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NOFA Summer Conference cultivates the organic grassroots in August

conference logoThe Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) will hold its 42nd annual Summer Conference on August 12-14, 2016 in Amherst, Massachusetts. The event features three days of organic immersion, with 200 workshops to empower, educate, build skills and confidence. Over 1000 curious learners, growers, and experienced practitioners gather for inspiration and ideas for organic food, farming, health, activism, and beyond.

As the program is taking shape, we are looking forward to sessions on topics such as soil fertility, no-till farming, urban agriculture, draft horses, organic orchard care, mushroom production and identification, farm planning, herbalism, biochar, permaculture, climate and GMO policy, agricultural social justice, winter crop storage, composting systems, hop production, raw milk, and many more.

Intensive seminars on regenerative agriculture, digestive wellness, season extension, homesteading and grazing will take place on Friday, before the conference begins. Young people may also participate in the children and teens conferences.

Farmers Leah Penniman and André Leu are this year’s keynote speakers. Ms. Penniman and her family operate Soul Fire Farm, situated on 72 acres in the rural hills northeast of Albany, New York. She is an educator and social justice activist, working locally, regionally and internationally as part of a movement of regenerative Black agrarianism to end racial and other injustices in the food system.

Mr. Leu operates a 150-acre fruit farm in tropical Australia. His land was once run down and is now a lush and productive permaculture landscape. Through his role as president of the board of directors of IFOAM – Organics International, he advocates for the use of organic farming techniques to mitigate against and adapt our food systems to the effects of climate change, participating in international climate negotiations and farming education.

Conference registration is open, with scholarships, work exchange and group discounts. Camping, dormitory and hotel accommodations are available, as are all-organic meals. Visit to see a list of workshops, register and find out more. 


Nicole Belanger is the Public Relations Coordinator for NOFA/Mass.