The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture’s (PASA) 22nd annual Farming for the Future Conference will run from February 6th through the 9th in State College, PA. The conference will attract farmers from across the state, those concerned about the quality of food produced in the state and reducing the impact of use on our precious farmland, while maintaining profit margins. The scheduled seminars and events are aimed to inspire farmers with new techniques to improve on a venture they’ve practiced for generations or to begin a new agricultural project, as well as, bring progressively minded growers and producers together.
The conference will showcase educational seminars for sustainable farming practices. There will be something for every type of agricultural interest: small ruminants, organic vegetables, beekeeping, mushrooms, and more. Seminars revolve around subjects like “Animal Mid Wifery & Peri-Partum Considerations,” “Is an On-Farm Cheese Business for You?,” “Integrated Pest Management,” “Pruning Fruit Trees, Shrubs & Vines,” “Hogs: Breed Selection & Finishing Strategies for Desired End Use,” and “Communicating Effectively with Policy Makers.” It’s a diverse line-up of important issues and interests. There are also programs specifically geared towards the young farmers that include craft making and exploring how food gets to the fork. For those who want to get to the conference early, there are special workshops offered the Wednesday and Thursday before the main conference on various topics.
Before and after an invigorating day of learning, activities for socializing and entertaining take the stage. There will be a “Winter Picnic” buffet on Thursday night to welcome conference goers, a Banquet Dinner on Friday night, and several documentary film showings on Friday night. A Farmer’s Market Café will offer snacks throughout the conference and boxed lunches will also be available. Other opportunities to socialize include a Cheese Tasting of local artisans on Thursday night, a Seed Swap Thursday through Saturday, Yoga on Friday and Saturday mornings, a knitting group on Friday and Saturday mornings, a benefit Auction, a Tradeshow representing the many businesses that make up PASA, and a Marketplace for food and handicraft purchases. Keynote addresses by Charles Eisenstein on Friday and by Ben Hewitt on Saturday will round off the event.
The conference looks to be a fun-filled and enlightening several days, not to be missed by anyone looking to become engaged in farming or hoping to advance her current enterprises.
The Farming for the Future Conference will be located at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in State College, PA. Registration for the conference ends January 29th. After that date, there will be a $40 registration fee at the door of the conference. The conference is open to both PASA members and non-PASA participants, but discounted rates are offered to members.