By Jason Valcourt, Summer Conference Coordinator
Things are changing with the Summer Conference. So quickly in fact, it’s hard to say what will be the state of affairs by the time you read this here newspaper article, yet, there is exciting news to report that we know will be true when you do: We’re moving the NOFA Summer Conference to the virtual world. Yes, the conference is happening but will now take place online from July 20 – August 9th via a myriad of Zoom and other streaming services.
What does this mean? Well, for one, it means you can sit on your couch, hang out in your kitchen, relax in your garden, your bedroom, wherever you wish and take part in the NOFA Summer Conference program.
For 46 years the NOFA Summer Conference has delivered a robust collection of experienced farmers and gardeners to shed light on their latest and greatest insights, innovations and tried and true tactics that help them succeed. In the virtual form, the program will maintain its reliably informative nature and will represent presenters from all over the Northeast. We have re-formed the program into 60 workshops, plus our keynote session with our already scheduled keynote speaker, Tim LaSalle from Chico State University. Tim will be joining us from California via livestream and we are happy he is still joining us to continue the discussion on the immeasurable benefits of soil biology.
The main platform for the conference will be Zoom (we know you are Zooming it up already!) and we will be mixing in other opportunities to engage with each other, take part in raffles, enjoy entertainment and have fun on Zoom and other platforms. We’ve been brainstorming dance parties, children’s programming, puppet shows, live music, chat rooms and more and can’t want to iron out those details.
Part of the silver lining from this unexpected turn of events will be the amount of workshop access you will be able to have in the virtual world. Instead of being able to absorb 8-12 workshops over a conference weekend, your registration will now give you access to all 60. Yes. For the first time ever, (cue the voiceover actor) we will be recording the entire NOFA Summer Conference and the sessions will be yours for viewing at your leisure.
Another part of the silver lining is the accessibility to those of you unable to make it to Amherst, MA in August each year. If you can’t make it to the NOFA Summer Conference because of the distance, you’re in luck this year. If you love the conference but typically can’t make it work with your fabulous summer social schedule, you’re in luck this year. If you wish you could have the NOFA Summer Conference workshop program at your fingertips to experience on demand, whenever you choose, you too are in luck this year and can bring live NOFA programming into your home for three weeks this summer.
We’ve established the admission fees for NOFA members at $100 for access to all workshops and post conference recordings. Scholarships are available too.
Registration is now open and more program details are posted on our website: nofasummerconference.org
We hope you’ll register to join us in this adventure and that you have a safe summer and productive garden this year.