Regenerative Track

Click here to register for the 2017 NOFA Summer Conference!

“‘Regenerative Agriculture’ describes farming and grazing practices that, among other benefits, reverse climate change by rebuilding soil organic matter and restoring degraded soil biodiversity – resulting in both carbon drawdown and improving the water cycle." - Regeneration International

Please consider the below opportunities to learn about farming and gardening methods what will return carbon to the soil -- and keep it there -- for healthier crops, more resilient farms, and less extreme weather.

The 2017 NOFA Summer Conference, August 11-13 at Hampshire College in Amherst Mass., features several workshops to help us chose the path of regenerative organic agriculture:

Profitable Agroforestry for Northeast Farms

Friday, Aug. 11, 9:00-3:30 PM

*This is a pre-conference half-day intensive workshop (separate registration required)

Agroforestry, or the intentional integration of trees into agriculture, is a key carbon farming and climate adaptation strategy for farms worldwide. In the Northeast US, agroforestry systems can diversify farm production, mitigate flooding and nutrient runoff, reduce heat and wind stress on crops and animals, and play a role in stabilizing the climate through carbon sequestration. This intensive, interactive workshop will explore how to profitably apply agroforestry systems and practices on Northeast farms. We will particularly focus on silvopasture, multifunctional buffers, tree intercropping, and diversified orchard systems.

Connor Stedman: Ecological designer, farm planner, and educator based in the Hudson River Valley, NY.

The High Cost of Cheap Food: Pesticide Residues

Friday, Aug. 11, 2:00-3:30PM

Industrial agriculture food is of poor quality and pesticide ridden. Today’s pesticides are not only on our food but in our food as well. They cannot be washed off and are found in most processed foods. Learn about this chemical assault and how to avoid purchasing foods with high pesticide levels.

Ed Stockman: Biologist, 4th generation farmer, co-founder of Regeneration Massachusetts.

Regenerative Farming, Impact Investing, & Climate Change

Friday, Aug. 11, 4:00-5:30PM

Explore how an investment in regenerative farming and soil restoration will help mitigate climate change.

Sally Dodge: Northeast Community Development Manager & Director of Farmer Relations, Iroquois Valley Farms and Dale Guldbrandsen: Investor Relations & Northeast Community Development Manager, Iroquois Valley Farms.

Carbon Farming: Regenerative Agriculture for Climate Stabilization

Saturday, Aug. 12, 8:00-9:30AM

We will discuss the current state of climate and carbon sequestration science, and explore the role agriculture can play in the climate change solution through a range of tree-based and soil-based carbon farming techniques. With careful ecological and economic planning, carbon farming can grow profitable, resilient farm businesses while helping to slow climate change.

Connor Stedman: Ecological designer, farm planner, and educator based in the Hudson River Valley, NY.

Intensive Silvopasture for New England

Saturday, Aug. 12, 8:00-9:30 AM

Intensive Silvopasture (ISP) – integrating livestock, trees, pasture, and woody browse in sustainable ecosystems – shows exciting success in Latin America, with 3-5 times higher meat and milk production, greater animal health, and up to 35 times higher carbon sequestration rates than organic agriculture. Come explore the potential for ISP in New England.

Susanne Hale: Owns Tending the Wild Climate Agroforestry, UMass graduate student studying ISP

Sequestering Carbon, Improving Soil, & Increasing Crop Yields with Microrhyzal Fungi

Saturday, Aug. 12, 10:00-11:30AM

This workshop will focus on mycorrhizal fungi and their ability to dramatically improve carbon sequestration and soil fertility in all forms of agriculture. We will have a detailed explanation on the construction of a Johnson-Su digester to produce fungally-dominated compost within a much shorter timespan than accomplished by traditional methods.

Bill MacKentley: Farmer and horticulturalist.

Keeping Soil Covered to Enhance Biodiversity, Fertility & Food Quality

Saturday, Aug. 12, 10:00-11:30AM

At Many Hands Organic Farm (30 years certified) we are experimenting with growing mulches in place and using found/at hand natural resources when that system is more effective or practical. Julie will share the adventure of these experiments and discuss best practices for raising high quality food with maximum soil carbon sequestration through microbial friendly practices.

Julie Rawson: Lifelong farmer who thrives on pushing the envelope.

Home Garden No-till & Cover Crops for Carbon Sequestration

Saturday, Aug. 12, 1:00-2:30PM

Powerpoint and discussion covering the interrelationship between soil health, carbon sequestration, cover cropping, and no-till growing of nutritions food in one’s garden. Easy to use cover crop and no-till techniques will be presented.

Sharon Gensler: Homesteader. Educator. Gardening with no-till methods for over 35 years.

Climate Adaptation: Preparing Farms, Communities, & Bioregions for Climate Change

Saturday, Aug. 12, 1:00-2:30PM

By observing and mimicking ecosystem processes, our farms and landscapes can be designed to be resilient to climatic changes. This interactive workshop will explore ecological design principles and solutions for climate adaptation in the Northeast US, including on-farm water management, crop and landscape biodiversity, productive buffers and corridors, and trialing new warmer-climate crops for the region.

Connor Stedman: Ecological designer, farm planner, and educator based in the Hudson River Valley, NY.

Fixing the Carbon & Water Cycle with Cattle

Sunday, Aug. 13, 8:00 - 9:30AM

Proper grazing practices rapidly store carbon below the soil surface. Intensive rotational grazing creates soil permeability, allowing water to then be captured by said carbon. Cattle, when managed correctly, are the tools to enhance this system rapidly: think years rather than eons!

Ridge Shinn: Northeast pioneer in grass-fed beef production on a forage-only diet.

What is the True Cost of Food?

Sunday, Aug. 13, 10:00-11:30AM

The apparent cost (also known as market price) of food does not often reflect all of the social and ecological costs associated with production. We will examine and compare apparent costs of various foods to their true price.

Jack Kittredge: Certified organic farmer, editor of The Natural Farmer.


All this, and MORE!

2017 NOFA Summer Conference

August 11-13 at Hampshire College

Amherst, Mass.

In addition to over 130 workshops, this 3-day celebration of the organic movement features annual favorites like the Children’s Conference, contra dance, film screenings, local dinner celebration, farm tours, exhibitors tent, and live music and drumming. This year will also feature a “Country Fair”, showcasing farm and garden innovations! Fun for the whole family!

For more information and to register, please visit!

Learn more about regenerative organic agriculture at and

Original artwork by John Sherffius for the 2015 NOFA/Mass white paper: “Soil Carbon Restoration: Can Biology do the job?” available for free at