2012 NOFA Conference Media Page


Welcome to the NOFA Summer Conference, the largest annual conference on organic growing in the Northeast. NOFA, the Northeast Organic Farming Association, is a community including farmers, gardeners, landscapers and consumers working to educate members and the general public about the benefits of local organic systems based on complete cycles, natural materials, and minimal waste for the health of individual beings, communities and the living planet.

NOFA has regional chapters in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and New Jersey. This annual summer conference draws over 1200 attendees from across the entire Northeast region. The conference is now currently hosted by the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. We hope you will join us in Amherst in August.


NOFA Summer Conference attendees register for an entire weekend of keynote speeches, over 225 workshops, a country fair, farmers' market, over 100 exhibitors and vendors, a children's conference, a teen conference, live entertainment and silent auction. Over the years, NOFA has presented a wide array of thoughtful, engaging and important keynote speakers, including Wendell Berry, Joel Salatin, and others. The 2011 Friday evening keynote will be given by perennial-edibles expert and award-winning author, Eric Toensmeier, from Holyoke, MA. The 2011 Saturday evening keynote will be given by Biology professor and anti-GMO activist Dr. Ignacio Chapela, from UC Berkeley.

This year, the 2011 NOFA Summer Conference is proud to feature the Northeast Animal Power Field Days (NEAPFD); a special collection of workshops and hands-on activities for those interested in using draft animals to facilitate farming and logging activities. Local farm tours and most Animal-Power workshops will be held at offsite locations in the Pioneer Valley, for those interested in daytime excursions. Workshop topics for 2011 include: Alternative Energy and the Environment; Animal Power; Animals, Crops, Farm Economics and Management, Farming and the Community, Food and Family, Food and Farm Education, Food Preservation and Cooking, Fruits, Nuts, and Trees; Garden and Greenhouse, Herbs, Land Care, Nutrition and Health, Of the Spirit, Politics and Policy, Practical Skills, Soil and Fertility, and Urban Agriculture. Most workshops are held in and around the UMass Amherst campus. Participants generally select on-campus housing, and reside in the UMass dormitories for the duration of their stay. Camping on the UMass property is also available.


"2011 NOFA Summer Conference, June 26, 2011
"Northeast Animal-Power Field Days comes to NOFA Summer Conference, August 12-14, in Amherst, Massachusetts" April 20, 2011


2011 NOFA Summer Conference Coordinator, Ben Grosscup, speaks with Susan Youmans of "What's for Dinner?" about plans for this year's conference.

July 17, 2011: 2011 NOFA Summer Conference Coordinator, Ben Grosscup speaks with Peter Tusinski and Leo Maley on WMUA's Focus about NOFA History, NOFA's activism for food safety and against GMOs, and how these elements will come together at the NOFA Summer Conference.



Friday, August 12th
10:00 AM Registration and Exhibitor Tent Opens
2:00 -3:30 PM Adult, Children's and Teen Workshop 1
4:00-5:30 PM Adult, Children's and Teen Workshop 2
7:00 PM Keynote Speech: "Regenerative and Perennial Agriculture for Climate Stabilization" by Eric Toensmeier
9:00 PM Live Entertainment

Saturday, August 13th
8:00-9:30 AM Adult, Children's and Teen Workshop 3
10:00-11:30 AM Adult, Children's and Teen Workshop 4
1:00-2:30 PM Adult, Children's and Teen Workshop
3:00-5:00 PM Country Fair, Farmers' Market
7:00 PM Keynote Speech Title TBD, by Dr. Ignacio Chapela
9:00 PM Live Entertainment

Sunday, August 14th
8:00-9:30 AM Adult, Children's and Teen Workshop 5
10:00-11:30 AM Adult, Children's and Teen Workshop 6
1:00-2:30 PM Adult, Children's and Teen Workshop 7


This year, the 2011 NOFA Summer Conference will feature special tracks, or collections of workshops along a variety of themes. The FULL LIST OF WORKSHOPS indicate whether a workshop falls within a particular thematic track. This year's workshop tracks are: Nutrient Density, CSA's, Transition Towns, Permaculture, Organic Land Care, Beginning Farmers, and Animal Power Field Days.


Press Passes are available to members of the media, which include free registration and entrance to all conference workshops, keynote speeches and events. Members of the media are welcome to make arrangements to stay on campus and/or purchase conference meals during the weekend by registering online HERE. Please note - media does not have to pay the registration fee, only for on-campus accommodations and/or meals. Accommodations are also available at the UMass Amherst on-campus hotel, and at local Amherst-area hotels or lodgings. To arrange for a press pass, please contact Mindy Harris, NOFA/Mass PR Coordinator: mindy@nofamass.org, or call (310) 663-0054. All media press pass requests should contain Name, Publication/Outlet, Cell Phone**, Address, Preferred Dates/Hours attending the conference, Exact Date and Time of Check-In, Special Interview requests for speakers and/or conference organizers. **Cell phone is necessary to reach PR Coordinator when on-campus, on-site at the conference, and preceding the conference.

Media Check In: All registrants, including Media, check in at the white Exhibitor Tent in front of the campus pond, next to the Campus Student Center at the Registration Table.



NEAPFD = Northeast Animal Power Field Days (specialized Animal Power workshops). These workshops are designed to demonstrate ways of utilizing animals such as draft horses, oxen and mules for use in commercial farming and logging.

ND = Nutrient Density. An approach to farming which focuses on the level of nutrients in the soil and crops.

CSA = Community-Supported Agriculture. A CSA program is a way for a commercial farm to direct-market products to consumers. Consumers buy a "share" of a farm for the season by putting capital down up front, and then receive a box-share distribution of the farm's goods each week, throughout the growing season.

TT = Transition Town. The transition town movement is organizing communities to respond to climate change and the peak oil crisis. Transition towns are undertaking projects to re-localize food production and build resilient, sustainable, eco-friendly places to live.

OLC = Organic Land Care. This represents an ongoing multi-state program which certifies land care managers and professionals, who are committed to landscape management that is chemical and synthetic-free. There are workshops offered at the NOFA Summer Conference which allow Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals to obtain ongoing professional development credits and maintain their certification.

AOLCP = Accredited Organic Land Care Professional.

PC = Permaculture. Permaculture is an approach to designing human settlements and agricultural systems that are modeled on the relationships found in natural ecologies.