The Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program will host a conference in Burlington, Vermont, Oct. 19 – 21. The emphasis is on regional food systems, and there will be workshops on marketing, ecological production, food policy and planning, learning from exemplary farmers, and communications in the agricultural community.
The keynote speaker for the conference will be Russell Libby, executive director of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, and the closing speaker will be Bill McKibben, author and scholar-in-residence and Middlebury College.
The event will begin with farm tours on October 19 that will explore sustainable horticulture, grass-based dairying, small ruminant farmstead cheese, commercial composting, and maple sugaring. The SARE program will also present the Patrick Madden Award, which recognizes outstanding farmers across the nation who have adopted innovative and sustainable practices on their farms.
There will also be poster sessions and displays developed by more than 100 farmers, researchers, and educators, and a reception hosted by one the conference co-sponsors, the Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group. The Northeast Farm Communicators Association, also a conference co-sponsor, will hold a member meeting and contribute to the agricultural communications workshops.
A full conference program and registration materials are on line at www.uvm.edu/~nesare. Scholarship funds are available, and there is a discount for registrations received before August 2.