As NOFA celebrates its 50th Anniversary amidst year two of a pandemic, our Summer Conference will once again take place virtually. This year we take on the online format with greater confidence and creativity. Rather than planning the event with the panic of “How can we pull this off?”, our team’s approach is, “How can we make this virtual event unique, meaningful, and memorable?” With so much ambiguity still in the air around what the pandemic response will be by mid-summer, a virtual option seemed like the only way to plan in advance, and with that advance planning comes a commitment to a high-quality event that offers opportunities we would not have in person.
One advantage to an online event is that we can draw on speakers who would be difficult to bring to an in-person conference. Keynote speaker Dr. Christine Jones is one such person, joining us from Australia. Jones will speak alongside another esteemed soil scientist Ray Archuleta on July 15th from 7:00-8:30pm, in the context of a “Fireside Chat”. Our second keynote panel, “A No-Till Conversation: From Purpose to Practicality” featuring No-Till farmers Daniel Mays and Jen Salinetti. Offering keynote panels rather than traditional lectures will give listeners a glimpse into one-on-one conversations between major players in the regenerative ag community.
Our workshop lineup includes another amazing collection of talent and experience, covering a range of topics from the mystical “The Fourth Phase of Water” to the uber practical and narrowly focused “Understanding Asparagus”. Also, a new feature for this year’s conference includes programming in Spanish. Topics in the Spanish language track include nutrition and soil health. Some workshops in this track will be taught in Spanish with the option of English interpreting, and some will be taught in English with Spanish interpreting, so speakers of both languages can participate. While in-person interpreting is possible, the Zoom platform offers the technology to provide simultaneous interpretation much more easily and efficiently.
Another new offering this year is the “Indigenous Roots Forever” workshop track, hosted by the Pocasset Pokanoket Land Trust. Members will share information and experience regarding indigenous land stewardship, reflecting historical perspectives, cultural and agricultural practices, and spiritual values. Workshops include “Stories of Sovereignty” and “Seeds of Transformation” as well as skill sharing and conversations about capacity building.
For the first time, the Summer Conference offers sliding scale registration rates. Another advantage of an online platform is that without the usual overhead and travel expenses, we’re able to take the risk of trying out a more accessible payment system. Registration includes live access to all workshop sessions, keynotes and special events as well as video recordings of the sessions afterwards. Registration is now open at nofasummerconference.org.