Winter Conference

January 15, 2011

Saturday, January 15, 2011


WORCESTER, MA – Worcester State University is the new 2012 host of the Northeast Organic Farming Association/Massachusetts Chapter, Inc. (NOFA/Mass) Annual Winter Conference on Saturday, January 14, 2012.  The use of a new venue is the result of an expansion in conference registration over the past five years to over 900 participants.   The conference features workshops, a keynote speech, exhibits, vendors and a catered organic lunch provided by Worcester State.  The community event is designed for farmers, gardeners, consumers, landscapers, homesteaders, and policy advocates. “Anyone who eats will be interested in attending the NOFA conference,” said Conference Coordinator Cathleen O’Keefe, “..there are workshops for teens, children, and adults.  Workshop topics range from farm management to ensuring a fair, equitable, regional food system, to food preservation and healthy living.  There are also great practical skills workshops like knot tying & chainsaw safety.”

This year, the 2012 NOFA/Mass Winter Conference will feature keynote speaker John Jeavons of Ecology Action, in Northern California.  Jeavons is known internationally as the leading researcher and method developer, teacher, and consultant for the small-scale, sustainable agricultural method known as GROW BIOINTENSIVE ™  mini-farming. Jeavons’ food-raising methods are being used in 141 countries and by such organizations as UNICEF, Save the Children, and the Peace Corps.  Jeavons will also be teaching an all-day seminar on Designing and Planning Your Garden/Mini-Farm for the Future.

For gardeners there are workshops on Practical Seed-Saving Skills, Basic Organic Gardening, or Low Tunnels for Vegetables. Consumers might enjoy the sessions on Foraging for Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms or Maple Syrup 101. Livestock workshops include Pigs and Pork Products on the Small Farm, So You Want to Raise Grass-fed Beef,  or Raising Chickens in an Urban Backyard.  Foodies can whet their appetites by attending Making Fresh Mozzarella, Curing Ham, and Using a Pressure Canner.

Dennis Irish, Vice President of Marketing, Government and Community Relations at Vanguard Health Systems offered a perspective on the importance of the NOFA/Mass conference: “We in the health care field feel that the opposite of hungry is not full. It’s healthy. To the extent that we can improve the quality of nutrition – the consumption of fruits, vegetables and organic food, our patient-base will benefit from it both physically and mentally. We’re looking forward to presenting at the conference.”

Conference registration is $65 per person with discounts available for NOFA members, certified farmers, students, teens and children; seminar registration is $120.  Early-bird registration discounts available before January 1st. Beginning Farmer Scholarships are available for anyone who has been farming for less than 10 years. Complete conference information is available at www.nofamass.org.

The conference is sponsored by Whole Foods Markets, Stonyfield Farm, Farm Family, Greenfield Farmers Cooperative Exchange,  Farm Family, Clements Law Office, LLC, Greenleaf Foundation, Franklin Community Cooperative, Vermont Compost, Frontier Natural Products, Neighboring Food Coop,  Boston Organics, Groton Wellness, RMA, Groundscapes Express, Lancaster Ag, Albert’s Organics, Chelsea Green Publishing, Fertrell, Harris Seeds, The Weston A. Price Foundation.

Registration OPEN: http://www.nofamass.org/conferences/winter/index.php


January 15, 2011
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