The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) is
hosting its 29th annual conference from February 5 through 8 at the
Lancaster County Convention Center, in downtown Lancaster. Keynote
presentations and educational sessions on more than 100 food and farming topics
are interspersed with networking events and regionally sourced meals.
The conference draws more than 1,800 farmers, food system
professionals, educators, advocates, market managers, homesteaders and others that
are passionate about building a better food system.
On February 6, filmmaker and
author Josh Tickell will provide the keynote address, Activism and
Regeneration. Michael Twitty, chef and author, will give the keynote
presentation, Culinary Justice: Defining a Theory of Gastronomic Sovereignty,
on February 7.
An extensive trade show features vendors and businesses who
serve gardeners, farmers and sustainable agriculture professionals. There will
be opportunities to talk with and purchase products or services from seed
companies, small equipment manufacturers, soil amendment producers, marketing
consultants, organic certifiers, extension agents, feed producers, government
agencies, researchers and more.
The Future Farmers mini-conference educates and entertains
children while their parents attend the main event. Children from kindergarten
through eighth grade can enjoy a wide range of activities developed to increase
their understanding of farming, nutrition and sustainability.
Workshare program opportunities are open to all, beginning in
December and extending until after the conference in February. Participants can
reduce their conference registration costs in exchange for lending a helping
hand by trading between four and 12 hours of work. Scholarship support, which
is open to aspiring farmers and current farmers of all experience levels, is
“Farmer attendees operate at scales that run the gamut from
urban farms and market gardens to farms that span several thousand acres, and
everywhere in between,” explains Melissa Cipollone, PASA communications
strategist. “No matter your experience level or
agricultural interests, you’ll be able to pack your schedule with valuable
sessions that help hone your craft and advance your cause.”