By Jason Valcourt and Hannah Blackmer
On August 11-13, 2017 we celebrate the 43rd Annual NOFA Summer Conference as it heads back to Hampshire College, where it had many years of success from the mid 1980s to 2007. The rural campus may be familiar to some, and may be entirely new to others, but we are confident that the Hampshire will provide an all-inclusive environment, once again, for our NOFA community to gather together.
With plenty of free parking, trees for shade, close accommodations and Hampshire’s commitment to local, organic food sourcing and sustainability, this year’s conference will provide the inclusive close knit community atmosphere upon which NOFA was founded. The NOFA community will take over the entire campus!
Of course there will be many annual favorites, like Friday night’s contra dance, Saturday’s local dinner celebration and the NOFA Person of the Year Award at Saturday’s keynote session. Who will it be? As always, the conference weekend will showcase many learning opportunities in and out of Hampshire’s classrooms and also on-site during tours at various nearby farms.
New this year, NOFA Vermont is bringing their amazing pizza oven on Saturday, and we are rounding up “makers” of all sorts to showcase their various farm and garden innovations with you at the annual country fair, and the drumming session typically held during the Saturday keynote session will now take place during Saturday evening’s festivities. Get ready to enjoy yourself after an enriching day of workshops!
Our Friday evening keynote speaker is master organic orchardist Michael Phillips from Groveton, NH. Michael will illuminate the inner workings of the world of fungi and its important role in plant health. Michael’s commitment to achieving a balance between production and the natural ecosystem is evidenced in his commitment to the natural world and achieving harmony with it. His upcoming book Mycorrhizal Planet is due out Spring 2017.
Our Saturday keynote speaker is Emeritus Professor Dr. Don Huber from Purdue University. Dr. Huber is the nation’s leading Glyphosate researcher and has been a major thorn in Monsanto’s side for many years. Don has dedicated himself to researching Glyphosate in an attempt to fully educate consumers of its dangers and the extent of its prominence in food production and household application. He has been under attack by Monsanto’s minions for decades but has unwaveringly focused on revealing the dangers of Glyphosate at the expense of his own reputation in certain circles.
Michael Phillips and Don Huber will both present intensive seminars on Friday, August 11.
Registration opens on March 15. Scholarships, work exchange and group discounts are available. The full schedule of workshops will be online June 1. Find out more at www.nofasummerconference.org!