NOFA-VT Winter Conference

February 14-16, 2015

At the University of Vermont, Burlington

View the program online »

The 33rd Annual NOFA Vermont Winter Conference is a highlight of the winter for Vermont’s farmers, gardeners, homesteaders and enthusiastic eaters. Please join us – and 1,500 of your fellow local food enthusiasts – for three days of learning, inspiration, good food and great conversation.

Our conference theme, Growing the Good Food Movement, is intended to continue and build on the important conversations that are taking place – locally, nationally, and worldwide – about farm and food equity, building a fair and just food system where everyone has access to healthy food, and where the farmers and farm workers who grow that food receive respect and a living wage. Growing the Good Food Movement means supporting new farmers, providing technical assistance to encourage successful farms, and connecting food consumers with their food producers. These themes and more will be addressed throughout the conference – in our workshops, the photography exhibit The Golden Cage, our featured films, Saturday’s keynote address by Natasha Bowens entitled “The Color of Food: Photography & Storytelling from Farmers of Color,” and Sunday’s poetry and story slam.

In addition to digging into these important issues, we’re hosting an exciting slew of localvore and homesteading workshops, gardening workshops put on by the Vermont Community Garden Network, our Annual Seed Swap, and lots of great music, food, and chances for conversation.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Enid Wonnacott

 

Enid Wonnacott, Executive Director, NOFA-VT

 


AttachmentSize
2015-Winter-Conference.pdf3.05 MB

Location & Transportation

The Winter Conference will take place at the University of Vermont in Burlington, VT. UVM's Davis Center acts as the hub of the conference, housing registration, our exhibitors' fair, keynotes, meals, and more. Workshops are held in nearby classrooms.

Staying in Burlington:

We have rooms blocked at a discounted rate at two local hotels: Best Western and the Doubletree, both in South Burlington just minutes from UVM. Make a weekend out of it!

  • Best Western’s rate of $83.00 per night is available until February 1. Call 1-800-371-1125 and use group code 407855. 
  • Doubletree’s rate of $104.00 is available until January 31. Click here to make your reservation online or call 1-802-658-0250.

For more accomodation options, please visit the Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce.

Getting to Burlington:

Parking at UVM:
Parking for the Winter Conference is in the Given and Jeffords lots at UVM. These are both a short (3-5 minute) walk from the Davis Center. See below for a parking map. For GPS, use the address 63 Carrigan Drive, Burlington (click here for Google Maps). Please click here for a general map of the UVM campus.

parking at UVM

Workshops

We are planning over 65 workshops for commercial farmers, gardeners, homesteaders, and organic eaters for the 2013 conference. Check back in December for more workshop information!

Photos by Elizabeth Ferry

Exhibitors' Fair

Always a favorite aspect of our conference, the Exhibitors' Fair features local businesses, agricultural experts, and organizations involved in food and farming.

*NEW!* Please join us Saturday night for Happy Hour with the Exhibitors at 5:15, featuring local beer and wine, with refreshments from Healthy Living Market and Cafe.

This year's exhibitors include:

  • Acadian Organic Fertilizer
  • Alltech
  • BCS/O'Neill & Associates
  • Center for an Agricultural Economy
  • Chelsea Green
  • City Market
  • Cooperative Fund of New England
  • Davis Center Exhibitor
  • Deep Root Organic Co-op
  • Drip Irrigation Systems
  • eOrganic
  • FarmPlate
  • Green Mountain Compost
  • Hanover Coop
  • Healthy Living
  • High Mowing Organic Seeds
  • Hunger Mountain Coop
  • Institute for Energy & the Environment, Vermont Law School
  • Intervale Center/Intervale Conservation Nursery
  • Johnny's Selected Seeds
  • McGill University - MacDonald Campus
  • New Village Farm
  • Northeast SARE
  • NOVIC - Nothern Organic Vegetable Improvement Collaborative
  • Progressive Asset Management
  • Risk Management Agency
  • Rural Vermont
  • Shelburne Farms
  • Singing Spindle Spinnery
  • Sterling College
  • The Children's Initiative
  • Tierra Farm
  • Total
  • USDA NASS
  • USDA NRCS
  • UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture
  • UVM Department of Continuing Education
  • UVM Extension Rural & Ag VocRehab & VT Agribility
  • UVM Extension VT Rebates for Roll Bars Program
  • UVM New Farmer Project
  • Vermont Agency of Agriculture
  • Vermont Association of Conservation Districts
  • Vermont Compost Company
  • Vermont Migrant Farm Worker Solidarity Project
  • Vermont's Local Banquet Magazine
  • Wellscroft Fence Systems, LLC
  • Weston A Price Foundation/Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund
  • Wormpost Vermont

Conference Sponsorship

Download Sponsorship Info

Become a Winter Conference sponsor or advertiser to support Vermont's food system while reaching our committed, enthusiastic audience. 

(Please note: our exhibit hall is full and we are no longer accepting new exhibitors.)

Subscribe to our e-newsletter or follow us on Facebook for the latest updates!

Winter Conference Exhibitors

Advertising Details

Advertising in the conference program puts proof of your support and connection to the local, organic foods movement in the hands of each conference attendee.

**Advertising space is full for 2013. Contact the office if you'd like to be put on a waiting list.**

 

Artwork is due January 18, 2013 and must be black and white. PDF or high-resolution TIFF format preferred. Ads requiring formatting, resizing or other editing will incur an additional fee of $25. Download the sponsorship brochure & reply form by clicking here.

WC ad sizes

 

Non-Sponsorship advertising prices:

Half-page $250
Quarter-page $200
Eighth page $150

Exhibitors' Fair Details

Unlike many trade shows, our exhibitors' fair has an intimate, friendly atmosphere. Our two-room layout allows for more exhibiting space and gives you a choice of price options; sponsor exhibitors will always receive priority placement in Area 1.

**As of December 7, Area 1 is full, but there is plenty of room in Area 2. Please contact the office if you would like to be placed on the waiting list for Area 1.**

WC Exhibitors Fair Map

All Exhibitors receive:

  • One four or eight foot table
  • Two chairs
  • Free wi-fi access
  • Early lunch opportinity
  • Electricity available for additional $25

Exhibitor's Fair hours:

Set up:
Friday 2/15 - 4-7 PM
Saturday 2/16 - 6-8AM

Break down:
Sunday 2/17 -  4-8 PM

Open:
Saturday 7:30AM-7PM
Sunday 7:30AM-4PM

Conference Mixer in Exhibitors' Fair area:
Saturday 5-6pm

Non-Sponsor Exhibitors' Fair Prices:

  Area 1 Area 2
Non-member - 8 ft $550 $325
Member - 8 ft $500 $275
Farm/Nonprofit Member -8 ft --- $200
Farm/Nonprofit Member - 4 ft ---

$150

 

 

 

 

 

Our exhibitors' fair sells out every year and space is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Click here to download the sponsor brochure and reply form.

Food & Product Sponsorship

Our locally-sourced meals and snacks are vital to the conference, and would not be possible without the generous support of our producers!

Food donations will be recognized on the NOFA Vermont website and on the “meals and food” page of the conference program, as follows:

Donation value

Benefit

$1000+

Company logo in program and website; NOFA business membership; 1 conference registration (includes meals) 

$500 – 1000

Level 1 name placement in program and on website

$250 – 500

Level 2 name placement in program and on website

up to $250

Level 3 name placement in program and on website

>> Click here to download a PDF of the food and product donation contract. This form is fillable using Adobe Reader or Apple's Preview.

Press Information

2014 Coverage:

Press Releases: 

For more information about the Winter Conference, please contact Kim Mercer, NOFA Vermont Outreach Coordinator, at kim@nofavt.org or 434-4122.

Photos from previous years: (Credit NOFA Vermont and Gabrielle Kammerer or Elizabeth Ferry as noted; click to view full-sized and download.)

 

NOFA Vermont logo: download a high-res PDF here.

2013 Winter Conference

View the 2013 Winter Conference program to see the speakers, workshops, and activities that made it such a success.

Watch some of the highlights from 2013:

Keynote Speakers

Saturday

Vern GrubingerWe are proud to welcome Vern Grubinger as our Saturday keynote. Vern has worked with and for farmers for 30 years and has worked for the University of Vermont Extension since 1990. Currently the statewide vegetable and berry specialist and coordinator of the USDA 's Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) program, Vern is a valued partner of NOFA-VT and a key resource for commercial vege table and berry growers throught the state.

We asked Vern to share his vision of the future of Vermont's agriculture through his keynote address. He says,

"The resilience of Vermont's food system is challenged by many factors, including climate change and weather extremes, reliance on fossil fuel, loss of good farmland , and consolidation of food processing, distribution and retailing. Strategies for addressing these challenges are emerging as part of an ongoing transformation in how people think about food: that it must be managed with systems approaches; that local and regional food systems create synergies unrelated to 'efficiency'; and that good food supports physical, economic and cultural h ealth. This presentation will highlight some of these strategies and the farms involved with them, celebrating the progress being made and suggesting new actions for the future."

Sunday

Wendy JohnsonWendy Johnson is a Buddhist meditation teacher and organic gardening mentor who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Wendy is one of the founders of the organic Farm and Garden Program at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center in Marin County, Wendy is the author of Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate (Bantam, 2008) and a prize-winning garden columnist for Tricycle: The Buddhist Review. In 2000 she and her husband, Peter Rudnick, received a Sustainable Agriculture Award from the National Ecological Farming Association. Wendy is a 15-year mentor and advisor to the Edible Schoolyard Project in North Berkeley and a founding instructor in the innovative Indian Valley Farm and Garden Project, established in 2009.

Wendy's keynote will address "The Ground of Resilience." Wendy says,

"Deep ecological farming and dynamic community are rooted in the wild resilience of the living earth. As the 2011 growing season delivered tempestuous weather and economic uncertainty from Burlington to Bangladesh, we were reminded how deeply our lives intertwine with the elemental world. In these times of challenge and change, what are the practices that ground and sustain us? How do we emerge with renewed focus and bravery and cultivate the Ground of Resilience?"

 

Saturday Events

Join us Saturday night as we unwind from one day of workshops and recharge for another!

Happy Hour with the Exhibitors
5:15-6:15pm

Light refreshments, local wine and beer offerings, and a chance to get to know our exhibitors. Refreshments sponsored by Healthy Living Market and Cafe.

NOFAvore Dinner and Dance
6:30-10:00pm; $20 + cash bar

Just want to dance? Show up at 8; we'll be taking donations at the door.

Enjoy a fantastic locally-sourced meal by Sodexo, good company, and music by the legendary Clayfoot Strutters, with contra dance calling by Rachel Nevitt!

We will also be hosting the first annual NOFA-VT Seed Swap outside the dinner hall, so bring seeds to share! Experts from High Mowing Organic Seeds will be on hand to answer your questions about seed saving and garden growing!

Also during dinner will be a story booth with the Vermont Folklife Center. If you would like to share your story about farming or food, find a partner and sign up for a 15-minute slot by emailing vera@nofavt.org, calling the NOFA-VT office at 802-434-4122, or signing up at the conference.

 

Want a taste of Saturday's music? Listen below.

Sponsorship, Advertising, and Exhibiting

There are many ways to support the Winter Conference while promoting your business or organization to our attendees.

Download the sponsorship brochure and reply form or visit the links below for more details.

Sponsorship
We offer a range of sponsorship options that provide many benefits, including complimentary registrations, exhibiting discounts, and advertising in the conference program and on the Winter Conference website.

Advertising
*We are no longer accepting ads for the 2012 program.*

By advertising in the conference program, each attendee will see your support and connection to the local, organic foods movement. Programs are handed to each attendee and act as a manual for the weekend.

Exhibiting
Our attendees look forward to browsing gardening tools, visiting with our sponsors, troubleshooting with experts, and making new connections to local businesspeople.

Advertising

We are no longer accepting new ad orders for the 2012 Program.  Please accept our apologies and try again next year!

(Ad space has been reserved for qualifying sponsors; please contact the office with any questions.)


Our annual conference grows each year; this year we expect at least 1,500 attendees. By advertising in the conference program, each attendee will see your support and connection to the local, organic foods movement. Programs are handed to each attendee and act as a manual for the weekend.

ad sizes

  • Half page - 7.5"x4.5" - $200
  • Quarter page - 3.5"x4.75" - $125
  • Eighth page - 3.5"x2.25" - $75

All ads must be in black and white. PDF or high-res JPG images preferred.

We are no longer accepting new ad orders.

Ads are due January 16, 2012.

Exhibitors' Fair: Vendor Information

We've improved our exhibitors' fair!

Here are some highlighted changes:

  • Main entrance/exit to workshops now adjacent to exhibitor area
  • NOFA’s Hospitality Table with complimentary snacks located adjacent to exhibitor area
  • Exhibitors’ Fair browsing time built into the conference schedule
  • Saturday evening pre-dinner social hour in exhibitor area, with beer/wine reception and cheese tasting
  • Opportunity to include booth talks and demos in the conference program

Download the exhibitors' brochure and reply form.

Attendees browsing the exhibitors' fairOur attendees look forward to browsing gardening tools, visiting with our sponsors, troubleshooting with local experts, and making new connections to local businesspeople.

All farm- and garden-related products, crafts, and resources are welcome! The conference schedule leaves plenty of browsing time during the lunch break as well as during a special cocktail hour on Saturday night.

Exhibitors receive one free registration (does not include lunch). Electricity is available at your table for an extra fee.

Sponsorship Packages

We offer a range of sponsorship options that provide many benefits, including complimentary registrations, exhibiting discounts, and advertising in the conference program and on the NOFA-VT website.

We also offer advertising and exhibitors' fair opportunities without sponsorship.

 

Download the sponsorship, advertising, & exhibiting brochure and reply form, or explore your options below. 

Benefits to All Sponsors
• Prominent listing in the registration brochure (mailed to over 4,000 homes and businesses) and conference program (handed to approximately 1,500 attendees)
• Web listing and link on the conference website
• Sponsorship listing in the spring issue of the NOFA Vermont print newsletter, NOFA Notes
• Your contribution is tax-deductible!

 

Benefactor · $2,500+
Additional benefits:
• Public recognition prior to keynote address
• Prominent banner location at the conference
• Level one logo placement on NOFA Vermont website,
conference brochure, and conference program
• Business card printed in spring issue of NOFA Notes
• Two 2-day conference registrations, including lunch - ($230 value)
• Exhibitors’ Fair table (8 feet) -
($325 value)
• ½ page ad in conference program ($200 value)
• One year NOFA Vermont business membership ($50 value)

 

Sustainer · $1,000
Additional benefits
• Public recognition prior to keynote address
• Level two logo placement on NOFA Vermont website,
conference brochure, and conference program
• Business card printed in spring issue of NOFA Notes
• One 2-day conference registration, including lunch - ($115 value)
• Exhibitors’ Fair table (8 feet) -
($325 value)
• ¼ page ad in conference program ($125 value)
• One year NOFA Vermont business membership ($50 value)

 

Contributor · $500
Additional benefits:
• Level three name placement on NOFA Vermont
website, conference brochure, and conference
program
• One 2-day conference registration, including lunch - ($115 value)
• 25% off Exhibitors’ Fair table - ($81.25 value)
• ⅛ page ad in conference program - ($75 value)
• One year NOFA Vermont business membership ($50 value)

 

Supporter · $250
Additional benefits:
• Level four name placement on NOFA Vermont
website, conference brochure, and conference
program

 

Friend · $100
Additional benefits:
• Level five name placement on NOFA Vermont
website, conference brochure, and conference
program

 

To become a sponsor, advertiser, or exhibitor, please mail in the reply form with your payment.

Please contact the NOFA Vermont office with any questions at info@nofavt.org or (802) 434-4122. Thanks for your support!

The Children's Conference

children's conference sceneThe NOFA-VT Children’s Conference is the place for all children ages 6-12 to be on February 11th and 12th

Preregistration is closed but we will have a limited number of walk-in slots available. Please arrive at 8:00am at Edmunds School if you would like to register on the day of the conference.

For parents who would like to join us for lunch at the Children's Conference ($10 per day), there will be a shuttle leaving the main entrance of the Davis Center at 12:10 each day and returning at 1:05.

Please make sure your child brings appropriate outdoor clothing: BOOTS, MITTENS, SNOWPANTS, HAT. A change of clothes is also good!

Parking/drop-off information: Edmunds School parking lot is accessible from Maple Street, between South Willard and South Union Streets. Transportation to and from the conference is the responsibility of parents or guardians.  We will also be offering shuttle rides to and from Edmunds for those adults who with to attend the local foods lunch.

Taking place just down the road from UVM at Edmunds Elementary School on Main Street in Burlington, the Children’s Conference provides a variety of exciting and hands-on workshops to inspire and teach our young people about agriculture, cooking, nutrition, animals, the environment, and much more!  With a talented crew of experienced farmers, chefs, and educators to lead our many workshops and activities, youth will have a fun-filled learning adventure.  Kids will explore topics from sourdough-making to seed science and farm animals to birdhouse-building. Snacks and a local foods lunch are included. 

 

Children's Conference Registration 1st Child Additional Children
Saturday OR Sunday ONLY $25 $20
Saturday AND Sunday $45 $35
Adult Lunch at Children's Conference $10 $10

 

Children can attend the Children's Conference even if no adult is attending the Winter Conference.

Please note: Space is limited—pre-registration is strongly encouraged.  There will be few walk-in registrations available.  Please use the form on page 25. We also ask adults joining us for lunch to pre-register and add $10 per adult, per day. Thanks! Once we have received your registration we will send you an information packet about the children’s conference.

Schedule:

8:00 - 8:15

Registration & Check-in

8:15 - 8:45

Entry activity

8:45 – 9:05

Group Orientations

9:05 - 10:30

Workshop Session I

10:30 – 10:50

Snack Break! 

10:50 – 12:15

Workshop Session II

12:15 – 1:00

Local Foods Lunch

1:00-1:45

Children:  Outdoor Recess or Indoor Option:

2:00 - 3:25

Workshop Session III

3:25 – 3:45

Snack Break!

3:45 – 4:45

Whole group activity (outdoor and indoor environmental/outdoor education)

5:00

Parents arrive.  Pick up, pack up and head out!

Workshop presenters include: Green Mountain Farm to School, Winooski Valley Parks District, Circus Yoga, VINS

Conference activities subject to change.

JFF logoThe Children’s Conference is funded in part by the generous support of the Johnson Family Foundation. 

 

Interested in presenting or volunteering next year?  Contact info@nofavt.org

Children's Conference Documents

Please click here to download the informational packet about the 2012 NOFA Vermont Children's Conference.

Please contact the Liz Gleason, the Children's Conference Coordinator with any questions: elizabeth.j.gleason@gmail.com

Thanks!

Rideshare & Accomodations

We currently have rooms blocked at two local hotels: the Best Western and the Doubletree across the street. Make a weekend out of it!

We've also set up a blog to facilitate home-sharing. If you have room to offer or need a place to crash, visit nofavt.wordpress.com.

Looking for a ride? Have room in your car?
We've created a group on ridebuzz.com to facilitate ridesharing. Please click here to offer or search for a ride.

Friday Night Events

Opening Reception: 4-9pm; $10 + cash bar

Taking place at Main Street Landing in downtown Burlington (see below for map), we are pleased to offer an opening reception to start the conference off right! Enjoy local wine and beer, light appetizers, and tastings from Friday's workshops, including crisp apple slices and sweet honey. Sugarsnap Catering will provide additional tasty snacks and the Skinny Pancake will run the bar. $10 includes admission to our feature film, Queen of the Sun.

Film Screening: Queen of the Sun
6-7:30pm; $5, free to those attending the Opening Reception

QUEEN OF THE SUN: What Are the Bees Telling Us? is a profound, alternative look at the global bee crisis from Taggart Siegel, director of THE REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN.

Taking us on a journey through the catastrophic disappearance of bees and the mysterious world of the beehive, this engaging and ultimately uplifting film weaves an unusual and dramatic story of the heartfelt struggles of beekeepers, scientists and philosophers from around the world including Michael Pollan, Gunther Hauk and Vandana Shiva. Together they reveal both the problems and the solutions in renewing a culture in balance with nature.

Map to Main Street Landing


View Larger Map

Friday Intensive Seminars

This year we are featuring several day-long seminars on Friday. These will take place at Main Street Landing in downtown Burlington from 10am to 4pm on Friday, February 10.

Click for more information in each topic:

Cost: $55 member, $65 non-member. Lunch is included. Pre-registration required.

Advanced Orchard Health for Sustainable Fruit Production
For commercial growers

Fruit tree culture has been stuck in allopathic mode for far too long, solely seeking out short-term fungicides and antibiotics to destroy disease-causing organisms from without. We never understood that the tree’s own immune ability could be coupled with the stimulation of friendly microbes to defeat disease from within. Join orchard health expert Michael Phillips for a day of in-depth orchard care geared towards fruit producers looking for sustainable and nature-based production techniques.  Register here. 

Nose to Tail Processing
For farmers, homesteaders, and home cooks

Butchery is a cornerstone in an artful food system. This intensive workshop will educate you in the time-honored tradition of butchery.  Instructors Frank Pace, Head Butcher at Healthy Living Market, Sam Ehrenfeld of Greyrock Farm, and Sam Fuller of NOFA Vermont will guide you through a hands-on lesson in making fresh sausage. 

Discussion will focus on whole animal processing, cooking techniques for various cuts of meat and the chefs will demonstrate how to make several types of charcuterie including bacon, pate, salami, and ham.  Get intimate with your food as you roll up your sleeves and engage with this venerable art.  Register now!

Organic Beekeeping
For homesteaders & commercial farmers

This workshop provides an introduction for folks interested in small scale and backyard beekeeping. Featuring Local bee expert Ross Conrad, this workshop will present a balanced view of natural and organic beekeeping topics and practices including: location and equipment requirements; basic honey bee biology; sourcing bees, swarming as an expression of the bees vitality; presence and mindfulness in the bee yard; non-toxic pest and disease control; and an appreciation for the role that pollinators and beekeepers play within the Earth's ecosystem.  Register here. 

Weed Management in a Wetter, Warmer Climate 
For advanced, commercial growers

In a higher CO2 climate, weed physiology is changing and weed management systems must adapt as well. This workshop brings together three experts in weed management.

Dr. Lewis H. Ziska, plant physiologist, will examine weeds' shifting geographical ranges, competitiveness, resistance to control and reproductive responses in our warmer, wetter climate.

Dr. Eric Gallandt is a professor of Weed Ecology whose practical research focuses on reducing the germinable weed seedbank with soil disturbance, cover crops,  elevated seeding rates or inter-row hoeing and selective use of seed predators.

Tom "Geo" Honigford, of Hurricane Flats in South Royalton, Vermont, has a zero tolerance attitude towards weeds at his 8 acre diversified vegetable operation. Honigford will discuss several weed species and equipment and systems for their management, why he weeds at least every two weeks, and how his long-standing zero-tolerance philosophy is paying off.  Register here. 

Renewable Energy Options On-Farm and Alternative Fuels for Greenhouses
For commerical growers

Using renewable energy on farm can be simple in theory and complicated in practice. The first half of this full day workshop will outline how to conduct an on-farm energy audit and various options for financing renewable projects, while the second half will look at real on-farm solutions to alternative energy and greenhouse heating.  Register here. 

Agenda

10:00 - Welcome

10:15—Rose Wilson – Sustainable Business Planning

Rose specializes in marketing, business planning, and business development for farms, non-profits and small businesses.  She will discuss opportunities for farmers to receive support in integrating renewable energy into their greater farm management plans.

10:30— NRCS and Efficiency Vermont—Efficiency and Conservation 

There is financial help available for Vermont farmers looking to assess and retrofit their farm systems.    Bob Kort of Vermont Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and Jenn Osgood of Efficiency Vermont will provide an overview of auditing processes, assistance programs and some next steps to take once your audit is complete.

11:00— Chad Farrell, Encore Redevelopment

Encore Redevelopment specializes in project development services for renewable energy systems and manages the financing, permitting and construction of these projects for owners and investors.  Encore's Principal, Chad Farrell, will outline the details and opportunities associated with both farm-owned projects and third party financing models. He will share several examples of how farmers are diversifying their income streams through investing in and/or hosting renewable energy systems on their land.

 11:30—Caleb Elder, AllEarth Renewables

Caleb Elder, of AllEarth Renewables, will discuss the importance of the VT Group Net Metering rules for farms installing renewable energy systems. Group Net Metering allows farms to install solar or wind generation wherever they have the best resource (ridgeline for wind, barn roof for solar, etc.) and then apply the credits to multiple accounts. Caleb will also discuss some different AllEarth Renewables projects installed on farms in VT over the past two years.

12:30—Lunch catered by The Skinny Pancake

1:30—Alternative Fuels for Greenhouses

Heat Capture and Transfer from Aerobic Composting

Heat Capture and Transfer from Aerobic Composting is a valuable tool for farms seeking to reduce dependence on fossil fuel and grid based energy systems. Farms generating or having access to compostable feedstock can glean heat for space, water, greenhouse and other needs. This is a valuable technology for holistically focused farm operations.  Joshua Nelson and Brian Jerose run AgriLab Technologies, LLP and teach courses on composting and sustainability at Green Mountain College.

Outdoor Cordwood Gasifiers for Greenhouse Heating

High Ledge Farm maintains just over 4,000 sq feet of greenhouse space for bedding plant production and for growing greenhouse tomatoes and winter greens. Paul was interested in installing an alternatively fueled heating system following a devastating propane tank failure that led to a fire which destroyed almost all the farm’s buildings including his greenhouses in the spring of 2009.  In this workshop, Paul Betz will share why he chose to install a cord wood gasifier and how it provides energy security.  

Wood Pellet Central Heating Systems for Greenhouses

Ease your impact on the environment and lower your operational costs by heating your greenhouse with wood pellets. Workshop participants will learn about the operational costs, environmental, and local economic benefits of heating with wood pellets verses oil or propane.  The workshop will review a case study of a greenhouse wood pellet user and will discuss fuel cost comparisons, operational and maintenance requirements, and the origins and processes used to create wood pellets.  Andy Boutin is founder of Pellergy, LLC, a manufacturer of wood pellet central heating systems.

4:00 Closing. Opening Reception in the Lake Lobby begins.

 


Winter Conference Registration

Online and pre-registration have closed. You may still attend the conference by registering at the door. Please come to the Davis Center at the University of Vermont in Burlington. Registration begins at 8:00 am. Call (802) 434-4122 if you have any questions.

Walk-In Registration Rates

  Member Non-Member Lunch
Saturday $85 $100 Not Available
Sunday $85 $100 Not Available
Monday Intensive $70 $85 Not Available
Children's Conference $30 $30 Not Available

Volunteering

Volunteering is a great way to participate in the conference, and save money on your registration, too! A two-hour volunteer shift earns you a $15 discount. Limit one shift per attendee.

Sign up by contacting Maddie or Becca at the NOFA Vermont office at 802-434-4122 or info@nofavt.org prior to February 4th. You must confirm a volunteer position with the office before taking the volunteer discount.

Please email info@nofavt.org with your mailing address if you'd like to receive the printed brochure via mail. Subscribe to our e-newsletter or follow us on Facebook for the latest updates!

Winter Conference Scholarship Information

We make every effort to ensure that our conference is accessible to everyone. To this end, we offer two scholarship opportunities for the 2014 Winter Conference. Scholarships are limited, so we encourage early application - don't wait until the deadline!

Please apply before registering for the conference. Applicants who do not receive scholarships will still be able to register for the conference regular rate.

The deadline to apply for scholarships is January 24, 2014.
Please apply for only one scholarship.

1. General Winter Conference Scholarship

Thanks to donations from members, friends, and conference sponsors, we have a general scholarship fund which can cover up to 50% of registration costs (does not include meals or social events). NOFA Vermont members needing financial assistance to attend the conference may apply for this scholarship (Deadline is January 24.) If you would like to support our scholarship program, you can make a donation when you register.

This scholarship is now closed.

2. Beginning Farmer Scholarship

This scholarship is available specifically for beginning farmers (defined as those who have been farming for ten years or fewer). This scholarship covers a single-day registration fee (does not include meals or social events), and is supported by the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program of the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA, Grant #2010-49400-2184.

Click here to apply for the Beginning Farmer Scholarship.

 

Other scholarship opportunities:

Women farmers can apply for Vermont Farm Women's Fund Scholarships.

Vermont Farm Women's Fund scholarships can be used to defray registration fees for educational conferences, courses and classes. VFWF targets its scholarship awards to women who own, operate or work on Vermont farms, and who earn a majority of their income from farm-related activities. Scholarships can cover up to 75 percent of conference registration fees, but are capped at $150. Click here for application information. Applications must be submitted to VFWF at least 10 days prior to the event. If you have questions, please email vfwf@uvm.edu or call 802-223-2389.

 

UVM Students:

The University of Vermont is offering scholarships to 20 UVM students to attend one day of the conference. Application deadline is 1/24. Click here to apply.

 

Please do not apply for more than one scholarship. For questions regarding scholarships, please contact the NOFA office: 434-4122, info@nofavt.org.

Workshops

Saturday Workshops

Business & Marketing

Saturday, Session 1 - 10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Determining your Costs of Production
Presenter: Richard Wiswall (Cate Farm)
Ever wonder how much it costs to produce a dozen eggs? A feeder pig? Hoophouse greens? Are you making a profit with them given your current sales prices? Longtime organic farmer Richard Wiswall will demystify production costs for various farm ventures and show which ones are making money or not.  This group working session will simplify and enlighten the process of determining profitability for any of your farm endeavors. Beginning and seasoned farmers alike will benefit, and share in some eye opening results.

Best Practices for Opening Your Farm to Visitors
Presenters: Lisa Chase (UVM Extension, VT Tourism Research Center), Judith Irving and Calley Hastings (Fat Toad Farm), Stephanie Smith (VT Agency of Agriculture Food & Markets)

From farmstands and u-pick to special events, tours, and classes, farms of all sizes are opening their doors (and barns and fields) to visitors. As agritourism has grown rapidly in recent years, providing high quality, authentic experiences and products can be a challenge for many working farms. Join Lisa Chase from UVM Extension and VT Tourism Research Center, along with Judith Irving and Calley Hastings from Fat Toad Farm, and Stephanie Smith from the VT Agency of Agriculture as they share experiences and resources for ensuring that agritourism meets zoning regulations and is safe, educational, and profitable.

Saturday, Workshop Session 2 - 2:15 P.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Expanding Your Brand 101
Presenters: Lara Dickson (Deep Dish Creative), Serena Fox (Serena Fox Design Company)
This workshop focuses on the critical value of marketing and design in business profitability and success. Encouraging a dialog with Vermont farmers and producers, we will discuss brand recognition and loyalty—with  emphasis on visually and editorially reaching a target audience through packaging, social media and web. Topics include creating and/or refreshing current identity, establishing web presence, developing compelling newsletters or social media outreach and working with Google Analytics. We’ll discuss the importance of bridging your brand identity and print identity with online channels to maximize profitability.
Payroll & Tax Clinic for Farmer-Employers
Presenter: Roy Henshaw (Kneeland P.C. CPA)
Participants will learn how to set up a basic, accurate payroll system by reviewing all required payroll forms and filing requirements including calculating federal and state withholding, Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance and end-of-the year summary forms. Understand the tax implications, legality and classification of subcontractors, interns and employees and the appropriate hiring paperwork required. Even if don’t yet do payroll, or hire it out, learn the basics so you can plan for the future, make proper hiring decisions and follow your bookkeeper’s or accountant’s work.

Saturday, Session 3 - 3:45 - 5:00 p.m.

Food Traceability / Lot Tracking Solutions for Value-Added Processors (Specialty Food Makers)
Presenter: Stan Ward (FoodAg Tech)
This workshop is for value-added producers looking to learn about food traceability systems to (a) get prepared for increasing regulatory food traceability requirements, (b) sell to large buyers who require good traceability systems and labeling, and/or (c) ease the organic processor certification process by using a digital system. This session will present two solutions: a paper-based solution and a powerful and affordable web-based lot tracking solution called DEAR Inventory. Stan Ward from FoodAg Tech will teach you about food traceability, demonstrate the solutions, and review case studies of Vermont businesses using the solutions.
Farmers' Market Display and Merchandising
Presenter: Bruce Baker (B Baker Inc)
Join Bruce Baker from B Baker Inc as he explains current trends in market displays and merchandising and how to make them work for you. He will be addressing easy and successful systems for designing a farmers' market display, effective signage and branding, and dynamic sales and customer service techniques. Your stand is an important asset to your sales success. Learn to make every inch of your space count, without spending a fortune. Tips and tricks to get your customers to buy more and become repeat and loyal buyers is the focus of this workshop.

Commercial Crops

Saturday, Session 1 - 10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Heat from Composting - Latest developments and how to match options to your site
Presenters: Gaelan Brown (Agrilab Technologies), Brian Jerose (Agrilab Technologies)
This workshop is intended for livestock farmers, greenhouse growers and other producers/users of compost. In this workshop, learn about the latest developments from implemented projects at Vermont Compost Company, Jasper Hill Farm and the UNH Organic Research Dairy Farm with Brian Jerose and Gaelan Brown from Agrilab Technologies.  Discussion will include how to assess both the type and volume of compost feedstocks to implement a viable system, and how to best use the hot water and other thermal outputs for greenhouse, barn, shop or other building heating, and other applications. Technical level is intermediate to advanced. Presentation will include slides and video clips of implemented sites, and include an exercise of calculating annual and seasonal volumes of compost materials.
Aquaponics in Cold Climates
Presenter: Buzz Fervor (Perfect Circle Farm)
This workshop will be an overview of the design and two year operation of a typical aquaponics system in Buzz Fervor's greenhouse on Perfect Circle Farm in Worcester, VT. You will review the origins and concepts of aquaponics, the basics of component construction and how it integrates into the greenhouse/homestead/farming environment. The yields and benefits, along with the difficulties and challenges will be discussed. Photos and online resources will be included in this presentation.
Saturday, Session 2 - 2:15 - 3:30 p.m.
CSAs and Community Engagement
Presenters: Andy Jones (Intervale Community Farm), Danielle Allen (Your Farm), Suzanne Long (Luna Bleu Farm)
Join CSA farmers Danielle Allen (Your Farm, Fairlee, VT), Andy Jones (Intervale Community Farm, Burlington, VT), and Suzanne Long (Luna Bleu Farm, S. Royalton, VT) as they share how they organize their farms for successful community engagement of CSA members.
Why Do Good Vegetables Go Bad? Characteristics of storage crops, how they differ and what we can do about it?
Presenter: Chris Callahan (UVM)
In this workshop, Chris Callahan from UVM Extension will explore the biological characteristics of fruits and vegetables particularly in the post-harvest periods of processing, packing, storage and distribution. We will cover fundamentals such as respiratory metabolism, sources of mechanical damage, and pathogens and their vectors. We will also explore handling, culling, processing and storage systems and practices that help preserve product quality in the post-harvest value chain. People with interest in this session should also consider the related session on systems and controls.
Farm Mechanization and Efficiencies
Presenter: Richard Wiswall (Cate Farm)
Learn the tools of the trade for greater farming efficiency with Richard Wiswall from Cate Farm. Cultivation tools to maximize weed control, harvest tools to speed the harvest, and packhouse tools for quicker and easier processing will all be covered. Cost/benefit analysis will show how long it will take for a new tool to pay for itself.  Greenhouse innovations are highlighted as well.
Saturday, Session 3 - 3:45 - 5:00 p.m.
Growing mushrooms on the farm and forest
Presenter: Glenn Coville (Wild Branch Mushrooms)
Glenn Coville from Wild Branch Mushrooms will teach all the steps of growing gourmet and medicinal mushrooms on sawdust, straw, and logs with a prominent focus will be on sawdust. Varieties covered include: tree oyster, lions mane, bears head tooth, garden oyster, reishi, and turkey tail. You will learn the process and necessary equipment for every stage of cultivation. From lab set-up and culture technique, to grow-area set-up and best harvesting practices. These low-tech and simple methods will be applicable to growers at all levels.
Farmers and Their Soil Health Practices
Presenter: Vern Grubinger (UVM)
Vegetable farmers use different approaches to measure and manage nutrients, maintain organic matter, reduce tillage, and rotate cash crops and cover crops. In this workshop, Vern Grubinger, from UVM Extension, will show slides of diverse practices that organic farmers in the region are using to address the topics above, identify some key questions, and then invite participants to share their own experiences and knowledge in a facilitated discussion. 
Weed Management in the Horse-Powered Market Garden
Presenter: Stephen Leslie (Cedar Mountain Farm)
Stephen Leslie, from Cedar Mountain Farm and author of The New Horse-Powered Farm, will discuss weed management strategies (tools and systems) using draft horse power on contemporary market gardens. Stephen will cover old and new implements for row-marking and horse-drawn cultivation for row crops, as well as bio-extensive cover crop/bare fallow rotations, and drip and mulch systems, as part of a broader weed management strategy. This information will be relevant to all produce growers but will be of particular interest to new farmers or existing farms considering a transition to draft animals. Participants will gain a full understanding of how horse-drawn implements are utilized for effective weed control on contemporary produce farms.

Food Systems

Saturday, Session 1 - 10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Milk with Dignity
Presenters: Enrique "Kike" Balcazar, Abel Luna (Migrant Justice)
Hear first hand from farmworkers about what's life like for those who put milk and cheese on the table. In today’s highly consolidated food industry, multi-billion dollar brands leverage their volume purchasing power and benefit from lower milk prices. These lower prices come at the expense of human rights, livable wages and sustainable livelihoods for both farmworkers and farmers. Join Abe Luna, Enrique Balcazar and The Milk with Dignity campaign to build alliances between farmworkers, farmers, and consumers to invite dairy businesses to support dairy worker defined human rights standards and provide fair milk prices for participating farmers.

CANCELLED - "Sustainable Seafood" - Compared to What? It's All Relative - CANCELLED
Presenter: Peter Moore (Seafood Producers Cooperative)

 

USDA National Organic Program
Presenters: Nicole Dehne (NOFA-VT), Miles McEvoy (Deputy Administrator USDA NOP), Jean Richardson (National Organic Standards Board)
This session will cover the future of organic certification, organic hydroponics, sound and sensible certification, the National Organic Standards Board, and the revised sunset process. This workshop will be led by Miles McEvoy, the Deputy Administrator for the National Organic Program, Jean Richardson from the National Organic Standards Board and Nicole Dehne from NOFA-VT and Vermont Organic Farmers.
Saturday, Session 2 - 2:15 - 3:30 p.m.
Huertas Project: Farmworker Food Access
Presenters: Marie Frey (Hudak Farm), Josefa Hernandez (Huertas Participant), Naomi Wolcott-MacCausland (Interpreter), Teresa Mares (UVM/Huertas Project), Jessie Mazar (UVM/ Huertas Project)

This panel will present four different perspectives on the Huertas project, an applied food security program that works to increase food security among Latino/a migrant farmworkers living in rural parts of Vermont. Connected to UVM Extension’s Bridges to Health Program, Huertas was started in 2010 as an informal program to distribute seeds and plant starts to farmworkers living in rural areas of the state. The goal of the project is to increase access to more localized and culturally appropriate sources of food through planting kitchen gardens.
Capturing the Value of Your Ugly Produce & Reducing Food Waste
Presenters: Bryn Oakleaf (VT Agency of Natural Resources), Ismail Samid (The Gleanery)
This workshop will discuss the Universal Recycling law's Food Recovery Hierarchy and the importance of removing food and food scraps from the landfill; and how food that is unattractive or nearing its shelf life can be captured for nutritious meals. The information will be high level as it relates to the Universal Recycling law and introductory to moderate for the portions related to cooking unattractive produce. This workshop will be co-presented by Bryn Oakleaf, Environmental Analyst V with the Agency of Natural Resources and Ismail Samad, the Executive Chef of Daily Table and Chef/Partner of The Gleanery. The targeted audience for this workshop are attendees that are not familiar with the cross section of food rescue/food access and waste reduction.
Saturday, Session 3 - 3:45 - 5:00 p.m.
Occupy Fair Trade: Understanding Labels & Forging a Movement
Presenter: Louis Battalen (Domestic Fair Trade Association)
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the numerous fair trade claims and labels? How can our involvement in fair trade extend beyond the grocery shelf? The Domestic Fair Trade Association has developed principles and criteria for evaluating social justice standards. Louis Battlen, from the Domestic Fair Trade Association, will review key findings from DFTA’s Evaluation Program that identifies how adequately certification programs address and utilize these results within their 2015 food justice movement campaigns. Participants will discuss incorporating this work into their lives as consumers, farm workers and farmers, and jointly as NOFA members of the DFTA.
How Scale-Appropriate Regulation Supports Family Farms and Community Food Systems
Presenters: Peter Burmeister & Katherine Fanelli (Burelli Farm), Susan & Ryan Hayes (The Farm of Milk & Honey), Andrea Stander (Rural Vermont)
The economic viability of Vermont’s family farms and the affordability of local food is being hindered by impractical and inappropriate laws, rules, policies and enforcement procedures. Hear the stories of two family farms who are trying to grow their businesses while following ALL the rules. Bring your story to share too - as a farmer or a consumer - and we'll have a lively and strategic discussion about how we can work together to improve on the current regulatory environment for local food.

Homesteader

Saturday, Session 1 - 10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Easy Great Compost
Presenter: Wendy Sue Harper (WSH Consulting)
This workshop will help you figure out the best composting method to use for your home, garden and yard with Wendy Sue Harper from WSH Consulting. This workshop will examine compost ecology, discuss what not to compost, look at cool versus hot composting, examine several easy cool-composting methods, and discuss the benefits of composting.
Moving Water with Water – Building your own Hydraulic Ram Pump
Presenter: Josh Brill (Breezy Meadows Orchards and Nursery)
Learn how to build your own low maintenance, no electricity pump that works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you’re a farmer or home gardener needing to bring water up hill to irrigate your garden, quench your animals’ thirst, or help fill a pond and you have moving water and a little bit of elevation drop this pump will work for you.  Josh Brill from Breezy Meadows Orchards and Nursery will walk through the construction and use of the pump with materials that can be found at your local hardware store.
Homesteading in the 21st Century  - Transitioning to a Home Based Economy
Presenter: Anneli Carter-Sundqvist (Deer Isle Hostel)
Anneli Carter-Sundqvist from Deer Isle Hostel will share some of the strategies she and her husband developed to reach a self-sufficient, home based economy. Homesteading today, in this part of the world, is a lot about resisting the temptations from the general economic system where more is merrier, bigger is better and growth is greater. Anneli will outline the benefits she's found by staying away from this system and how she strives to keep a clear vision of when enough is enough. The audience is encouraged to join the discussion with their experiences and questions.
Saturday, Session 2 - 2:15 - 3:30 p.m.
Stepping Up Your Home Garden: a vegetable farmer's perspective on making the most from your garden
Presenters: Kara Fitzgerald and Ryan Wood-Beauchamp (Evening Song Farm)
Do you feel like you could be doing more with your home vegetable garden? In this workshop, Kara Fitzgerald and Ryan Wood-Beauchamp from Evening Song Farm will share useful tips and tricks for making the most of your garden space, extending the season, and having FUN with your garden!  Drawing on their experience as gardeners and vegetable farmers, Kara and Ryan will share a variety of tips and tricks to add to your vegetable gardening repertoire this season.
Dense Planting Methods for Raised Beds
Presenters: Tim King and Markey Read (Honey Dew Homestead)
Want to get the most from your garden with the lease amount of effort? Here’s a hot tip: The deeper the bed, the more densely you can plant; the more densely you plant, the bigger the yield per square foot, and the fewer weeds you will have to deal with. Join Markey Read & Tim King of Honey Dew Homestead in this interactive workshop and learn even more valuable tips tools, and techniques for how you can create a highly productive vegetable and herb garden using Bio-Intensive methods. *Due to high demand, this workshop is back again from last year's conference*
Natural and Mechanical Cooling Methods for Farm and Homestead Storage
Presenters: Chris Chaisson (Whole Farm Services), Kirk Jones (Whole Farm Services)

Chris Chaisson and Kirk Jones from Whole Farm Services will discuss the various means being used on farms for keeping storage chambers cold throughout the year. In the winter we have an abundance of cold temperatures which can be stored and used in the summer. The talk will focus on using different seasonal methods to keep energy costs low, build resilience in food storage systems, and utilize various means of accessing both natural and mechanical systems when appropriate. Promising renewable energy options utilizing tri- generation, solar, and waste-heat will be shared to foster further understanding of ways to adapt conventional cold storage spaces such as walk-in coolers and freezers. Ice will be discussed in depth as an option for storing winters cold energy and the different systems used to keep and store it for use during the summer.
 Saturday, Session 3 - 3:45 - 5:00 p.m.
Mycoremediation of Contaminated Soil and Water
Presenter: Tradd Cotter (Mushroom Mountain LLC)
Many species of edible fungi sweat powerful enzymes into the environment capable of molecular disassembly of complex molecules such as hydrocarbons, aromatic chlorinated compounds, and pesticides. Mushrooms native to your area of the U.S. are also well adapted to filter, stun and destroy pathogenic bacteria that accompany failing septic systems, manure holding ponds, and even pet waste runoff. Learn how these mushrooms perform these miraculous tasks and how to develop a living barrier or filtration system that is customized to fit your needs with Tradd Cotter of Mushroom Mountain LLC and author of Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation. With methods for beginners to advanced growers, this talk will focus on biomass expansion, site engineering, and species of mushrooms that can be used for mycoremediation projects and brownfield to greenfield conversion planning.
Spiritual Stewardry; working with energetics of place
Presenter: Fearn Lickfield (Green Mountain School of Druidry)
Calling all land holders and aspiring stewards! Do you want to learn how to tune in and understand the subtle energetics and workings of the land where you live and/or garden? In this workshop, Fearn will give an overview of Geomancy and earth energetics and explain some of the common issues that show up in the land. She will introduce techniques to assess and respond to the sacred landscape to bring about clearing, balance, healing and fertility. You will leave with a clearer understanding and tools to take home and practice so you can co-create harmony and vitality with the land.

Localvore

Saturday, Session 1 - 10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Herbal Medicine Making
Presenter: Betzy Bancroft (Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism)
Making herbal medicine is an ancient and wonderful skill that makes it possible for us to administer the goodness of plants for healing. Primarily through demonstration, Betzy Bancroft, from the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism, will cover the basic techniques for making teas, infused oils and vinegars, and tinctures. We’ll also discuss how these recipes can be made into salves, compresses and more.
Fermenting by Season
Presenter: Tara Whitsitt (Fermentation on Wheels)
Tara Whitsitt of Fermentation on Wheels will hold a hands-on vegetable fermentation workshop, where she will teach with local, seasonal ingredients. Whitsitt will share the benefits of microbial preservation and how you can creatively & fearlessly ferment in your own kitchen. She will also highlight how fermentation offers a multitude of preservation options that can provide sustenance through the winter as well as create value-added product. This workshop targets beginners through experts, offering a thorough overview of the art of fermenting vegetables.
Saturday, Session 2 - 2:15 - 3:30 p.m.
Apitherapy - Health and Healing with Hive Products
Presenter: Ross Conrad (Dancing Bee Gardens)
The honeybee and hive products have historically played a large role in disease care and prevention. Today science is finally catching up to what naturalists, herbalists, and acupuncturists have known for years. Ross Conrad from Dancing Bee Gardens covers the production, processing and healing uses of honey, pollen, propolis, beeswax, royal jelly, and honeybee venom.
Building Quebec Bread Ovens with Schools and Communities
Presenter: Joseph Kiefer (Food Education/Food Justice Consultant)
Joseph Kiefer will explain the step by step process for designing and building a Quebec Bread Oven with a community or a school. This process involves ALL students and many parents and community members in the process: from building the base to weaving the alder frame followed by the clay day of mixing loaves of clay to place on top of the frame. The clay is then shaped to look like the school mascot such as a Newt, a Wolverine or a Bulldog. As part of the curriculum, students taste test a variety of recipes, bake them in the oven and eat them back in their classroom or take home to their families.
 Saturday, Session 3 - 3:45 - 5:00 p.m.
Organic Homebrewing
Presenter: Robbie Leeds (Otter Creek Brewery & Wolaver's Fine Organic Ales)
Join Robbie Leeds, who works at Wolaver's Fine Organic Ales and Otter Creek Brewery, to discuss organic brewing and beer making. This workshop will also discuss the differences between organic and conventional brewing. Come with your questions and be prepared to learn about organic brewing and beers!
Farm and Sing: Putting the Culture Back in Agriculture
Presenters: Bennet Konesni, Edith Gawler, Josh Karp and Maria Schumann (Cate Hill Orchard), Kristin Urie (Bonnieview Farm)
As long as people have been farming, they have been singing about it: harvest and planting songs, songs to influence the weather, songs about or for livestock. Josh, Maria, and Kristin have been singing together for over 10 years, and, in this workshop, will give examples of agricultural songs from around the world and talk about some ways to incorporate singing into farm work and life. We will also teach a few songs for participants to bring home and share with family or farm workers - come prepared to sing!

Livestock

Saturday, Session 1 - 10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Assessing Your Livestock Markets
Presenter: Joe Emenheiser (UVM)
Developing sustainable livestock production systems are a matter of matching animals, resources, and markets. UVM Extension livestock specialist Joe Emenheiser will discuss trends and opportunities in Vermont livestock production, along with considerations for the future.
Preventing Grazing Pitfalls: Learning from Our Cows and Pastures
Presenter: Sarah Flack (Sarah Flack Consulting)
Grass based organic farmers know the importance of pasture as the primary feed source for their cattle. But part of managing pastures well is honing our observation skills to assess what the plants and animals are telling us about their health. In this workshop, presented by grazing and organic certification specialist Sarah Flack, we will review the key grazing principles that help your cattle maximize dry matter intake from pastures and avoid potential problems. We will also look at 3 items to observe to determine the health of your pasture management: livestock, their manure, and pasture plants.
Saturday, Session 2 - 2:15 - 3:30 p.m.
Scaling Up Egg Production: Can it work on my farm?
Presenters: Mark Cannella (UVM Extension), Sona Desai (Intervale Center), John Smith (Maple Wind Farm), Sam Smith (Intervale Center)
This workshop will focus on the research done by Intervale Center and UVM Extension Staff around the feasibility of egg production on the 1000 bird plus scale. Topics to be covered will include best management practices for large scale pastured production, market demand for eggs, legal considerations for egg sales, and the financial implications of different size layer operations. This workshop will be useful for farmers who currently have layers and are considering adding more birds and/or seeking new markets.
Pigs: Creating the Right Conditions for Success
Presenter: Brooks Miller (North Mountain Pastures), Anna Santini (North Mountain Pastures)
Brooks and Anna Miller started raising pigs on pasture in 2009. They have gone through a range of farrowing setups, fencing configurations, and feeding regimes. Currently, they keep 15-20 sows year round, and farrow twice a year. Making use of portable hoophouses for housing and sorting, both open fields and woods are grazed by pigs. In 2013, they butchered over 150 pigs sold through CSA, sausage, and charcuterie. Brooks will lead participants through the evolution of their hog production system, sharing marketing and infrastructure tips that worked or didn’t work throughout their time raising pigs.
 Saturday, Session 3 - 3:45 - 5:00 p.m.

Homeopathy for Commercial Livestock Farms
Presenter: Bay Hammond (Doolittle Farm)
This workshop will include discuss homeopathic principles, guidelines on how to administer a remedy and what to expect during the healing process. Using observation and keynotes we will discuss how to choose a remedy and then look at specific remedies (with a list of their keynotes) currently used on commercial farms. Questions during the presentation are encouraged.

Livestock Manure Management
Presenter: Brian Jerose (Agrilab Technologies), Jenn Colby (UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture)
Attendees will receive an overview of bedded pack housing options currently used in Vermont and beyond.  Descriptions of herd health, manure management, soil quality benefits and possible management challenges will be provided.  A sample manure volume and bedding requirement calculation will be performed to show how a new bedded pack system can be planned.  This tool can project the total bedding inputs and estimated costs for managing a successful bedded pack.

 

Sunday Workshops

Business & Marketing

Sunday, Session 1 - 10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
What Makes Your Farm Business Unique: How to Identify & Promote Your Attributes
Presenter: Pam Knights (Pam Knights Communications)
Learn about what goes into developing a solid brand and crafting messaging that captures the essence of your farm business. Branding and marketing communications strategist Pam Knights will talk about how to identify your unique selling points and consistently articulate them to promote your brand across all forms of marketing communications from print, websites and social media. In her PowerPoint presentation, Pam will show numerous examples of farm and agritourism businesses she has worked with over the years, leaving  time for questions.
Slow Money Vermont: An introduction for entrepreneurs, community investors and service providers
Presenter: Eric Deluca & Caitlin Jenness, Slow Money VT
Slow Money is an international movement that asks people to invest as if food, farms, and fertility really mattered. Since its founding, more than $38 million has been invested in small food enterprises around the US. Come learn about the emergent Slow Money Vermont network and explore the opportunities, challenges, and considerations that go into the creative, alternative financing arrangements inspired by Slow Money. This workshop will provide an introduction into these topics, with ample time for questions and discussion.
Labor Laws that Every Farmer-Employer Should Know  
Presenter: Kenneth Miller (Law for Food)
This workshop details the federal and state laws and regulations governing labor relations for agricultural businesses. Are you clear on the varying definitions between interns, volunteers, field labor, retail labor and casual labor? Do you know the different labor laws enforced whether employees are working with products bought off-farm versus products produced on-farm? Learn the detailed requirements for minimum wage, workplace safety, workers’ compensation, overtime exemptions and unemployment insurance whether you currently have employees or may hire them in the future. Get your questions answered now by Kenneth Miller from Law for Food.
Sunday, Session 2 - 2:15 - 3:30 p.m.
Farmstands: Differences between Staffed and Unstaffed Models
Presenters: James and Sara Donegan (Trillium Hill Farm), Joie Lehouillier (Foote Brook Farm)
This workshop will present the pros and cons of having a staffed and unstaffed farmstand and what to consider when thinking about incorporating a farmstand to your farm or business.
Growing for Wholesale: the Options, Opportunities and Conditions
Presenters: Pat Burns (City Market, Onion River Food Co-op), Abbie Nelson (NOFA VT and VT FEED),  Annie Rowell (VT Food Venture Center), Abbey Willard (VAAFM)
Selling products directly to consumers through CSAs or farmers’ markets may seem to provide the greatest monetary return for farmers. However, considering the time and resources invested in these direct relationships, maybe not. Diversifying production and growing for wholesale markets provides an opportunity for bulk sales, efficiencies, and long term markets. Join this panel to discuss and learn about opportunities for producers to access wholesale markets including food co-ops, processors, institutions, and independent grocery stores.
Sunday, Session 3 - 3:45 - 5:00 p.m.
Your First Organic Farm Inspection: Being Prepared & Keeping Records
Presenters: Nicole Dehne (NOFA-VT), Amanda Gervais (Savage Gardens), Wendy Sue Harper (WSH Consulting)
Get the inside perspective of what an organic inspector is looking for during a farm inspection and how best to be prepared. We’ll discuss the role of the inspector, what inspectors do and don’t do on a farm, farm audits, and record keeping. We’ll also cover sources for products, stock, and compost approved for use on organic farms. Amanda Gervais from Savage Gardens will share the electronic record keeping system used on her farm that helps her meet the requirements for organic certification and helps her analyze her business.
Making the Most of Farm Employment and Training
Presenters: Maggie Donin (Intervale Center), Eli Hersch (Riverberry Farm), Jen Miller (RAFFL), John Smith (Maple Wind Farm)
The goal of our workshop is to help beginning and intermediate farmers understand different types of farm jobs, farm careers, and training opportunities. Maggie Donin from the Intervale Center will begin this workshop with an overview of different types of farm positions, setting goals for a farm season as an employee and working towards those goals, knowing if a farm is a good fit, effective communication with your employer, interviewing, and what to do if a job is not working out. Maggie's presentation will be followed by a panel of three farmers with different positions and training paths, including Eli Hersch from Riverberry Farm, Jen Miller from RAFFL, and John Smith from Maple Wind Farm.

Commercial Crops

Sunday, Session 1 - 10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Wash it in January:  Filling the Off-Season
Presenter: Justin Rich (Burnt Rock Farm)
Summers can be made slightly less hectic by separating the growing and selling portions of the year. There are multiple tradeoffs, including constructing ever more infrastructure, as deep winter storage requires high quality harvested product in combination with conditions designed to preserve that quality. Risks and rewards of this marketing strategy will be discussed, as well as production methods to maximize quality and equipment to maintain it. Join Justin Rich of Burnt Rock Farm as he describes his experience with winter crop storage on his farm.
Exclusion Netting for Management of Spotted Wing Drosophila on Vermont Farms
Presenters: Dr. Victor Izzo (UVM, Champlain College), Hannah Link (UVM), Rachel Schattman (UVM),  Adam Hausmann (Adam's Berry Farm)
This workshop's speakers will include researchers Rachel Schattman and Hannah Link (to present their 2014 study of netting efficacy on commercial blueberry farms and best practices for commercial netting trellises), insect ecologist Dr Victor Izzo (who will present the most recent information about SWD life cycles in the northeaster US), and farmers Adam Hausmann (from Adam's Berry Farm, Charlotte) who will discuss on farm management. The panel will be targeted to commercial growers and will be useful for both those that have little knowledge of SWD and those who are well versed in the challenges this new pest presents. This workshop will be conducted as a panel with ample time for Q&A.
Sunday, Session 2 - 2:15 - 3:30 p.m.
Up and Coming Crops: Popcorn, Sweet Potatoes and Ginger
Presenters: Eugenie Doyle (Last Resort Farm), Geo Honingford (Hurricane Flats), Timothy Hughes-Muse (Laughing Child Farm)
Join our experienced panelists as they discuss up-and-coming crops for our state. Eugenie Doyle of Last Resort Farm will discuss the ins-and-outs of growing ginger. She will be joined by Geo Honingford from Hurricane Flats to talk about the biggest issues with popcorn production. Timothy Hughes-Muse from Laughing Child Farm, Vermont's largest sweet potato grower, will talk about how this crop works for him and his farm.
Swede midge, a new devastating pest of Brassica crops within the Northeastern US
Presenters: Dr. Yolanda Chen (UVM), Andy Jones (Intervale Community Farm), Tony Lehouillier (Foote Brook Farm), David Marchant (Riverberry Farm), Chase Stratton (UVM)

This workshop is intended for established and beginning farmers that plan to grow Brassica crops (collards, kale, cauliflower, bok choy, kohlrabi, etc.). Join Dr. Yolanda Chen and Chase Stratton of UVM, Tony Lehouillier of Foote Brook Farm, Andy Jones from Intervale Community Farm, and David Marchant from Riverberry Farm as they discuss the severity of the problem, present their most recent lab findings, and then hold a Q&A discussion on the trade-offs of the most promising pest control tactics.
Sunday, Session 3 - 3:45 - 5:00 p.m.
Managing and Marketing a Year-Round Diversified CSA
Presenter: Christa Alexander (Jericho Settlers Farm Inc.)
Want to take a summer vacation? Learn how Christa Alexander and Mark Fasching of Jericho Settlers Farm have adjusted their farm’s production and marketing cycles to even-out their work load and cash flow, while building year-round employment opportunities for their farm crew. Two of their quietest months on the farm are now July and August. Learn what infrastructure investments, marketing opportunities, management strategies, and lifestyle choices they have undertaken to keep their farm in full production year-round. 
Commercial Production of Elderberry – A Crop with Exciting Potential for Vermont!
Presenters: David Fried (Elmore Roots Nursery), Todd Hardie (Caledonia Spirits), John Hayden (The Farm Between), Ginger Nickerson (UVM), Stan Ward (Three Springs Farm)

Elderberry is easy to cultivate, subject to few pests and diseases, and has low establishment costs. It grows well in floodplains, and can tolerate short-term flooding. Over 35 Vermont distilleries and herbal medicine businesses use elderberry, but buy most of their berries from elsewhere. In this workshop intended for commercial growers, four experienced elderberry growers will discuss: varietal selection, propagation, cultivation, processing and marketing strategies related to commercial elderberry (and aronia, a similar species), cultivation, opportunities for working with conservation districts on planting elderberry in riparian areas, and the potential for aggregating product.

Food Systems

Sunday, Session 1 - 10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Farm-Based Education Through the Lens of Sustainability
Presenters: Ethan Bodin, Rachel Cadwallader-Staub, Vera Simon-Nobes (All of Shelburne Farms)
Are you exploring the idea of opening your farm for education, or looking to build on educational experiences you currently offer? In this interactive workshop, Shelburne Farms educators, Ethan Bodin, Rachel Cadwallader-Staub and Vera Simon-Nobes will share how to use the lens of sustainability to add value to farm-based experiences. We’ll highlight some farmer-approved activities that focus on themes of sustainability such as Community and Cycles, and explore how to apply them to your site.  
Sunday, Session 2 - 2:15 - 3:30 p.m.
Fish On - Exploring Lake Champlain as a Food Source
Presenters: James Ehlers (Lake Champlain International), Bruce Hennessey (Maple Wind Farm), Grace Meyer (Vermont Fresh Network), Chef Doug Paine (Juniper at Hotel Vermont and Bleu Northeast Seafood)
The Vermont Fresh Network is working in partnership with Lake Champlain International to get more local fish on Vermont restaurant menus and to open up a conversation about water quality. Our panel will feature Executive Chef Doug Paine of Juniper at Hotel Vermont and Bleu Northeast Seafood, Farmer Bruce Hennessey of Maple Wind Farm and James Ehlers, Executive Director of Lake Champlain International and will be moderated by Grace Meyer of the Vermont Fresh Network. There will be ample time for audience questions and discussion.
Sunday, Session 3 - 3:45 - 5:00 p.m.
In Their Own Words: Cultivating Future Leaders through Youth Farm, Food, and Nutrition Programs
Presenters: Amy Gifford (NOFA VT/ VT FEED), Panelists include: Keshav Pokhrel (Burlington High School), Jacob Hicks (Twin Valley Union High School), John Wagner (Vergennes Union High School), Julia Eastham (Rock Point School), Laura Cassety (Montpelier High School), Tomas Rogel, (Montpelier High School), Raven Ryomuto, (Mount Anthony Union Middle School
)
Self-esteem, confidence, and leadership skills flourish when students participate in experiential, food-based youth programs. Amy Gifford from NOFA-VT will facilitate this workshop with a diverse panel of students from across Vermont who will share their experiences growing, harvesting, preparing, and selling food. We'll hear from youth panelists how these experiences have directly affected them academically, socially, and emotionally.

Homesteader

Sunday, Session 1 - 10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
An Overview of Food Preservation
Presenter: Andrea Chesman
What are the pros and cons of canning, freezing, drying and cold storage of vegetables? What is the best way in terms of time, ease of use of final product, taste, and texture? What are the safety issues and nutritional aspects of each preservation method? How much can one person accomplish during the busy growing season? Samples of food preserved by each method will be provided  and equipment will be brought in and shown as a basis for an interesting discussion.
Practical Home-scale Permaculture
Presenters: Aaron Guman (Walking Onion), Nicko Rubin (East Hill Tree Farm)
Nicko Rubin from East Hill Tree Farm and Aaron Guman from Walking Onion have been working to establish productive permaculture landscapes in Vermont and throughout the Northeast. In permaculture healthy gardens and landscapes are created using ecological principles to mimic natural ecosystems. What concepts and tools make the most sense for application at the homestead scale? How do we create productive and ecologically rich perennial landscapes in the Northeast? We will discuss strategies for growing perennial vegetables, berries, fruit trees and nuts in the context of diverse, mutually supportive polycultures, as well as making the most of challenging soils and sites. Time will be given for question and answer.
Kiwifruits, An Uncommon Fruit for Backyards and Markets
Presenter: Lee Reich (Springtown Farmden)
Hardy kiwifruit is a cousin to the fuzzy market kiwifruit but tastes better. The plant has minimal pest problems so, along with its unique, delicious flavor, is ideally suited for growing in backyards or for market. This workshop will cover everything from variety choice to planting, pruning, harvesting, storing, and marketing.
Sunday, Session 2 - 2:15 - 3:30 p.m.  
Indoor Gardening: Seed to Salad in Seven Days
Presenter: Peter Burke (The Daily Gardener)
You don't need a greenhouse to grow fresh salad greens throughout the winter! Avid gardener and educator Peter Burke will demonstrate how by sharing pictures, designs, and techniques for managing an indoor garden. His simple design doesn't require expensive or special equipment, and will produce winter greens year round. Peter will bring samples of his produce to share and send you home with your own tray of seeds so you can start growing your own greens, even in February. *Due to the high demand this workshop is back again from last year's conference.*
Whole Health Gardening – Bringing Nutrient Density to Your Backyard
Presenter: Jenny Prince (jennygrows.com)
Because of their small scale, backyard growers have the unique ability to apply the concepts of nutrient density quickly and effectively to their gardens. Jenny Prince, of Jenny Grows, will teach you how to use a simple online calculator to craft a personalized amendment recipe for your garden, which can help you grow veggies (and soil!) with superior nutrition. Compost addicts, raised bed gardeners, and total beginners are all welcome.
Compost Tea: True Elixir or Snake Oil?
Presenter: Lee Reich (Springtown Farmden)
After going over the essentials – what is compost tea and its potential uses – Lee Reich from Springtown Farmden will discuss aerated compost tea, as currently recommended in some circles. Theoretically, does it make sense, and, in practice, has it proved effective? Lee will also explore the utility of compost evaluation. Discussion is encouraged at this workshop.
Sunday, Session 3 - 3:45 - 5:00 p.m.
Planning the Garden for Year Round Eating
Presenter: Clotilde Hryshko (Camp Merrishko)
Plan your garden to meet your goals for year-round eating. Clotilde Hryshko of Camp Merrishko will lead this workshop and will include ideas on freezing and canning methods as well as how to plan for seeding and growing based on food processing in a timely manner. Part of the discussion will include different soil types and how they influence timing and varieties.
Working with Honey Bee Queens
Presenter: Ross Conrad (Dancing Bee Gardens)
The queen bee is the only fertile female bee in the hive and can lay 1,500 eggs or more a day during the peak of summer. Ross Conrad from Dancing Bee Gardens will provide beekeepers with information they need to work productively with queens. Participants will learn how to differentiate between healthy queens and unhealthy ones, receive tips on how to introduce queens into a hive, and how to address queen problems that may arise.
Rotational Grazing with Few Livestock
Presenter: Bruce Howlett (Bobolink Farm)
Very small groups of animals limit some aspects of grazing management. Small flocks/herds behave differently than larger ones, the infrastructure is expensive on a per-head basis, and it is challenging to try to apply a high-impact grazing system. How can you efficiently use rotational grazing with a small number of animals, what is minimally needed to make it work, and how can you achieve the benefits of high stocking density when you don’t have much stock? Bruce Howlett from Bobolink Farm will draw on his experience grazing sheep in his yard and give you strategies to take back to your own homestead.

Localvore

Sunday, Session 1 - 10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Cultivating Mushrooms for Everyone: Simple and High Yielding Home and Homesteading Techniques
Presenter: Tradd Cotter (Mushroom Mountain LLC)
Mushroom cultivation can be easier than growing many types of vegetable plants, if you know a few shortcuts and cultivation secrets! This easy-to-follow program is a must for anyone thinking about growing mushrooms on a small scale at home or in need of producing volumes for area markets. Join Tradd Cotter of Mushroom Mountain, LLC and author of Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation to learn how to "think like a mushroom", build fungal biomass, and produce mushrooms consistently for fun or profit. Participants will use three different methods of cultivation that will be useful for growing over 50 different edible and medicinal mushroom species with little or no infrastructure.
Preserving the Harvest: Hams and Bacon
Presenters: Brooks Miller and Anna Santini (North Mountain Pastures)
Brooks and Anna Miller farm North Mountain Pastures, a meat CSA delivering to the central Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. areas. They produce artisan sausage and cured meats in addition to the usual cuts of pastured pork and chicken and grassfed beef and lamb. They started raising pigs on pasture in 2009. After slaughtering their first round of pork, Brooks decided to take the leap into making their own bacons and hams. While the first batch left much to be desired, they have since built a butcher shop on their farm, and have perfected a range of ham styles and bacons.
Step by Step Healing Using the GAPS Diet
Presenter: Mary Brackett (The Heal Your Gut Cookbook and MG Brackett)
This workshop will be an in depth look at the GAPS Diet, which stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome. The GAPS Diet refers to disorders, including ADD/ADHD, autism, addictions, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, stemming from or exacerbated by leaky gut and dysbiosis. The workshop will include information on gut health as the root of illness, the many conditions a GAPS Diet works to heal, a step-by-step overview of the diet, detailed information of how to make bone broth, the number one staple of the GAPS Diet, and a hands on demonstration on how to make various fermented foods, including sauerkraut, ginger carrots, kefir and beet kvass.
Sunday, Session 2 - 2:15 - 3:30 p.m.
Home Scale Mozzarella Making
Presenter: Kalyn Campbell (Family Cow Farm)
Want to impress your friends by making mozzarella in your own home? Join Kalyn Campbell from the Family Cow Farmstand to learn the art of mozzarella making. There will be samples to try and bring home. Time will be allotted to discuss raw milk, dairying and cheese.
Local Food, Local Medicine
Presenter: Kate Westdijk (Clinical Herbalist)
Localvores seeking vibrant health and prevention of heart disease, cancer and other chronic illnesses need look no further than their backyard or neighborhood farm! Join herbalist Kate Westdijk to hear about the power of familiar plants and fungi to restore and maintain wellness. Share your favorite uses and learn new ways to prepare them in your home. Discuss how we all can support a healthy environment and food system through place-based natural medicine.
Maple Sugar and Other Treats
Presenters: Jacques and Pauline Couture (Couture's Maple Shop)
Join Jacques and Pauline Couture, owners of Couture's Maple Shop, and learn how to make maple sugar and other treats. The Couture's will be demonstrating how to make maple candy, answer questions, and will discuss their maple sugar business.
Sunday, Session 3 - 3:45 - 5:00 p.m.
How Plants Make Us More Human: An Evolutionary Perspective
Presenters: Mika McDonald (CF Natural Health), Kenzie McDonald
Why does the human body need and respond so strongly to certain plants? How has our co-evolution with plants shaped our organ systems and our need for relationships with the natural world? Join a discussion of the emerging science at the convergence of evolutionary biology, herbalism, nutrition, and ecological medicine to find out how to engage our evolutionary heritage to optimize our health. Mika and Kenzie McDonald will discuss how much of our physiology relies on the presence of certain plants for optimal health, and how their absence spells doom for the health of modernized humans. We’ll also demonstrate how to make simple herbal remedies to address common health complaints.
Taking Care of Your Brain with Food, Herbs and Fun
Presenter: Marie Frohlich
Brain health is important for all ages as we navigate the various environmental, food, and other toxins in our world of work and family life challenges. Marie Frohlich will provide tools, tips, food as medicine, herbal recipes and exercises to support your brain health. This workshop will include a food demo and a few fun challenges for your brain.

Livestock

Sunday, Session 1 - 10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Lab Approved Practices for Small-Scale Raw Milk Production
Presenter: Nick Zigelbaum (Bob-White Systems Laboratory)
This workshop will provide the basic knowledge for producing raw milk at your home or farm. Topics covered will include: how to find a good family cow, testing before buying, how to set up an adequate milk parlor, how to hand-milk in a clean manner, milk processing for drinking, and a walk-thru of the standard dairy tests. Nick Zigelbaum manages a dairy lab in central vermont and hand-milk two cows at home. Homesteaders, micro-dairies and raw milk consumers should find this workshop useful.
Producing Quality Lamb on Pasture
Presenters: Joe Emenheiser (UVM), Chet Parsons (Parsons' Farm)
The moist, moderate conditions of the Northeast are ideal for raising excellent grass and grassfed lamb. However, it takes considerable management to produce quality forage throughout the growing season. Also, moist, moderate conditions are ideal for the growth of larvae of the internal parasites of sheep, presenting additional challenges. Forage availability must be timed to match the lambs' nutritional needs for growth and finishing. Finally, the ability to assess a lamb's degree of finish and market readiness is critical to ensuring a quality product. Join Joe Emenheiser from UVM Extension and Chet Parsons from Parsons' Farm to discuss all of these considerations, and possibly some miscellaneous old shepherd ramblings.
Sunday, Session 3 - 3:30 - 5:00 p.m.
How to Maintain a Healthy Flock of Sheep and a Healthy Shepherd
Presenter: Chet Parsons (Parsons' Farm)
Join Chet Parsons from Parsons' Farm to discuss some of the diseases that can affect sheep and how to maintain a healthy flock. Each time a shepherd has to deal with a health problem, it costs time and money. To maintain a profitable operation, one has to control expenses and use time in the most efficient manner. Buying meds and treating sheep are not the best use of resources. Therefore, maintaining a flock of sheep that are healthy should be one of the goals of a profitable operation.
Pastured Goose Production Challenges and Opportunities
Presenter: Wesley Bascom (Gozzard City)
In this workshop Wesley Bascom from Gozzard City will be reporting back from a SARE Study conducted in the summer of 2014 which focused on evaluating several different management techniques for raising geese on pasture. The presentation will include both the quantitative (weekly weight gain, feed conversion rate, pasture quality metrics, etc.) and qualitative results of the study. Wesley will also discuss their experience this summer of the ins-and-outs of raising and marketing geese in northern Vermont. The presentation will be aimed at anyone who is considering the addition of geese to their grazing or pastured poultry programs.

Community and School Gardens

Sunday, Session 1 - 10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Community-based Gardening: Getting Started
Presenters: Susan Munkres (Calahan Community Garden), Libby Weiland (VCGN)
Community-based gardens play a vital role in people’s lives—bringing green spaces to neighborhoods, building community, providing access to fresh healthy foods, and more.  Learn how you can create a place for people to grow and learn together right where you live, play or work.  Join garden organizer Susan Munkres of Calahan Community Garden and Libby Weiland of Vermont Community Garden Network for this hands-on session.  Leave with concrete tools for getting started, planning activities for moving to the next phase, and problem-solving techniques for keeping projects going.
Sunday, Session 2 - 2:15 - 3:30 p.m.
Learning in the Garden: Adult Teaching Gardens
Presenters: Lisa Hoare (Fletcher Allen Healthcare), Denise Quick (Vermont Community Garden Network)
Hands-on “teaching gardens” provide supportive environments for adults to learn basic gardening skills and gain confidence to garden on their own. We will explore two successful teaching gardens: Vermont Community Garden Network’s Community Teaching Garden and Fletcher Allen’s Rooftop and Fanny Allen Gardens. Teaching garden instructors Denise Quick and Lisa Hoare will share information about their programs’ development and how they address the unique needs of adult learners. Go home with tips, tools, and inspiration for starting your own teaching garden or incorporating adult learning into existing garden programs.
Learning in the Garden: Curriculum Integration
Presenters: Helen Fields (Mount Anthony Union Middle School), Stephen Greene (Mount Anthony Union Middle School), Abby Foulk (Charlotte Central School), Deirdre Holmes (Charlotte Central School)
As school gardens become mainstays of school campuses, educators are eager to find ways to use these gardens for standards-based learning. Hear from Helen Fields and Stephen Greene of Mount Anthony Union Middle School as well as Deirdre Holmes and Abby Foulk from Charlotte Central School about the innovative ways their schools have integrated gardens into classroom curriculum and successful techniques for incorporating the Common Core. Head back to school with ideas, resources, and curriculum from the presenters and other fellow educators.
Sunday, Session 3 - 3:45 - 5:00 p.m.
Garden Organizer Discussion: Volunteers in Community Gardens
Presenters: Laurie Dana (United Way of Chittenden County), Libby Weiland (VCGN)
Join fellow community and school garden organizers for this discussion-based roundtable, diving into a topic that’s on all of our minds: volunteers. Libby Weiland from Vermont Community Garden Network and Laurie Dana, Coordinator of Volunteer Mobilization for United Way of Chittenden County, will provide professional insights on recruiting, involving, and retaining volunteers. Come with your burning questions, share your best practices, and gain new ideas for working with this group of people that are crucial to the work we all do in community-based gardens and beyond.

2015 Winter Conference RFP

33rd NOFA Vermont Annual Winter Conference
February 14 & 15, 2015 • University of Vermont, Burlington, VT

Proposal application period:
August 1, 2014 – September 15, 2014

Proposals will not be accepted after September 15, 2014

Proposal submission link:
https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2015RFP

[Click here to download this RFP in PDF form.]

GENERAL INFORMATION

About the Conference:

The NOFA-VT Annual Winter Conference is Vermont’s largest agricultural conference, bringing together more than 1,500 farmers, gardeners, homesteaders, educators, policy makers and consumers for three days of workshops, networking sessions, meals and celebration.

PLEASE NOTE: This year we are combining many aspects of NOFA-VT’s Direct Marketing Conference (DMC) into the Winter Conference, and will not be hosting a separate DMC in January.  There will be a separate farmers’ market organizer conference in collaboration with the Vermont Farmers’ Market Association in March 2015.

 

2015 Conference Specifics:

Location: University of Vermont’s Davis Center and surrounding campus, Burlington, VT

General conference programming: Saturday & Sunday, February 14-15th

Full day intensive workshops: Date to be confirmed; Friday, February 13th or Monday, February 16th.

 

Goals of the Conference:

The goal of the conference is to facilitate learning and sharing of information on all aspects of local, organic food production, marketing, and consumption.  Our conference aims to create a gathering space that fosters collaboration between diverse groups of people, while also meeting the specific needs of these varied groups. The suggested topics below apply in the broadest sense. Additional topics will be considered. 

  1. Technical commercial organic vegetable, fruit, herb, flower, dairy & livestock production (beginner – advanced)
  2. Direct marketing strategies and best practices: CSA, farmstands, farmers’ market vending, etc.
  3. Procurement and infrastructure: distribution, processing, storage, food safety and cooperative models
  4. Education: farm-based education, experiential education, school gardens
  5. Agri-business marketing, technology, and business planning
  6. Food security and access
  7. Homesteading and gardening (beginner - advanced)
  8. Health, wellness and nutrition
  9. Alternative energy, climate change and resiliency
  10. Policy, activism, and community engagement

 

SESSION DETAILS

Duration:

We will offer at least sixty 1.25 hour workshops, and some 2.5-hour double workshops over the course of Saturday and Sunday. You can expect between 30 – 120 people in attendance.

 

Intensives:

We will host one day of “intensive” workshops on Friday, February 13th or Monday, February 16th.  These intensive workshops are an opportunity to dig deep into a topic area and are typically 4 - 6 hours long (with a mid-day lunch break). Compensation arrangements for intensives will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

 

Presenter requirements, responsibilities, and tips

We encourage interactive sessions that provide opportunities for significant audience participation. These sessions may include individual or group discussions, small group work, or hands-on tasks. PowerPoint presentations are not required, and if used, we encourage a creative approach. Interactive and hands-on vs. lecture-only sessions have the highest appeal and tend to be the most beneficial to attendees.  Of course, we’re looking for high quality, educational, sessions. Sessions that focus on how to implement a system, idea, etc. without having to hire a consultant are preferred; selling services or products cannot be the focus of the session.

Panels are welcome. Prior to submission of the proposal all panel members should be contacted and their commitment confirmed. There is a maximum of 4 panelists per session. Panelists do not receive honorariums (see Compensation Benefits, below).

We ask that presenters allow for 10 to 15 minutes of question and answer at the end of each session. It’s imperative that presenters do not allow one attendee to monopolize discussion. Presenters are expected to handle such attendees appropriately. There will not be facilitators for all sessions. 

Handouts/supplemental materials need to be provided by the presenter 10 days prior to the conference. NOFA will provide the appropriate number of photocopies at no charge to the presenter. 

 

Set up:

Unless requested differently by the presenter, each classroom will be set up “lecture style” with a table up front for the presenter. 

 

Audio Visual (AV):

The following AV will be provided:

  1. LCD Projectors with connections to PC laptops or computers
  2. Projector Screen
  3. Wireless internet
  4. Flip chart & markers OR white board with markers 

The following AV must be supplied by the presenter:

Your presentation on a flash drive or in your email. If you prefer to use your personal laptop, you must bring the appropriate adapter cords if it is a Mac.

 

COMPENSATION BENEFITS (for single and double person presentations only)

  1. Presenters may choose a $50 honorarium, a 1-year membership to NOFA-VT, or registration and lunch for an additional weekend day of the conference (for presenter only, not transferrable to friends/family).
  2. Complimentary registration and lunch will be provided on each day presenting.
  3. One night’s accommodations in a local hotel will be provided if one-way travel by car exceeds 4 hours.
  4. Handouts that are sent to NOFA 10 days prior will be photocopied at no cost.

For panels with three or four presenters each panelist will receive a one-day complimentary registration and lunch for the day they are speaking. We’re sorry that we cannot offer honorariums or complimentary accommodations for panel presenters. Panels with more than 4 presenters will not be accepted.

 

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

This is a competitive process and only a limited number of proposals will be accepted. Proposals will be reviewed by the conference committee and sessions that best meet the needs of the conference attendees and overall conference goals will be selected. You can submit more than one presentation or submit a presentation which requires back to back sessions. Each subsequent session should build on the initial content and add depth to it.  Incomplete proposals will not be considered. To submit your proposal, please follow the following link:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2015RFP

Questions and Information

For more information about the conference and/or information concerning workshop content and submission process, contact Barbara Richardson at 802-434-4122 or info@nofavt.org 

Submission of a proposal is not a guarantee of its acceptance.

All proposals will be reviewed by a committee. Notification of your proposal’s status will be provided by October 15, 2014. 

Thank you for your interest in participating in NOFA-VT’s 33rd Annual Winter Conference. The event is NOFA-VT’s largest fundraiser and makes it possible for us to run the programs that educate and connect farmers, gardeners, and their communities throughout the year. The success of our conference is due in large part to the support of the many talented presenters who choose to participate each year.

Children's Conference

Kids making art

We are always excited to welcome the next generation of farmers, gardeners, and food lovers to the conference!

Kids at the conference

We encourage parents to register their children ages 5-12 at NOFA-VT’s Children’s Conference, taking place at the same time as the adult conference on the UVM campus Saturday and Sunday.

At the Children’s Conference, participants attend workshops in felting and print-making, go outside for workshops on tracking and making shelters, and create their own snacks by baking in NOFA’s mobile oven, drying fruit, or making bicycle smoothies.

Children also have the opportunity to create original songs and work with fabulous local artist Bonnie Acker on the Community Art Project and making Valentine’s Day cards. Look for the full schedule of events online at www.nofavt.org/conference.

The cost of registration is $30/child/day, and space is limited. Lunch is not included in the cost of registration. Children are welcome to join adults for lunch at the children’s price of $10. Of course, you’re also welcome to pack a bag lunch for your kids!

Please note: Space is limited—there will be few walk-in registrations available.  

Schedule (workshop details here):

Location: Aiken Center, UVM

8:00-8:15

Registration & Check-in

8:15-8:45

Children's Yoga

8:45-9:05

Group Orientations

9:05-11:15

Workshop Session I

11:15

Community Art

12:15-1:00

Local Foods Lunch ($10)

1:15

Outdoor Play

2:05-4:15

Workshop Session II

3:15-5:00

Quiet play

5:00

Parents arrive.  Pick up, pack up and head out!

Workshop presenters include: Bonnie Acker (Acker Arts), Shelburne Farms, Joanna May (Music Together), Laughing River Yoga, and Chittenden Solid Waste.

Conference activities subject to change.

Johnson Family Foundation

Interested in volunteering?  Contact info@nofavt.org

Thank you to our Children's Conference sponsor: The Johnson Family Foundation Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation

Child Care

Childcare • Ages 2–5

Cost per 75 minute workshop session: $10 for first child, $5 for each addition child from the same family.

*As of January 21, there has been very little interested in childcare indicated to us. If you would like this service to be available, please let us know when you pre-register!*

If there’s enough interest, we will offer a supervised childcare option for children aged 2–5. Childcare is by drop-off only, and available only during workshop sessions. It is not intended as all-day care. Workshops are 75 minutes, and parents will be charged by the workshop session.

Available on first come, first serve basis. Maximum number of children allowed in the room will be 10. If you are interested in childcare as a service, please indicate when you register. (This does not obligate you or reserve a space, only allows us to gauge the level of interest.)

Please check back here for more updates!

Children's Conference - SATURDAY Schedule

Time

Workshop Title

Presenter

Description

8:00-8:15

Registration & Check-In

   

8:15-8:45

Children’s Yoga-Rise and Shine!

Brian Tobin (Laughing River Yoga, Evolution Yoga)

A gentle, playful, and fun way for children of all ages to start their days at the NOFA Children's Conference.  Come celebrate themes of nature and connectivity while we move our bodies and breath.  Laughter and silliness guaranteed!

8:45-9:05

Group Orientation

   

9:05-11:15

Workshop Session I (40 minute rotations)

   
 

1) Worms Alive! Composting with Red Wigglers

Rhonda Mace (Chittenden Solid Waste District, School and Youth Outreach Coordinator)

Join us on this ‘wormshop’ adventure as we learn how our kitchen food scraps can be re-composed into plant food: compost!  We will learn about how worms break down food scraps to produce a nutritious food source for house plants, vegetables, and flowers AND reduce the food waste in your kitchen with little maintenance.  Attendees will set up their very own worm farm to start composting at home.  A worm bin guide will be provided as well as all of the supplies and supplemental home science experiments using the worm castings (compost).

 

2) Wheat to Bread

Emily Boone, Kaiti Davis, & Kelly Taylor (Shelburne Farms)

Explore the process of growing wheat, grinding, wheat and collecting flour to make into dough.

 

3) Winter Tracking - Who’s Not Hibernating?

Meghan Feldmeier, Kate Parsons & Stephanie Pittman (Merck Forest & Farmland)

Discover signs of animals that are active in winter! Create track patterns and learn to  identify a variety of animals. Determine how to tell direction of travel and animal activities in the winter landscape

11:15-12:15

Community Art:

Pop-Up Valentines!

Bonnie Acker (Acker Arts)

People of all ages will work together  to create multi-colored paper 3D valentines.

12:15-1:15

Lunch

   

1:15-2:00

Outside Play

   

2:05-4:15

Workshop Session II (40 minute rotations)

   
 

1) It’s a Wooly World!

Emily Boone, Kaiti Davis, & Kelly Taylor (Shelburne Farms)

Join Shelburne Farm educators to learn where fiber comes from! Card and spin a piece of wool to take home and participate in other wooly activities.

 

2) Wood Fired Pizza

Meghan Stotko (Cook/Farmer- Heartwood Farm & Mobile Grill)

Participants will mix whole grain sourdough pizza crust, practice tossing and

stretching a round, and top their pizza with seasonal vegetables.

 

3) Recycled Instrument Jam

Joanna May (Music Together with Joanna May)

In this hands-on workshop, you’ll create your own wearable percussion set,

transforming recyclables into awesome instruments. Join in a big jam session at the end!

4:15-5:00

Quiet Play

   

5:00

Parents Arrive

   

Children's Conference

Children's Conferece

Is your child attending the Children's Conference? Click here for details & important forms!


Children’s Conference • Ages 6–12
Registration: $30/child/day

Please welcome the Children’s Conference to the University of Vermont campus! The Davis Center’s Livak Ballroom will come alive with stories, singalongs, art projects, guided movement, lunch- time parades, feathery friends and bike-powered blenders. Kids will join their parents for lunch, then move off campus for a field trip each afternoon.

The Saturday field trip to ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center will educate and delight about the Ecology, Culture, History, and Opportunity for stewardship in the Lake Champlain Basin and beyond. Kids are active learn- ers at ECHO as they explore more than 70 live species of animals and more than 100 interactive exhibits.

On the Sunday field trip to the Flynn Center for Performing Arts, a professional teaching artist will engage kids in an afternoon of creative capers that bring local food systems to life. This special outing is designed to dynamically  deepen your child’s connections with science, eco systems, life cycles of plants and more.

Included in the cost of registration:

  • Creative activities in the Livak Ballroom, Davis Center, UVM
  • Transportation to ECHO Center (Saturday) and the Flynn (Sunday)
  • Entrance to ECHO Center (Saturday) and programming at the Flynn (Sunday).
  • Snacks

Lunch is not included in the registration cost. Children are welcome to join adults for lunch at the Children’s price of $10. Of course, you’re also welcome to pack a bag lunch for your kids!

Children's Conference Details & Forms

Dear Children’s Conference Parent,

 

Thank you for pre-registering your child for the 2013 NOFA-VT Children's Conference! The conference is just a week away, and we're looking forward to having you there! Attached to this email are your conference materials. If possible, please print the medical waiver and photo release (attached below) and bring them with you when you check your child in. If you can't print these, we will have extra copies at registration.

 

On the day of the conference, please make sure to check your child in at the registration table in front of the Frank Livak Ballroom on the 4th floor of the Davis Center at UVM. Do not go to the general conference registration on the 1st floor. Let us know about any allergies or dietary restrictions, and designate an adult to pick your child up at the end of the day (5pm) and at lunchtime.

 

Your "what to bring" backpack list is located on page two of the informational letter, attached below. We do plan for outdoor play, so please prepare accordingly!

 

Have questions between now and then? Please contact Vera.

 

Thanks, and see you soon,

 

- Vera and Danielle

 

**************

 

Vera Simon-Nobes

NOFA-VT Assistant Conference Coordinator

vera@nofavt.org

(802) 338 1114 (cell)

 

Danielle Pipher

NOFA-VT Children’s Conference Coordinator

daniellepipher@gmail.com

(802) 498 8030 (cell)

AttachmentSize
Welcome & Information737.81 KB
Schedule Details1.44 MB
Medial Waiver (doc)1.83 MB
Photo Waiver (doc)1.81 MB

Sunday Schedule

Time

Workshop Title

Presenter

Description

8:00-8:15

Registration & Check-In

   

8:15-8:45

Children’s Yoga-Rise and Shine!

Brian Tobin,

Laughing River Yoga, Evolution Yoga

A gentle, playful, and fun way for children of all ages to start their days at the NOFA Children's Conference.  Come celebrate themes of nature and connectivity while we move our bodies and breath.  Laughter and silliness guaranteed!

8:45-9:05

Group Orientation

   

9:05-11:15

Workshop Session I (40 minute rotations)

   
 

1) Fantastic Food Art

Becca Mitchell, Green Mountain Farm-to-School

Who says you can’t play with your food? In this workshop, we will explore different creative ventures using fruits and vegetables. From natural dyes to vegetable stamps, attendees will take part in a variety of art projects using the foods we love to eat! Children will have an opportunity to bring home one-of-a-kind prints or wearable pieces.

 

2) Spectacular Soup!

Alayna Morrin & Ryann Collins, Green Mountain Farm-to-School

Soup is healing for the body and mind, particularly during this cold, dry season. Whether using a structured recipe or everything but the kitchen sink, soup combats runny noses and warms us up after playing in the snow. This hands-on workshop will equip children with the ability to (help) make a warm meal for the whole family.

 

3) Details coming soon!

   

11:15-12:15

Community Art: Pop-Up Valentines!

Bonnie Acker, Acker Arts

People of all ages will work together  to create multi-colored paper 3D valentines.

12:15-1:15

Lunch

   

1:15-2:00

Outside Play

   

2:05-4:15

Workshop Session II (details to be announced.)

   

4:15-5:00

Quiet Play

   

5:00

Parents Arrive

   

Conference Schedule

Based on attendee feedback, we are starting a little bit later on Sunday this year to give you time to do chores, travel, or have a nice breakfast in town. Please plan to be at the fourth floor of the Davis Center promptly each day for the beginning of the morning activities.

SATURDAY
8:00 am
Registration & Exhibitors' Fair open; refreshments available
9:00–10:30 am
Keynote: Natasha Bowens
10:45 am–12:00 pm
Workshop Session I
12:00–2:00 pm
Lunchtime Activities
  Lunch: 12:00–2:00
  Roundtables: 1:00–2:00
2:15–3:30 pm
Workshop Session II
3:45–5:00 pm
Workshop Session III
5:15–7:30 pm
Saturday Social & Seed Swap
 
SUNDAY
8:30 am Registration & Exhibitors' Fair open; refreshments available
9:30–10:30 am Story and Poetry Slam
10:45 am –12:00 pm Workshop Session I
12:00–2:00 pm Lunchtime Activities
  Lunch: 12:00–2:00
  Roundtables: 1:00–2:00
2:15–3:30 pm Workshop Session II
3:45–5:00 pm Workshop Session III
5:15-6:15 pm Ice Cream Social 

Subscribe to our e-newsletter or follow us on Facebook for the latest updates!

AttachmentSize
WC15-brochure12-17.pdf3.3 MB

Saturday Roundtables

1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

Time for Vermont to move towards Food Justice For All!
Facilitated by Joseph Kiefer
This Roundtable will start with a brief set of images on food justice work in Vermont and brainstorm how we shift from the dominant paradigm of short term hunger relief to creating the conditions for long-term food self-reliance as the outcome for food justice.
National Organic Program Discussion with Miles McEvoy
Miles McEvoy, NOP Deputy Administrator & Dr Jean Richardson, Chair, National Organic Standards Board and Organic Inspector
Come discuss the standards for the organic production of crops, livestock and processed organic foods. Bring your concerns and questions.
Balancing Work and Family
Roundtable Host: Shoshanah Inwood
Farmers often cite the desire to live and work on a farm with their children, but it can be challenging to balance household and business needs. Join Shoshanah Inwood from UVM to discuss how the availability and cost of child care influences your farm operation, and offer solutions to challenges.
What is Humane? How to Think About, and Use, Agriculture's Most Slippery Word
Roundtable Host: Carrie Abels
Join Carrie Abels from Humaneitarian and Vermont's Local Banquet to discuss what “humane agriculture” means to us personally and brainstorm ways in which ethical farmers can capitalize on (and foster) the public’s growing concern about farm animal welfare.
OTA’s Farmer Advisory Council and Organic Checkoff Discussion
Roundtable Hosts: Nate Lewis and Nicole Dehne
Join OTA’s Senior Crops and Livestock Specialist, Nate Lewis, in a roundtable discussion on OTA’s Farmer Advisory Council which aims to elevate the voices of organic producers nationwide and provide a vehicle for effective communication back to organic farmers on the issues that will affect their businesses the most. Also, hear the latest updates, get your questions answered, and express your concerns regarding the organic research and promotion program (organic checkoff) that OTA is actively moving forward.

Saturday Session II

2:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Business & Marketing
Expanding Your Brand 101
Presenters: Lara Dickson (Deep Dish Creative), Serena Fox (Serena Fox Design Company)
This workshop focuses on the critical value of marketing and design in business profitability and success. Encouraging a dialog with Vermont farmers and producers, we will discuss brand recognition and loyalty—with  emphasis on visually and editorially reaching a target audience through packaging, social media and web. Topics include creating and/or refreshing current identity, establishing web presence, developing compelling newsletters or social media outreach and working with Google Analytics. We’ll discuss the importance of bridging your brand identity and print identity with online channels to maximize profitability.
Payroll & Tax Clinic for Farmer-Employers
Presenter: Roy Henshaw (Kneeland P.C. CPA)
Participants will learn how to set up a basic, accurate payroll system by reviewing all required payroll forms and filing requirements including calculating federal and state withholding, Social Security, Medicare, unemployment insurance and end-of-the year summary forms. Understand the tax implications, legality and classification of subcontractors, interns and employees and the appropriate hiring paperwork required. Even if don’t yet do payroll, or hire it out, learn the basics so you can plan for the future, make proper hiring decisions and follow your bookkeeper’s or accountant’s work.

 

Commercial Crops

CSAs and Community Engagement
Presenters: Andy Jones (Intervale Community Farm), Danielle Allen (Your Farm), Suzanne Long (Luna Bleu Farm)
Join CSA farmers Danielle Allen (Your Farm, Fairlee, VT), Andy Jones (Intervale Community Farm, Burlington, VT), and Suzanne Long (Luna Bleu Farm, S. Royalton, VT) as they share how they organize their farms for successful community engagement of CSA members.
Why Do Good Vegetables Go Bad? Characteristics of storage crops, how they differ and what we can do about it?
Presenter: Chris Callahan (UVM)
In this workshop, Chris Callahan from UVM Extension will explore the biological characteristics of fruits and vegetables particularly in the post-harvest periods of processing, packing, storage and distribution. We will cover fundamentals such as respiratory metabolism, sources of mechanical damage, and pathogens and their vectors. We will also explore handling, culling, processing and storage systems and practices that help preserve product quality in the post-harvest value chain. People with interest in this session should also consider the related session on systems and controls.
Farm Mechanization and Efficiencies
Presenter: Richard Wiswall (Cate Farm)
Learn the tools of the trade for greater farming efficiency with Richard Wiswall from Cate Farm. Cultivation tools to maximize weed control, harvest tools to speed the harvest, and packhouse tools for quicker and easier processing will all be covered. Cost/benefit analysis will show how long it will take for a new tool to pay for itself.  Greenhouse innovations are highlighted as well.

 

Food Systems

Huertas Project: Farmworker Food Access
Presenters: Marie Frey (Hudak Farm), Josefa Hernandez (Huertas Participant), Naomi Wolcott-MacCausland (Interpreter), Teresa Mares (UVM/Huertas Project), Jessie Mazar (UVM/ Huertas Project)

This panel will present four different perspectives on the Huertas project, an applied food security program that works to increase food security among Latino/a migrant farmworkers living in rural parts of Vermont. Connected to UVM Extension’s Bridges to Health Program, Huertas was started in 2010 as an informal program to distribute seeds and plant starts to farmworkers living in rural areas of the state. The goal of the project is to increase access to more localized and culturally appropriate sources of food through planting kitchen gardens.
Capturing the Value of Your Ugly Produce & Reducing Food Waste
Presenters: Bryn Oakleaf (VT Agency of Natural Resources), Ismail Samid (The Gleanery)
This workshop will discuss the Universal Recycling law's Food Recovery Hierarchy and the importance of removing food and food scraps from the landfill; and how food that is unattractive or nearing its shelf life can be captured for nutritious meals. The information will be high level as it relates to the Universal Recycling law and introductory to moderate for the portions related to cooking unattractive produce. This workshop will be co-presented by Bryn Oakleaf, Environmental Analyst V with the Agency of Natural Resources and Ismail Samad, the Executive Chef of Daily Table and Chef/Partner of The Gleanery. The targeted audience for this workshop are attendees that are not familiar with the cross section of food rescue/food access and waste reduction.

 

Homesteader

Stepping Up Your Home Garden: a vegetable farmer's perspective on making the most from your garden
Presenters: Kara Fitzgerald and Ryan Wood-Beauchamp (Evening Song Farm)
Do you feel like you could be doing more with your home vegetable garden? In this workshop, Kara Fitzgerald and Ryan Wood-Beauchamp from Evening Song Farm will share useful tips and tricks for making the most of your garden space, extending the season, and having FUN with your garden!  Drawing on their experience as gardeners and vegetable farmers, Kara and Ryan will share a variety of tips and tricks to add to your vegetable gardening repertoire this season.
Dense Planting Methods for Raised Beds
Presenters: Tim King and Markey Read (Honey Dew Homestead)
Want to get the most from your garden with the lease amount of effort? Here’s a hot tip: The deeper the bed, the more densely you can plant; the more densely you plant, the bigger the yield per square foot, and the fewer weeds you will have to deal with. Join Markey Read & Tim King of Honey Dew Homestead in this interactive workshop and learn even more valuable tips tools, and techniques for how you can create a highly productive vegetable and herb garden using Bio-Intensive methods. *Due to high demand, this workshop is back again from last year's conference*
Natural and Mechanical Cooling Methods for Farm and Homestead Storage
Presenters: Chris Chaisson (Whole Farm Services), Kirk Jones (Whole Farm Services)

Chris Chaisson and Kirk Jones from Whole Farm Services will discuss the various means being used on farms for keeping storage chambers cold throughout the year. In the winter we have an abundance of cold temperatures which can be stored and used in the summer. The talk will focus on using different seasonal methods to keep energy costs low, build resilience in food storage systems, and utilize various means of accessing both natural and mechanical systems when appropriate. Promising renewable energy options utilizing tri- generation, solar, and waste-heat will be shared to foster further understanding of ways to adapt conventional cold storage spaces such as walk-in coolers and freezers. Ice will be discussed in depth as an option for storing winters cold energy and the different systems used to keep and store it for use during the summer.

 

Localvore

Apitherapy - Health and Healing with Hive Products
Presenter: Ross Conrad (Dancing Bee Gardens)
The honeybee and hive products have historically played a large role in disease care and prevention. Today science is finally catching up to what naturalists, herbalists, and acupuncturists have known for years. Ross Conrad from Dancing Bee Gardens covers the production, processing and healing uses of honey, pollen, propolis, beeswax, royal jelly, and honeybee venom.
Building Quebec Bread Ovens with Schools and Communities
Presenter: Joseph Kiefer (Food Education/Food Justice Consultant)
Joseph Kiefer will explain the step by step process for designing and building a Quebec Bread Oven with a community or a school. This process involves ALL students and many parents and community members in the process: from building the base to weaving the alder frame followed by the clay day of mixing loaves of clay to place on top of the frame. The clay is then shaped to look like the school mascot such as a Newt, a Wolverine or a Bulldog. As part of the curriculum, students taste test a variety of recipes, bake them in the oven and eat them back in their classroom or take home to their families.

 

Livestock

Scaling Up Egg Production: Can it work on my farm?
Presenters: Mark Cannella (UVM Extension), Sona Desai (Intervale Center), John Smith (Maple Wind Farm), Sam Smith (Intervale Center)
This workshop will focus on the research done by Intervale Center and UVM Extension Staff around the feasibility of egg production on the 1000 bird plus scale. Topics to be covered will include best management practices for large scale pastured production, market demand for eggs, legal considerations for egg sales, and the financial implications of different size layer operations. This workshop will be useful for farmers who currently have layers and are considering adding more birds and/or seeking new markets.
Pigs: Creating the Right Conditions for Success
Presenter: Brooks Miller & Anne Santini (North Mountain Pastures)
Brooks and Anna Miller started raising pigs on pasture in 2009. They have gone through a range of farrowing setups, fencing configurations, and feeding regimes. Currently, they keep 15-20 sows year round, and farrow twice a year. Making use of portable hoophouses for housing and sorting, both open fields and woods are grazed by pigs. In 2013, they butchered over 150 pigs sold through CSA, sausage, and charcuterie. Brooks will lead participants through the evolution of their hog production system, sharing marketing and infrastructure tips that worked or didn’t work throughout their time raising pigs.

Saturday Session III

3:45 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Business & Marketing
Food Traceability / Lot Tracking Solutions for Value-Added Processors (Specialty Food Makers)
Presenter: Stan Ward (FoodAg Tech)
This workshop is for value-added producers looking to learn about food traceability systems to (a) get prepared for increasing regulatory food traceability requirements, (b) sell to large buyers who require good traceability systems and labeling, and/or (c) ease the organic processor certification process by using a digital system. This session will present two solutions: a paper-based solution and a powerful and affordable web-based lot tracking solution called DEAR Inventory. Stan Ward from FoodAg Tech will teach you about food traceability, demonstrate the solutions, and review case studies of Vermont businesses using the solutions.
Farmers' Market Display and Merchandising
Presenter: Bruce Baker (B Baker Inc)
Join Bruce Baker from B Baker Inc as he explains current trends in market displays and merchandising and how to make them work for you. He will be addressing easy and successful systems for designing a farmers' market display, effective signage and branding, and dynamic sales and customer service techniques. Your stand is an important asset to your sales success. Learn to make every inch of your space count, without spending a fortune. Tips and tricks to get your customers to buy more and become repeat and loyal buyers is the focus of this workshop.

 

Commercial Crops

Growing mushrooms on the farm and forest
Presenter: Glenn Coville (Wild Branch Mushrooms)
Glenn Coville from Wild Branch Mushrooms will teach all the steps of growing gourmet and medicinal mushrooms on sawdust, straw, and logs with a prominent focus will be on sawdust. Varieties covered include: tree oyster, lions mane, bears head tooth, garden oyster, reishi, and turkey tail. You will learn the process and necessary equipment for every stage of cultivation. From lab set-up and culture technique, to grow-area set-up and best harvesting practices. These low-tech and simple methods will be applicable to growers at all levels.
Farmers and Their Soil Health Practices
Presenter: Vern Grubinger (UVM)
Vegetable farmers use different approaches to measure and manage nutrients, maintain organic matter, reduce tillage, and rotate cash crops and cover crops. In this workshop, Vern Grubinger, from UVM Extension, will show slides of diverse practices that organic farmers in the region are using to address the topics above, identify some key questions, and then invite participants to share their own experiences and knowledge in a facilitated discussion. 
Weed Management in the Horse-Powered Market Garden
Presenter: Stephen Leslie (Cedar Mountain Farm)
Stephen Leslie, from Cedar Mountain Farm and author of The New Horse-Powered Farm, will discuss weed management strategies (tools and systems) using draft horse power on contemporary market gardens. Stephen will cover old and new implements for row-marking and horse-drawn cultivation for row crops, as well as bio-extensive cover crop/bare fallow rotations, and drip and mulch systems, as part of a broader weed management strategy. This information will be relevant to all produce growers but will be of particular interest to new farmers or existing farms considering a transition to draft animals. Participants will gain a full understanding of how horse-drawn implements are utilized for effective weed control on contemporary produce farms.

 

Food Systems

Occupy Fair Trade: Understanding Labels & Forging a Movement
Presenter: Louis Battalen (Domestic Fair Trade Association)
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the numerous fair trade claims and labels? How can our involvement in fair trade extend beyond the grocery shelf? The Domestic Fair Trade Association has developed principles and criteria for evaluating social justice standards. Louis Battlen, from the Domestic Fair Trade Association, will review key findings from DFTA’s Evaluation Program that identifies how adequately certification programs address and utilize these results within their 2015 food justice movement campaigns. Participants will discuss incorporating this work into their lives as consumers, farm workers and farmers, and jointly as NOFA members of the DFTA.
How Scale-Appropriate Regulation Supports Family Farms and Community Food Systems
Presenters: Peter Burmeister & Katherine Fanelli (Burelli Farm), Susan & Ryan Hayes (The Farm of Milk & Honey), Andrea Stander (Rural Vermont)
The economic viability of Vermont’s family farms and the affordability of local food is being hindered by impractical and inappropriate laws, rules, policies and enforcement procedures. Hear the stories of two family farms who are trying to grow their businesses while following ALL the rules. Bring your story to share too - as a farmer or a consumer - and we'll have a lively and strategic discussion about how we can work together to improve on the current regulatory environment for local food.

 

Homesteader

Mycoremediation of Contaminated Soil and Water
Presenter: Tradd Cotter (Mushroom Mountain LLC)
Many species of edible fungi sweat powerful enzymes into the environment capable of molecular disassembly of complex molecules such as hydrocarbons, aromatic chlorinated compounds, and pesticides. Mushrooms native to your area of the U.S. are also well adapted to filter, stun and destroy pathogenic bacteria that accompany failing septic systems, manure holding ponds, and even pet waste runoff. Learn how these mushrooms perform these miraculous tasks and how to develop a living barrier or filtration system that is customized to fit your needs with Tradd Cotter of Mushroom Mountain LLC and author of Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation. With methods for beginners to advanced growers, this talk will focus on biomass expansion, site engineering, and species of mushrooms that can be used for mycoremediation projects and brownfield to greenfield conversion planning.
Spiritual Stewardry; working with energetics of place
Presenter: Fearn Lickfield (Green Mountain School of Druidry)
Calling all land holders and aspiring stewards! Do you want to learn how to tune in and understand the subtle energetics and workings of the land where you live and/or garden? In this workshop, Fearn will give an overview of Geomancy and earth energetics and explain some of the common issues that show up in the land. She will introduce techniques to assess and respond to the sacred landscape to bring about clearing, balance, healing and fertility. You will leave with a clearer understanding and tools to take home and practice so you can co-create harmony and vitality with the land.

 

Localvore

Organic Homebrewing
Presenter: Robbie Leeds (Otter Creek Brewery & Wolaver's Fine Organic Ales)
Join Robbie Leeds, who works at Wolaver's Fine Organic Ales and Otter Creek Brewery, to discuss organic brewing and beer making. This workshop will also discuss the differences between organic and conventional brewing. Come with your questions and be prepared to learn about organic brewing and beers!
Farm and Sing: Putting the Culture Back in Agriculture
Presenters: Bennet Konesni, Edith Gawler, Josh Karp and Maria Schumann (Cate Hill Orchard), Kristin Urie (Bonnieview Farm)
As long as people have been farming, they have been singing about it: harvest and planting songs, songs to influence the weather, songs about or for livestock. Josh, Maria, and Kristin have been singing together for over 10 years, and, in this workshop, will give examples of agricultural songs from around the world and talk about some ways to incorporate singing into farm work and life. We will also teach a few songs for participants to bring home and share with family or farm workers - come prepared to sing!

 

Livestock

Homeopathy for Commercial Livestock Farms
Presenter: Bay Hammond (Doolittle Farm)
This workshop will include discuss homeopathic principles, guidelines on how to administer a remedy and what to expect during the healing process. Using observation and keynotes we will discuss how to choose a remedy and then look at specific remedies (with a list of their keynotes) currently used on commercial farms. Questions during the presentation are encouraged.

Livestock Manure Management
Presenter: Brian Jerose (Agrilab Technologies), Jenn Colby (UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture)
Attendees will receive an overview of bedded pack housing options currently used in Vermont and beyond. Descriptions of herd health, manure management, soil quality benefits and possible management challenges will be provided. A sample manure volume and bedding requirement calculation will be performed to show how a new bedded pack system can be planned. This tool can project the total bedding inputs and estimated costs for managing a successful bedded pack. Led by Brian Jerose from Agrilab Technologies and Jenn Colby from UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

Saturday Workshop Session I

 

10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Business And Marketing

Determining your Costs of Production
Presenter: Richard Wiswall (Cate Farm)
Ever wonder how much it costs to produce a dozen eggs? A feeder pig? Hoophouse greens? Are you making a profit with them given your current sales prices? Longtime organic farmer Richard Wiswall will demystify production costs for various farm ventures and show which ones are making money or not. This group working session will simplify and enlighten the process of determining profitability for any of your farm endeavors. Beginning and seasoned farmers alike will benefit, and share in some eye opening results.

Best Practices for Opening Your Farm to Visitors
Presenters: Lisa Chase (UVM Extension, VT Tourism Research Center), Judith Irving and Calley Hastings (Fat Toad Farm), Stephanie Smith (VT Agency of Agriculture Food & Markets)

From farmstands and u-pick to special events, tours, and classes, farms of all sizes are opening their doors (and barns and fields) to visitors. As agritourism has grown rapidly in recent years, providing high quality, authentic experiences and products can be a challenge for many working farms. Join Lisa Chase from UVM Extension and VT Tourism Research Center, along with Judith Irving and Calley Hastings from Fat Toad Farm, and Stephanie Smith from the VT Agency of Agriculture as they share experiences and resources for ensuring that agritourism meets zoning regulations and is safe, educational, and profitable.

 

Commercial Crops

Heat from Composting - Latest developments and how to match options to your site
Presenters: Gaelan Brown (Agrilab Technologies), Brian Jerose (Agrilab Technologies)
This workshop is intended for livestock farmers, greenhouse growers and other producers/users of compost.  In this workshop, learn about the latest developments from implemented projects at Vermont Compost Company, Jasper Hill Farm and the UNH Organic Research Dairy Farm with Brian Jerose and Gaelan Brown from Agrilab Technologies.  Discussion will include how to assess both the type and volume of compost feedstocks to implement a viable system, and how to best use the hot water and other thermal outputs for greenhouse, barn, shop or other building heating, and other applications. Technical level is intermediate to advanced. Presentation will include slides and video clips of implemented sites, and include an exercise of calculating annual and seasonal volumes of compost materials.
Aquaponics in Cold Climates
Presenter: Buzz Fervor (Perfect Circle Farm)
This workshop will be an overview of the design and two year operation of a typical aquaponics system in Buzz Fervor's greenhouse on Perfect Circle Farm in Worcester, VT. You will review the origins and concepts of aquaponics, the basics of component construction and how it integrates into the greenhouse/homestead/farming environment. The yields and benefits, along with the difficulties and challenges will be discussed. Photos and online resources will be included in this presentation.

 

Food Systems

Milk with Dignity
Presenters: Enrique "Kike" Balcazar, Abel Luna (Migrant Justice)
Hear first hand from farmworkers about what's life like for those who put milk and cheese on the table. In today’s highly consolidated food industry, multi-billion dollar brands leverage their volume purchasing power and benefit from lower milk prices. These lower prices come at the expense of human rights, livable wages and sustainable livelihoods for both farmworkers and farmers. Join Abe Luna, Enrique Balcazar and The Milk with Dignity campaign to build alliances between farmworkers, farmers, and consumers to invite dairy businesses to support dairy worker defined human rights standards and provide fair milk prices for participating farmers.

CANCELLED - "Sustainable Seafood" - Compared to What? It's All Relative - CANCELLED
Presenter: Peter Moore (Seafood Producers Cooperative)

 

USDA National Organic Program
Presenters: Nicole Dehne (NOFA-VT), Miles McEvoy (Deputy Administrator USDA NOP), Jean Richardson (National Organic Standards Board)
This session will cover the future of organic certification, organic hydroponics, sound and sensible certification, the National Organic Standards Board, and the revised sunset process. This workshop will be led by Miles McEvoy, the Deputy Administrator for the National Organic Program, Jean Richardson from the National Organic Standards Board and Nicole Dehne from NOFA-VT and Vermont Organic Farmers.

 

Homesteader

Easy Great Compost
Presenter: Wendy Sue Harper (WSH Consulting)
This workshop will help you figure out the best composting method to use for your home, garden and yard with Wendy Sue Harper from WSH Consulting. This workshop will examine compost ecology, discuss what not to compost, look at cool versus hot composting, examine several easy cool-composting methods, and discuss the benefits of composting.
Moving Water with Water – Building your own Hydraulic Ram Pump
Presenter: Josh Brill (Breezy Meadows Orchards and Nursery)
Learn how to build your own low maintenance, no electricity pump that works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you’re a farmer or home gardener needing to bring water up hill to irrigate your garden, quench your animals’ thirst, or help fill a pond and you have moving water and a little bit of elevation drop this pump will work for you.  Josh Brill from Breezy Meadows Orchards and Nursery will walk through the construction and use of the pump with materials that can be found at your local hardware store.
Homesteading in the 21st Century  - Transitioning to a Home Based Economy
Presenter: Anneli Carter-Sundqvist (Deer Isle Hostel)
Anneli Carter-Sundqvist from Deer Isle Hostel will share some of the strategies she and her husband developed to reach a self-sufficient, home based economy. Homesteading today, in this part of the world, is a lot about resisting the temptations from the general economic system where more is merrier, bigger is better and growth is greater. Anneli will outline the benefits she's found by staying away from this system and how she strives to keep a clear vision of when enough is enough. The audience is encouraged to join the discussion with their experiences and questions.

 

Localvore

Herbal Medicine Making
Presenter: Betzy Bancroft (Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism)
Making herbal medicine is an ancient and wonderful skill that makes it possible for us to administer the goodness of plants for healing. Primarily through demonstration, Betzy Bancroft, from the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism, will cover the basic techniques for making teas, infused oils and vinegars, and tinctures. We’ll also discuss how these recipes can be made into salves, compresses and more.
Fermenting by Season
Presenter: Tara Whitsitt (Fermentation on Wheels)
Tara Whitsitt of Fermentation on Wheels will hold a hands-on vegetable fermentation workshop, where she will teach with local, seasonal ingredients. Whitsitt will share the benefits of microbial preservation and how you can creatively & fearlessly ferment in your own kitchen. She will also highlight how fermentation offers a multitude of preservation options that can provide sustenance through the winter as well as create value-added product. This workshop targets beginners through experts, offering a thorough overview of the art of fermenting vegetables.

 

Livestock

Assessing Your Livestock Markets
Presenter: Joe Emenheiser (UVM)
Developing sustainable livestock production systems are a matter of matching animals, resources, and markets. UVM Extension livestock specialist Joe Emenheiser will discuss trends and opportunities in Vermont livestock production, along with considerations for the future.
Preventing Grazing Pitfalls: Learning from Our Cows and Pastures
Presenter: Sarah Flack (Sarah Flack Consulting)
Grass based organic farmers know the importance of pasture as the primary feed source for their cattle. But part of managing pastures well is honing our observation skills to assess what the plants and animals are telling us about their health. In this workshop, presented by grazing and organic certification specialist Sarah Flack, we will review the key grazing principles that help your cattle maximize dry matter intake from pastures and avoid potential problems. We will also look at 3 items to observe to determine the health of your pasture management: livestock, their manure, and pasture plants.

Saturday Workshop Session I

TIME: SATURDAY 2/14/15 10:45-12:00PM

Determining Your Costs of Production
Presenter: Richard Wiswall (Cate Farm) Ever wonder how much it costs to produce a dozen eggs? A feeder pig? Hoophouse greens? Are you making a profit with them given your current sales prices? Longtime organic farmer Richard Wiswall will demystify production costs for various farm ventures and show which ones are making money or not.  This group working session will simplify and enlighten the process of determing profitability for any of your farm endeavors. Beginning and seasoned farmers alike will benefit, and share in some eye opening results.

Best Practices for Opening Your Farm to Visitors

Lisa Chase (UVM Extension, VT Tourism Research Center), Judith Irving and Calley Hastings (Fat Toad Farm), Stephanie Smith (VT Agency of Agriculture Food & Markets) From farmstands and u-pick to special events, tours, and classes, farms of all sizes are opening their doors (and barns and fields) to visitors. As agritourism has grown rapidly in recent years, providing high quality, authentic experiences and products can be a challenge for many working farms. Join Lisa Chase from UVM Extension and VT Tourism Research Center, along with Judith Irving and Calley Hastings from Fat Toad Farm, and Stephanie Smith from the VT Agency of Agricutlure as they share experiences and resources for ensuring that agritourism meets zoning regulations and is safe, educational, and profitable.
Heat from Composting - Latest developments and how to match options to your site
Presenter: Gaelan Brown (Agrilab Technologies), Brian Jerose (Agrilab Technologies) This workshop is intended for livestock farmers, greenhouse growers and other producers/users of compost. In this workshop, learn about the latest developments from implemented projects at Vermont Compost Company, Jasper Hill Farm and the UNH Organic Research Dairy Farm with Brian Jerose and Gaelan Brown from Agrilab Technologies. Discussion will include how to assess the both the type and volume of compost feedstocks to implement a viable system, and how to best use the hot water and other thermal outputs for greenhouse, barn, shop or other building heating, and other applications. Technical level is intermdiate to advanced. Presentation will include slides and video clips of implemented sites, and include an exercise of calculating annual and seasonal volumes of compost materials.
Aquaponics in Cold Climates
Presenter: Buzz Fervor (Perfect Circle Farm) This workshop will be an overview of the design and two year operation of a typical aquaponics system in Buzz Fervor's greenhouse on Perfect Circle Farm in Worcester, VT. You will review the origins and concepts of aquaponics, the basics of component construction and how it integrates into the greenhouse/homestead/farming environment. The yields and benefits, along with the difficulties and challenges will be discussed. Photos and online resources will be included in this presentation.
Milk with Dignity
Presenter: Enrique "Kike" Balcazar, Abel Luna (Migrant Justice) Hear first hand from farmworkers about what's life like for those who put milk and cheese on the table. In today’s highly consolidated food industry, multi-billion dollar brands leverage their volume purchasing power and benefit from lower milk prices. These lower prices come at the expense of human rights, livable wages and sustainable livelihoods for both farmworkers and farmers. Join Abe Luna, Enrique Balcazar and The Milk with Dignity campaign to build alliances between farmworkers, farmers, and consumers to invite dairy businesses to support dairy worker defined human rights standards and provide fair milk prices for participating farmers.
"Sustainable Seafood" - Compared to What? It's All Relative
Presenter: Peter Moore (Seafood Producers Cooperative) Explore the ins and outs of the myriad of seafood choices, the various certification schemes, motivations and carbon footprints of the northern New England seafood market. Join Peter Moore from the Seafood Producers Cooperative to discuss the northeast's seafood market.
USDA National Organic Program
Presenter: Nicole Dehne (NOFA-VT), Miles McEvoy (Deputy Administrator USDA NOP), Jean Richardson (National Organic Standards Board) This session will cover the future of organic certification, organic hydroponics, sound and sensible certification, the National Organic Standards Board, and the revised sunset process. This workshop will be led by Miles McEvoy, the Deputy Administrator for the National Organic Program, Jean Richardson from the National Organic Standards Board and Nicole Dehne from NOFA-VT and Vermont Organic Farmers.
Easy Great Compost
Presenter: Wendy Sue Harper (WSH Consulting) This workshop will help you figure out the best composting method to use for your home, garden and yard with Wendy Sue Harper from WSH Consulting. This workshop will examine compost ecology, discuss what not to compost, look at cool versus hot composting, examine several easy cool-composting methods, and discuss the benefits of composting.
Moving Water with Water – Building your own Hydraulic Ram Pump
Presenter: Josh Brill (Breezy Meadows Orchards and Nursery) Learn how to build your own low maintenance, no electricity pump that works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you’re a farmer or home gardener needing to bring water up hill to irrigate your garden, quench your animals’ thirst, or help fill a pond and you have moving water and a little bit of elevation drop this pump will work for you. Josh Brill from Breezy Meadows Orchards and Nursery will walk through the construction and use of the pump with materials that can be found at your local hardware store.
 
   
 
   
 
   
   

Determining Your Costs of Production
PRESENTER: Richard Wiswall (Cate Farm)
Ever wonder how much it costs to produce a dozen eggs? A feeder pig? Hoophouse greens? Are you making a profit with them given your current sales prices? Longtime organic farmer Richard Wiswall will demystify production costs for various farm ventures and show which ones are making money or not.  This group working session will simplify and enlighten the process of determing profitability for any of your farm endeavors. Beginning and seasoned farmers alike will benefit, and share in some eye opening results.

Sunday Roundtables

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

 

Vermont Community Garden Network Gathering and Garden Showcase
Hosted by: Vermont Community Garden Network
Are you involved with a community or school garden?  Come to Vermont Community Garden Network’s lunchtime gathering to meet other garden leaders, swap ideas for the season to come, and see some of the innovative work garden groups are undertaking around the state in our Garden Showcase.  Also learn more about how you can get involved with VCGN and upcoming Network opportunities.
Focus on Beginning Farmers
Hosted by: Vern Grubinger
Bring your list of questions and pick the brain of your fellow beginning farmers and of Vern Grubinger, aging vegetable and berry specialist, before he forgets everything he has learned from experienced farmers.
Real Talk: What is "Real" Food?
Hosted by: Eric Garza (UVM)
Join Eric Garza of UVM  to discuss, "What is Real Food?" Where do we draw the line between the processed 'junk food' that we so frequently malign and the 'good food' we're taught to hold high? What are the benefits of producing and eating real food, both to those who consume it and to the landscapes in which we live?
Farm Transfer and Transition Challenges
Facilitated by Bob Parsons
Join Bob Parsons of UVM Extension to discuss the basics of farm transition, transfers, retirement, will, trusts, methods of asset transfer, and business organization needed to begin the process of developing a transition plan for your farm. 
Current Issues in State Agriculture & Food Policy
Facilitated by Maddie Monty

Sunday Session I

 

10:45 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Business & Marketing
What Makes Your Farm Business Unique: How to Identify & Promote Your Attributes
Presenter: Pam Knights (Pam Knights Communications)
Learn about what goes into developing a solid brand and crafting messaging that captures the essence of your farm business. Branding and marketing communications strategist Pam Knights will talk about how to identify your unique selling points and consistently articulate them to promote your brand across all forms of marketing communications from print, websites and social media. In her PowerPoint presentation, Pam will show numerous examples of farm and agritourism businesses she has worked with over the years, leaving  time for questions.
Slow Money Vermont: An introduction for entrepreneurs, community investors and service providers
Presenter: Eric Deluca & Caitlin Jenness, Slow Money Vermont
Slow Money is an international movement that asks people to invest as if food, farms, and fertility really mattered. Since its founding, more than $38 million has been invested in small food enterprises around the US. Come learn about the emergent Slow Money Vermont network and explore the opportunities, challenges, and considerations that go into the creative, alternative financing arrangements inspired by Slow Money. This workshop will provide an introduction into these topics, with ample time for questions and discussion.
Labor Laws that Every Farmer-Employer Should Know  
Presenter: Kenneth Miller (Law for Food)
This workshop details the federal and state laws and regulations governing labor relations for agricultural businesses. Are you clear on the varying definitions between interns, volunteers, field labor, retail labor and casual labor? Do you know the different labor laws enforced whether employees are working with products bought off-farm versus products produced on-farm? Learn the detailed requirements for minimum wage, workplace safety, workers’ compensation, overtime exemptions and unemployment insurance whether you currently have employees or may hire them in the future. Get your questions answered now by Kenneth Miller from Law for Food.

 

Commercial Crops

Wash it in January:  Filling the Off-Season
Presenter: Justin Rich (Burnt Rock Farm)
Summers can be made slightly less hectic by separating the growing and selling portions of the year. There are multiple tradeoffs, including constructing ever more infrastructure, as deep winter storage requires high quality harvested product in combination with conditions designed to preserve that quality. Risks and rewards of this marketing strategy will be discussed, as well as production methods to maximize quality and equipment to maintain it. Join Justin Rich of Burnt Rock Farm as he describes his experience with winter crop storage on his farm.
Exclusion Netting for Management of Spotted Wing Drosophila on Vermont Farms
Presenters: Dr. Victor Izzo (UVM, Champlain College), Hannah Link (UVM), Rachel Schattman (UVM),  Adam Hausmann (Adam's Berry Farm)
This workshop's speakers will include researchers Rachel Schattman and Hannah Link (to present their 2014 study of netting efficacy on commercial blueberry farms and best practices for commercial netting trellises), insect ecologist Dr Victor Izzo (who will present the most recent information about SWD life cycles in the northeaster US), and farmers Adam Hausmann (from Adam's Berry Farm, Charlotte) who will discuss on farm management. The panel will be targeted to commercial growers and will be useful for both those that have little knowledge of SWD and those who are well versed in the challenges this new pest presents. This workshop will be conducted as a panel with ample time for Q&A.

 

Food Systems

Farm-Based Education Through the Lens of Sustainability
Presenters: Ethan Bodin, Rachel Cadwallader-Staub, Vera Simon-Nobes (All of Shelburne Farms)
Are you exploring the idea of opening your farm for education, or looking to build on educational experiences you currently offer? In this interactive workshop, Shelburne Farms educators, Ethan Bodin, Rachel Cadwallader-Staub and Vera Simon-Nobes will share how to use the lens of sustainability to add value to farm-based experiences. We’ll highlight some farmer-approved activities that focus on themes of sustainability such as Community and Cycles, and explore how to apply them to your site.  

 

Communty and School Gardens

Community-based Gardening: Getting Started
Presenters: Susan Munkres (Calahan Community Garden), Libby Weiland (VCGN)
Community-based gardens play a vital role in people’s lives—bringing green spaces to neighborhoods, building community, providing access to fresh healthy foods, and more.  Learn how you can create a place for people to grow and learn together right where you live, play or work.  Join garden organizer Susan Munkres of Calahan Community Garden and Libby Weiland of Vermont Community Garden Network for this hands-on session.  Leave with concrete tools for getting started, planning activities for moving to the next phase, and problem-solving techniques for keeping projects going.

 

Localvore

Cultivating Mushrooms for Everyone: Simple and High Yielding Home and Homesteading Techniques
Presenter: Tradd Cotter (Mushroom Mountain LLC)
Mushroom cultivation can be easier than growing many types of vegetable plants, if you know a few shortcuts and cultivation secrets! This easy-to-follow program is a must for anyone thinking about growing mushrooms on a small scale at home or in need of producing volumes for area markets. Join Tradd Cotter of Mushroom Mountain, LLC and author of Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation to learn how to "think like a mushroom", build fungal biomass, and produce mushrooms consistently for fun or profit. Participants will use three different methods of cultivation that will be useful for growing over 50 different edible and medicinal mushroom species with little or no infrastructure.
Preserving the Harvest: Hams and Bacon
Presenters: Brooks Miller and Anna Santini (North Mountain Pastures)
Brooks and Anna Miller farm North Mountain Pastures, a meat CSA delivering to the central Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. areas. They produce artisan sausage and cured meats in addition to the usual cuts of pastured pork and chicken and grassfed beef and lamb. They started raising pigs on pasture in 2009. After slaughtering their first round of pork, Brooks decided to take the leap into making their own bacons and hams. While the first batch left much to be desired, they have since built a butcher shop on their farm, and have perfected a range of ham styles and bacons.
Step by Step Healing Using the GAPS Diet
Presenter: Mary Brackett (The Heal Your Gut Cookbook and MG Brackett)
This workshop will be an in depth look at the GAPS Diet, which stands for Gut and Psychology Syndrome. The GAPS Diet refers to disorders, including ADD/ADHD, autism, addictions, depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder, stemming from or exacerbated by leaky gut and dysbiosis. The workshop will include information on gut health as the root of illness, the many conditions a GAPS Diet works to heal, a step-by-step overview of the diet, detailed information of how to make bone broth, the number one staple of the GAPS Diet, and a hands on demonstration on how to make various fermented foods, including sauerkraut, ginger carrots, kefir and beet kvass.

 

Homesteader

An Overview of Food Preservation
Presenter: Andrea Chesman
What are the pros and cons of canning, freezing, drying and cold storage of vegetables? What is the best way in terms of time, ease of use of final product, taste, and texture? What are the safety issues and nutritional aspects of each preservation method? How much can one person accomplish during the busy growing season? Samples of food preserved by each method will be provided  and equipment will be brought in and shown as a basis for an interesting discussion.
Practical Home-scale Permaculture
Presenters: Aaron Guman (Walking Onion), Nicko Rubin (East Hill Tree Farm)
Nicko Rubin from East Hill Tree Farm and Aaron Guman from Walking Onion have been working to establish productive permaculture landscapes in Vermont and throughout the Northeast. In permaculture healthy gardens and landscapes are created using ecological principles to mimic natural ecosystems. What concepts and tools make the most sense for application at the homestead scale? How do we create productive and ecologically rich perennial landscapes in the Northeast? We will discuss strategies for growing perennial vegetables, berries, fruit trees and nuts in the context of diverse, mutually supportive polycultures, as well as making the most of challenging soils and sites. Time will be given for question and answer.
Kiwifruits, An Uncommon Fruit for Backyards and Markets
Presenter: Lee Reich (Springtown Farmden)
Hardy kiwifruit is a cousin to the fuzzy market kiwifruit but tastes better. The plant has minimal pest problems so, along with its unique, delicious flavor, is ideally suited for growing in backyards or for market. This workshop will cover everything from variety choice to planting, pruning, harvesting, storing, and marketing.

 

Livestock

Lab Approved Practices for Small-Scale Raw Milk Production
Presenter: Nick Zigelbaum (Bob-White Systems Laboratory)
This workshop will provide the basic knowledge for producing raw milk at your home or farm. Topics covered will include: how to find a good family cow, testing before buying, how to set up an adequate milk parlor, how to hand-milk in a clean manner, milk processing for drinking, and a walk-thru of the standard dairy tests. Nick Zigelbaum manages a dairy lab in central vermont and hand-milk two cows at home. Homesteaders, micro-dairies and raw milk consumers should find this workshop useful.
Producing Quality Lamb on Pasture
Presenters: Joe Emenheiser (UVM), Chet Parsons (Parsons' Farm)
The moist, moderate conditions of the Northeast are ideal for raising excellent grass and grassfed lamb. However, it takes considerable management to produce quality forage throughout the growing season. Also, moist, moderate conditions are ideal for the growth of larvae of the internal parasites of sheep, presenting additional challenges. Forage availability must be timed to match the lambs' nutritional needs for growth and finishing. Finally, the ability to assess a lamb's degree of finish and market readiness is critical to ensuring a quality product. Join Joe Emenheiser from UVM Extension and Chet Parsons from Parsons' Farm to discuss all of these considerations, and possibly some miscellaneous old shepherd ramblings.

Sunday Session II

2:15 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Business & Marketing
Farmstands: Differences between Staffed and Unstaffed Models
Presenters: James and Sara Donegan (Trillium Hill Farm)
Join James and Sara Donegan from Trillium Hill Farm to discuss the differences, benefits and challenges of farmstands. This workshop will present the pros and cons of having a staffed and unstaffed farmstand and what to consider when thinking about incorporating a farmstand to your farm or business.
Growing for Wholesale: the Options, Opportunities and Conditions
Presenters: Pat Burns (City Market, Onion River Food Co-op), Abbie Nelson (NOFA VT and VT FEED),  Annie Rowell (VT Food Venture Center), Abbey Willard (VAAFM)
Selling products directly to consumers through CSAs or farmers’ markets may seem to provide the greatest monetary return for farmers. However, considering the time and resources invested in these direct relationships, maybe not. Diversifying production and growing for wholesale markets provides an opportunity for bulk sales, efficiencies, and long term markets. Join this panel to discuss and learn about opportunities for producers to access wholesale markets including food co-ops, processors, institutions, and independent grocery stores.

 

Commercial Crops

Up and Coming Crops: Popcorn, Sweet Potatoes and Ginger
Presenters: Eugenie Doyle (Last Resort Farm), Geo Honingford (Hurricane Flats), Timothy Hughes-Muse (Laughing Child Farm)
Join our experienced panelists as they discuss up-and-coming crops for our state. Eugenie Doyle of Last Resort Farm will discuss the ins-and-outs of growing ginger. She will be joined by Geo Honingford from Hurricane Flats to talk about the biggest issues with popcorn production. Timothy Hughes-Muse from Laughing Child Farm, Vermont's largest sweet potato grower, will talk about how this crop works for him and his farm.
Swede midge, a new devastating pest of Brassica crops within the Northeastern US
Presenters: Dr. Yolanda Chen (UVM), Andy Jones (Intervale Community Farm), Tony Lehouillier (Foote Brook Farm), David Marchant (Riverberry Farm), Chase Stratton (UVM)

This workshop is intended for established and beginning farmers that plan to grow Brassica crops (collards, kale, cauliflower, bok choy, kohlrabi, etc.). Join Dr. Yolanda Chen and Chase Stratton of UVM, Tony Lehouillier of Foote Brook Farm, Andy Jones from Intervale Community Farm, and David Marchant from Riverberry Farm as they discuss the severity of the problem, present their most recent lab findings, and then hold a Q&A discussion on the trade-offs of the most promising pest control tactics.

 

Community and School Gardens

Learning in the Garden: Adult Teaching Gardens
Presenters: Lisa Hoare (Fletcher Allen Healthcare), Denise Quick (Vermont Community Garden Network)
Hands-on “teaching gardens” provide supportive environments for adults to learn basic gardening skills and gain confidence to garden on their own. We will explore two successful teaching gardens: Vermont Community Garden Network’s Community Teaching Garden and Fletcher Allen’s Rooftop and Fanny Allen Gardens. Teaching garden instructors Denise Quick and Lisa Hoare will share about their programs’ development and how they address the unique needs of adult learners. Go home with tips, tools, and inspiration for starting your own teaching garden or incorporating adult learning into existing garden programs.
Learning in the Garden: Curriculum Integration
Presenters: Helen Fields (Mount Anthony Union Middle School), Stephen Greene (Mount Anthony Union Middle School), Abby Foulk (Charlotte Central School), Deirdre Holmes (Charlotte Central School)
As school gardens become mainstays of school campuses, educators are eager to find ways to use these gardens for standards-based learning. Hear from Helen Fields and Stephen Greene of Mount Anthony Union Middle School as well as Deirdre Holmes and Abby Foulk from Charlotte Central School about the innovative ways their schools have integrated gardens into classroom curriculum and successful techniques for incorporating Common Core. Head back to school with ideas, resources, and curriculum from the presenters and other fellow educators.

 

Food Systems

Fish On - Exploring Lake Champlain as a Food Source
Presenters: James Ehlers (Lake Champlain International), Bruce Hennessey (Maple Wind Farm), Grace Meyer (Vermont Fresh Network), Chef Doug Paine (Juniper at Hotel Vermont and Bleu Northeast Seafood)
The Vermont Fresh Network is working in partnership with Lake Champlain International to get more local fish on Vermont restaurant menus and to open up a conversation about water quality. Our panel will feature Executive Chef Doug Paine of Juniper at Hotel Vermont and Bleu Northeast Seafood, Farmer Bruce Hennessey of Maple Wind Farm and James Ehlers, Executive Director of Lake Champlain International and will be moderated by Grace Meyer of the Vermont Fresh Network. There will be ample time for audience questions and discussion.

 

Localvore

Home Scale Mozzarella Making
Presenter: Kalyn Campbell (Family Cow Farm)
Want to impress your friends by making mozzarella in your own home? Join Kalyn Campbell from the Family Cow Farmstand to learn the art of mozzarella making. There will be samples to try and bring home. Time will be allotted to discuss raw milk, dairying and cheese.
Local Food, Local Medicine
Presenter: Kate Westdijk (Clinical Herbalist)
Localvores seeking vibrant health and prevention of heart disease, cancer and other chronic illnesses need look no further than their backyard or neighborhood farm! Join herbalist Kate Westdijk to hear about the power of familiar plants and fungi to restore and maintain wellness. Share your favorite uses and learn new ways to prepare them in your home. Discuss how we all can support a healthy environment and food system through place-based natural medicine.
Maple Sugar and Other Treats
Presenters: Jacques and Pauline Couture (Couture's Maple Shop)
Join Jacques and Pauline Couture, owners of Couture's Maple Shop, and learn how to make maple sugar and other treats. The Couture's will be demonstrating how to make maple candy, answer questions, and will discuss their maple sugar business.

 

Homesteader

Indoor Gardening: Seed to Salad in Seven Days
Presenter: Peter Burke (The Daily Gardener)
You don't need a greenhouse to grow fresh salad greens throughout the winter! Avid gardener and educator Peter Burke will demonstrate how by sharing pictures, designs, and techniques for managing an indoor garden. His simple design doesn't require expensive or special equipment, and will produce winter greens year round. Peter will bring samples of his produce to share and send you home with your own tray of seeds so you can start growing your own greens, even in February. *Due to the high demand this workshop is back again from last year's conference.*
Whole Health Gardening – Bringing Nutrient Density to Your Backyard
Presenter: Jenny Prince (jennygrows.com)
Because of their small scale, backyard growers have the unique ability to apply the concepts of nutrient density quickly and effectively to their gardens. Jenny Prince, of Jenny Grows, will teach you how to use a simple online calculator to craft a personalized amendment recipe for your garden, which can help you grow veggies (and soil!) with superior nutrition. Compost addicts, raised bed gardeners, and total beginners are all welcome.
Compost Tea: True Elixir or Snake Oil?
Presenter: Lee Reich (Springtown Farmden)
After going over the essentials – what is compost tea and its potential uses – Lee Reich from Springtown Farmden will discuss aerated compost tea, as currently recommended in some circles. Theoretically, does it make sense, and, in practice, has it proved effective? Lee will also explore the utility of compost evaluation. Discussion is encouraged at this workshop.

Sunday Session III

3:45 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Livestock
How to Maintain a Healthy Flock of Sheep and a Healthy Shepherd
Presenter: Chet Parsons (Parsons' Farm)
Join Chet Parsons from Parsons' Farm to discuss some of the diseases that can affect sheep and how to maintain a healthy flock. Each time a shepherd has to deal with a health problem, it costs time and money. To maintain a profitable operation, one has to control expenses and use time in the most efficient manner. Buying meds and treating sheep are not the best use of resources. Therefore, maintaining a flock of sheep that are healthy should be one of the goals of a profitable operation.
Pastured Goose Production Challenges and Opportunities
Presenter: Wesley Bascom (Gozzard City)
In this workshop Wesley Bascom from Gozzard City will be reporting back from a SARE Study conducted in the summer of 2014 which focused on evaluating several different management techniques for raising geese on pasture. The presentation will include both the quantitative (weekly weight gain, feed conversion rate, pasture quality metrics, etc.) and qualitative results of the study. Wesley will also discuss their experience this summer of the ins-and-outs of raising and marketing geese in northern Vermont. The presentation will be aimed at anyone who is considering the addition of geese to their grazing or pastured poultry programs.

 

Business & Marketing

Your First Organic Farm Inspection: Being Prepared & Keeping Records
Presenters: Nicole Dehne (NOFA-VT), Amanda Gervais (Savage Gardens), Wendy Sue Harper (WSH Consulting)
Get the inside perspective of what an organic inspector is looking for during a farm inspection and how best to be prepared. We’ll discuss the role of the inspector, what inspectors do and don’t do on a farm, farm audits, and record keeping. We’ll also cover sources for products, stock, and compost approved for use on organic farms.  Amanda Gervais from Savage Gardens will share the electronic record keeping system used on her farm that helps her meet the requirements for organic certification and helps her analyze her business.
Making the Most of Farm Employment and Training
Presenters: Maggie Donin (Intervale Center), Eli Hersch (Riverberry Farm), Jen Miller (RAFFL), John Smith (Maple Wind Farm)
The goal of our workshop is to help beginning and intermediate farmers understand different types of farm jobs, farm careers, and training opportunities. Maggie Donin from the Intervale Center will begin this workshop with an overview of different types of farm positions, setting goals for a farm season as an employee and working towards those goals, knowing if a farm is a good fit, effective communication with your employer, interviewing, and what to do if a job is not working out. Maggie's presentation will be followed by a panel of three farmers with different positions and training paths, including Eli Hersch from Riverberry Farm, Jen Miller from RAFFL, and John Smith from Maple Wind Farm.

 

Commercial Crops

Managing and Marketing a Year-Round Diversified CSA
Presenter: Christa Alexander (Jericho Settlers Farm Inc.)
Want to take a summer vacation? Learn how Christa Alexander and Mark Fasching of Jericho Settlers Farm have adjusted their farm’s production and marketing cycles to even-out their work load and cash flow, while building year-round employment opportunities for their farm crew. Two of their quietest months on the farm are now July and August. Learn what infrastructure investments, marketing opportunities, management strategies, and lifestyle choices they have undertaken to keep their farm in full production year-round. 
Commercial Production of Elderberry – A Crop with Exciting Potential for Vermont!
Presenters: David Fried (Elmore Roots Nursery), Todd Hardie (Caledonia Spirits), John Hayden (The Farm Between), Ginger Nickerson (UVM), Stan Ward (Three Springs Farm)

Elderberry is easy to cultivate, subject to few pests and diseases, and has low establishment costs. It grows well in floodplains, and can tolerate short-term flooding. Over 35 Vermont distilleries and herbal medicine businesses use elderberry, but buy most of their berries from elsewhere. In this workshop intended for commercial growers, four experienced elderberry growers will discuss: varietal selection, propagation, cultivation, processing and marketing strategies related to commercial elderberry (and aronia, a similar species), cultivation, opportunities for working with conservation districts on planting elderberry in riparian areas, and the potential for aggregating product.

 

Community and School Gardens

Garden Organizer Discussion: Volunteers in Community Gardens
Presenters: Laurie Dana (United Way of Chittenden County), Libby Weiland (VCGN)
Join fellow community and school garden organizers for this discussion-based roundtable, diving into a topic that’s on all of our minds: volunteers. Libby Weiland from Vermont Community Garden Network and Laurie Dana, Coordinator of Volunteer Mobilization for United Way of Chittenden County, will provide professional insights on recruiting, involving, and retaining volunteers. Come with your burning questions, share your best practices, and gain new ideas for working with this group of people that are crucial to the work we all do in community-based gardens and beyond.

 

Food Systems

In Their Own Words: Cultivating Future Leaders through Youth Farm, Food, and Nutrition Programs
Presenters: Amy Gifford (NOFA VT/ VT FEED),
Keshav Pokhrel (Burlington High School), Jacob Hicks (Twin Valley Union High School), John Wagner (Vergennes Union High School), Julia Eastham (Rock Point School), Laura Cassety (Montpelier High School), Tomas Rogel, (Montpelier High School), Raven Ryomuto, (Mount Anthony Union Middle School)
Self-esteem, confidence, and leadership skills flourish when students participate in experiential, food-based youth programs. Amy Gifford from NOFA-VT will facilitate this workshop with a diverse panel of students from across Vermont who will share their experiences growing, harvesting, preparing, and selling food. We'll hear from youth panelists how these experiences have directly effected them academically, socially, and emotionally.
Planning the Garden for Year Round Eating
Presenter: Clotilde Hryshko (Camp Merrishko)
Plan your garden to meet your goals for year-round eating. Clotilde Hryshko of Camp Merrishko will lead this workshop and will include ideas on freezing and canning methods as well as how to plan for seeding and growing based on food processing in a timely manner. Part of the discussion will include different soil types and how they influence timing and varieties.
Working with Honey Bee Queens
Presenter: Ross Conrad (Dancing Bee Gardens)
The queen bee is the only fertile female bee in the hive and can lay 1,500 eggs or more a day during the peak of summer. Ross Conrad from Dancing Bee Gardens will provide beekeepers with information they need to work productively with queens. Participants will learn how to differentiate between healthy queens and unhealthy ones, receive tips on how to introduce queens into a hive, and how to address queen problems that may arise.

 

Homesteader

Rotational Grazing with Few Livestock
Presenter: Bruce Howlett (Bobolink Farm)
Very small groups of animals limit some aspects of grazing management. Small flocks/herds behave differently than larger ones, the infrastructure is expensive on a per-head basis, and it is challenging to try to apply a high-impact grazing system. How can you efficiently use rotational grazing with a small number of animals, what is minimally needed to make it work, and how can you achieve the benefits of high stocking density when you don’t have much stock? Bruce Howlett from Bobolink Farm will draw on his experience grazing sheep in his yard and give you strategies to take back to your own homestead.

 

Localvore

How Plants Make Us More Human: An Evolutionary Perspective
Presenters: Mika McDonald (CF Natural Health), Kenzie McDonald
Why does the human body need and respond so strongly to certain plants? How has our co-evolution with plants shaped our organ systems and our need for relationships with the natural world? Join a discussion of the emerging science at the convergence of evolutionary biology, herbalism, nutrition, and ecological medicine to find out how to engage our evolutionary heritage to optimize our health. Mika and Kenzie McDonald will discuss how much of our physiology relies on the presence of certain plants for optimal health, and how their absence spells doom for the health of modernized humans. We’ll also demonstrate how to make simple herbal remedies to address common health complaints.
Taking Care of Your Brain with Food, Herbs and Fun
Presenter: Marie Frohlich
Brain health is important for all ages as we navigate the various environmental, food, and other toxins in our world of work and family life challenges. Marie Frohlich will provide tools, tips, food as medicine, herbal recipes and exercises to support your brain health. This workshop will include a food demo and a few fun challenges for your brain.

Exhibitors

The exhibitors' fair is the place to find books, crafts, tools, and informative materials from agricultural businesses and organizations.

2015 Exhibitors

January 2015: Our Exhibitor's Fair is currently full. Email winterconference@nofavt.org to add your name to our waiting list.

Featured Speakers

Subscribe to our e-newsletter or follow us on Facebook for the latest updates!

SATURDAY KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Natasha Bowens

Natasha Bowens, Winter Conference Keynote Speaker

Through photography and storytelling, Natasha Bowens, author of the book The Color of Food: Stories of Race, Resilience and Farming, will introduce farmers and food activists of color revolutionizing the food system and preserving cultural foodways around the country. Their stories highlight important issues of food justice and food sovereignty such as land ownership, health, community building, and race and gender obstacles.

This presentation aims to amplify the role of communities of color in agriculture while challenging the status quo of agrarian identity and teaching us that the good food movement is about more than buying local and protecting our soil. It is about preserving culture and community, digging deep into the places we’ve overlooked and honoring those who have come before us. Blending storytelling, photography and oral history, Natasha’s keynote address will show how true food sovereignty means a place at the table for everyone.

 

Sunday
Growing the Good Food Movement: Story and Poetry Slam 
Inspired by the revitalization of storytelling in Vermont and beyond, we’re opening our keynote stage on Sunday morning for a Story and Poetry Slam. 
We invite you (yes, you!) to submit a story or poem by January 15th to be considered for inclusion in the slam. 
The theme is Growing the Good Food Movement. Tell us a specific story or read us a poem about how you have experienced or are addressing, for example, farm or food equity, race, class, farm worker rights, or food sovereignty in your work or life. 
To submit your story or poem, call the NOFA Vermont office at 802-434-4122 and ask to be connected to extension 30. Leave a message telling us your story or poem – be sure to include your name and how we can reach you! Stories and poems must be 5 minutes or shorter. Deadline for submissions is January 15. 
Submissions will be reviewed by our winter conference planning team and the 5 storytellers will be notified by February 1.
Hosting the Story and Poetry Slam (and performing, as well) will be Laura Brown-Lavoie. Laura is a farmer, poet, performer, and youth mentor in Providence, RI, whose 2012 Winter Conference performance was one of our most popular. 

 

SUNDAY: Story and Poetry Slam 

Laura Brown-Lavoie, host of the Story and Poetry SlamInspired by the revitalization of storytelling in Vermont and beyond, we’re opening our keynote stage on Sunday morning for a Story and Poetry Slam. 

With a theme of Growing the Good Food Movement, our 8 story tellers will relate person narratives of their experience with food equity, race, class, farm worker rights, and food sovereignty. 

Hosting the Story and Poetry Slam (and performing, as well) will be Laura Brown-Lavoie. Laura is a farmer, poet, performer, and youth mentor in Providence, RI, whose 2012 Winter Conference performance was one of our most popular. 

Our Storytellers:

Enrique "Kike" Balcazar has worked on Vermont dairy farms for over 3 years and both his mother and father also worked on VT farms.  He has been a community leader in Migrant Justice's successful driver's license and bias-free policing campaigns.  Additionally, Kike is trained as an "Agricultural Justice" farm inspector.

Jeffrey Ellis farms with his wife, Rebecca Beidler, on Peace of Earth Farm in Albany, VT, a small permaculture based, no-till, diversified farm. He is also a lyrical artist by the name of Mycelium and uses this skill to speak about food justice and caring for the Earth.  He is also the creator of All Good Things, an open source performance project. He will be performing his poem entitled Cooperation.

Hope Johnson, aka the Garden Lady, maintains gardens for commercial customers in Chittenden County and works at Red Wagon Plant’s retail greenhouse. Hope is also a quilter and will tell a story entitled “Mind Your Own Beeswax” about how the creative work of a quilter in Vermont led to a partnership with a bee researcher in Arizona to help address food security in Ethiopia.

Tomas Rogel and Laura Cassetty are seniors at Montpelier High School. They have been active in raising chickens and working in the greenhouse at the school and will tell a story about the role of youth in Growing the Good Food Movement.

Ross Thurber is a certified organic dairy farmer and poet from Lilac Ridge Farm in Brattleboro.  He and his family farm 600 acres, have a 50-cow dairy, 10-acre market garden, 2,000-tap sugaring operation, timber harvesting and Christmas tree sales. 

Sophie Wood is a performance artist, freelance farmer, and lover of sequins. She creates outdoor performance events on farms as co-founder of The Royal Frog Ballet, teaches Shakespeare and clowning, and can rock pick a potato digger faster than anyone she has met yet.  She will be performing her poem entitled “Wealth.”


2014 Speakers »

2014 Speakers

Saturday

Michael Rozyne: Something Bigger

Michael RozyneGetting our vision of an organic future BIG enough to cover broad issues is critical, but it’s not the hardest part of our work. Fitting in to something bigger –forging alliances and partnerships outside the organic world so we can tackle those broad issues – that is our hardest work. Can we do it, and how?

Michael Rozyne is executive director of Red Tomato, a non-profit produce “food hub” based in Plainville, MA. In 1986, he co-founded fair trade coffee company Equal Exchange, now a leading US fair trade company. Rozyne started Red Tomato in 1996 to bring fair trade principles to farmers in the US and to make local produce available in a grocery store near you.


Sunday

FarmsTED Talks

Inspired by the TEDTalks format of brief but excellent presentations on “ideas worth spreading,” we are featuring a series of shorter talks on Sunday highlighting four people who address our conference theme of Growing Outside the Box.

Dorn Cox Dorn Cox is an organic grain grower at Tuckaway Farm in Lee NH; the Director of Green Start, an organization working towards food and fuel security; and co-founder ofFarm Hack, an open source community for resilient agriculture. Dorn focused on how Farm Hack brings non-farmers into the agricultural innovation process and widens the definition of who is part of the local food system.
Chris Dutton

Chris Dutton is the Agricultural Programs Director at Vermont Technical College in Randolph. Chris brings his experience as a dairy farmer and veterinarian to educate the next generation of farmers at VTC. He talked about how education can create the best farmers for Vermont by teaching the keys to farm independence: science, business skills, and critical thinking.

Helen Whybrow

Helen Whybrow raises purebred Icelandic sheep and organic high-bush blueberries with her family at Knoll Farm in Fayston. During the past growing season, Helen and independent filmmaker Michael Sacca interviewed Vermont farmers about why they choose to be certified organic. Helen showed the resulting short film, Organic Matters, and talked about the organic movement’s potential for growth and influence.

Darlene Wolnik

Darlene Wolnik lives in New Orleans, and works as a facilitator, researcher and analyst for community food systems across the U.S.; she has been working with Vermont’s farmers’ markets since 2011. Darlene addressed the question of bringing more of the population into the “pop-up tent” of local food systems. How do we invite everyone in while still allowing for the slow but steady growth of small family farms and producers?

Highlights & Activities

A little taste of some of the extras that make our Winter Conference such a great event!

Edith & Bennet - Weekend Music

Weekend Music
Edith & Bennett (Edith Gawler and Bennett Konesni) are farmers who sing, especially while working.  They also play old-time fiddle, banjo and guitar for contra dances in grange halls and barns, and sing farmer¹s ballads and hollers on stage in venues across North America as a part of several bands.
Edith Gawler grew up in Maine as a member of the legendary Gawler Family Band. Edith finished her architectural thesis at Syracuse University, which looks to draw on the principles of the local sustainable food movement as a model for a new architecture. As a student at Middlebury College, Bennett co-founded the student farm, and upon graduation spent a year studying worksongs on three continents.  Bennett is passionate about worksongs—music that transforms labor into something between work and play.  He envisions a world in which farmers, cooks, and eaters once again sing in fields, kitchens, and at the table.  Edith and Bennett balance their music with their homestead in Belfast, Maine where they raise garlic for seed and table on Duckback Farm.
We’re excited to have them at the conference to lead us in song in the mornings, provide music during our social times at lunch, and co-lead a worksong workshop and Saturday evening community sing with the singers from Cate Hill Orchard—Josh, Maria and Kristin.
Community Art Project  
Davis Center, 1st Floor
Join local artist Bonnie Acker to create carrots and cows, farmers and fields for a large, brilliantly-colored weaving. All ages will be celebrated, and you don’t have to consider yourself an artist!
There will be a place for everyone to share scissors, paper, yarn, cloth, and dreams of a Vermont – and a world – where wonderful food is enjoyed by all. 
The Golden Cage: Mexican Migrant Workers and Vermont Dairy Farmers 
Photo and Audio Exhibit by the Vermont Folklife Center
Davis Center, 4th Floor
Migrant Mexican farm workers started to arrive on Vermont dairy farms almost ten years ago and continue to work here, living hidden lives. Through intimate photographs and interviews, this exhibit offers a revealing portrait of dairy farmers and Mexican workers and a glimpse into their interdependent lives—what they hope for and who they are. 
New Farmer Coaching 
Saturday & Sunday, 11:00 am–3:00 pm, by appointment only 
Davis Center, 3rd Floor, Student Government Atrium & Lounge
Are you a new or aspiring farmer looking for land, capital, skill development or business planning advice? 
Attend a one-on-one coaching session with a Vermont New Farmer Project consultant to identify steps you can take to meet your priorities. 
By appointment only; please contact rachel@nofavt.org to sign up for a coaching session.
The VT New Farmer Project is a collaboration between UVM Extension, NOFA Vermont, the Intervale Center, Vital Communities, and Rutland-Area Farm & Food Link, with additional funding from the USDA Beginning Farmer & Rancher Development Program.
Spinning & Weaving Demonstrations 
Saturday 9 am–5 pm & Sunday 9 am–?
Davis Center, 2nd Floor
Join Carol of Singing Spindle Spinnery for hands-on demonstrations of yarn-spinning (with both a spinning wheel and a drop spindle) and circular weaving. 
Carol will also be available to answer questions about felting, carding, dyeing, knitting and crocheting.

Weekend Music
We’re excited to have Edith & Bennett (Edith Gawler and Bennett Konesni) at the conference to lead us in song in the mornings, provide music during our social times at lunch, and co-lead a worksong workshop and Saturday evening community sing with the singers from Cate Hill Orchard—Josh, Maria and Kristin.

Bennett and Edith farmers who sing, especially while working. They also play old-time fiddle, banjo and guitar for contra dances in grange halls and barns, and sing farmer¹s ballads and hollers on stage in venues across North America as a part of several bands.

Community Art Project
Davis Center, 1st Floor
Join local artist Bonnie Acker to create carrots and cows, farmers and fields for a large, brilliantly-colored weaving. All ages will be celebrated, and you don’t have to consider yourself an artist!There will be a place for everyone to share scissors, paper, yarn, cloth, and dreams of a Vermont – and a world – where wonderful food is enjoyed by all. 

The Golden Cage: Mexican Migrant Workers and Vermont Dairy Farmers
Photo and Audio Exhibit by the Vermont Folklife Center
Davis Center, 4th Floor

Migrant Mexican farm workers started to arrive on Vermont dairy farms almost ten years ago and continue to work here, living hidden lives. Through intimate photographs and interviews, this exhibit offers a revealing portrait of dairy farmers and Mexican workers and a glimpse into their interdependent lives—what they hope for and who they are. 

New Farmer Coaching 
Saturday & Sunday, 11:00 am–3:00 pm, by appointment only 
Davis Center, 3rd Floor, Student Government Atrium & Lounge

Are you a new or aspiring farmer looking for land, capital, skill development or business planning advice? Attend a one-on-one coaching session with a Vermont New Farmer Project consultant to identify steps you can take to meet your priorities. 

By appointment only; please contact rachel@nofavt.org to sign up for a coaching session.

The VT New Farmer Project is a collaboration between UVM Extension, NOFA Vermont, the Intervale Center, Vital Communities, and Rutland-Area Farm & Food Link, with additional funding from the USDA Beginning Farmer & Rancher Development Program.

Spinning & Weaving Demonstrations 
Saturday 9 am–5 pm & Sunday 9 am–?
Davis Center, 2nd Floor

Join Carol of Singing Spindle Spinnery for hands-on demonstrations of yarn-spinning (with both a spinning wheel and a drop spindle) and circular weaving. Carol will also be available to answer questions about felting, carding, dyeing, knitting and crocheting.

Hatha Yoga Class 
Saturday & Sunday, 12:00–1:00 pm
Davis Center, 1st Floor

Come enjoy an hour of gentle movement, breath work, rest, and rejuvenation during your conference day. Mats and props provided. All levels are welcome! Farmer Maggie Donin completed her yoga teacher training with the Shivshakti School of Yoga and Healing Arts in Vermont.

Social Action Zone
Saturday & Sunday, 12-2pm
Davis Center, 3rd Floor

Come learn about and get involved in the important work being done by several of Vermont's advocacy organizations. Organizations feature in this year's social action zone include:

  • Hunger Free Vermont featuring their work around the 2015 Child Nutrition Reauthorization and 3SquaresVT
  • Salvation Farms featuring the Vermont Gleaning Collective
  • Rural Vermont featuring their campaign Local Rules for Local Food: Resisting Corporate Control of Our Food System; and The Vermont Right to Know Coalition
  • VT Right To Know GMOs Coalition will provide an update on the legal proceedings regarding the controversial lawsuit over Vermont’s GMO labeling law and promote donations to the Vermont Food Fight Fund.
  • Migrant Justice will feature their new Milk with Dignity Campaign.

Film Screenings 
Saturday & Sunday, 1:00–2:00 pm • Terrill Hall, 1st Floor

Food JusticeSaturday: SILENCED VOICES

The death of Vermont migrant farmworker José Obeth Santiz Cruz in a farming accident in December 2009 was the spark that led to the creation of Migrant Justice.

This film documents a family and community coming to terms with his death and shares stories that draw attention to the conditions and economic policies that force migrants from their homes in Mexico and shed light on harsh living and working conditions on Vermont dairy farms.

It is a call for action to build a fair and just food system that supports dignified livelihoods for farmworkers and farmers everywhere.

Brendan O’Neill, Enrique Balcazar, Victor Diaz, and Marita Canedo from Migrant Justice will join us for a discussion following the film.

 

 

 

Food ChainsSunday: FOOD CHAINS

In this exposé film, an intrepid group of Florida farmworkers battle to defeat the $4 trillion global supermarket industry through their ingenious Fair Food program, which partners with growers and retailers to improve working conditions for farm laborers in the United States. 
 

The film focuses on a highly-lauded group of tomato pickers from Southern Florida­—the Coalition of Immokalee Workers or CIW—who are revolutionizing farm labor. Their story is one of hope and promise for the triumph of morality over corporate greed – to ensure a dignified life for farm workers and a more humane, transparent food chain. Produced by Eric Schlosser and others, this is Food Chains’ Vermont premier!

Lodging and Transportation

Staying in Burlington:

We currently have rooms blocked at two local hotels: Best Western and the Doubletree, both in South Burlington just minutes from UVM. Make a weekend out of it!

  • The Best Western’s rate of $83.00 per night is available until February 1. Call 1-800-371-1125 and use group code 407855.
  • The Doubletree’s rate of $104.00 is available until January 13. Two night minimum required. Call 1-802-658-0250.

For more accomodation options, please visit the Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce.

Getting to Burlington:

Meals & Food

Hospitality Table

The NOFA Hospitality table will be stocked with local breads, cheese, apples, and other snacks to keep you fueled for a long day of learning. Cider and hot tea will be available for drinks; our friends at Vermont Coffee Company will have coffee available by donation as well.

Plus, look for freshly roasted root veggies from the NOFA-VT mobile oven outside the Davis Center!

Hospitality

Lunch Menu

Saturday: Chicken Curry & Tofu Curry, Asian Cabbage Salad, Green Salad, and Dessert

Sunday: Turkey Enchilada Bake & Bean Enchilada Bake, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad, Corn Bread, Green Salad, and Dessert

New School Cuisine Cover

Locally-sourced lunches are prepared by UVM Sodexo with recipes from the cookbook New School Cuisine, developed with help from NOFA Vermont as a partner in Vermont FEED. Vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options are available.

Lunches do sell out! We cannot guarantee lunches to walk-in registrants. Other options for food on campus are limited, especially on Sunday, when many on-campus dining areas are closed.

You may also bring a bag lunch and join us in the dining room.

 

Saturday Night

Click here for details about our Saturday Social and restaurant recommendations in downtown Burlington

Ice Cream Social

Sunday, 5:15-6:15, Davis Center 1rst Floor

Close the conference with our famous ice cream social, thanks to the generosity of our friends at Strafford Organic Creamery.

Monday Intensives

Monday, February 16 • Billings & Waterman Lounge, UVM
$50 members; $65 non-members
Prices include lunch by Have Your ‘Cake Catering (The Skinny Pancake).
Pre-registration is requested; we cannot guarantee lunch for walk-ins. 


Enhancing Pollinator Populations in Your Working Landscape

Pollinator Populations9:00am­–3:30pm

Billings, North Lounge

This all-day workshop will provide an overview of insect pollinators and issues facing them, including pesticide toxicity, loss of floral resources and habitat, and disease and parasites. It will focus on what each of us can do to enhance pollinator populations on our farms and gardens, including keeping honeybees and building native bee populations. Participants should bring maps of their farms and gardens to use for designing pollinator-friendly habitat, and will leave with a greater understanding and an implementation plan to enhance pollinator populations.

Presenters: John & Nancy Hayden are owners of The Farm Between, an organic fruit nursery and fruit farm in Jeffersonville, VT. Maintaining a pollinator sanctuary with floral, nesting and overwintering habitat is a high priority on their farm. John has worked as a researcher, extension agent, consultant, educator and organic farmer. Nancy is a retired UVM faculty member with 25 years teaching experience in experiential, hands-on, and service learning. Jane Sorensen is co-owner of River Berry Farm, an organic small-fruit and vegetable farm in Fairfax, VT. Jane grows and sells native plants for pollinator habitat enhancement.  She is a retired landscape architect with 14 years experience and degrees in the field. She teaches Landscape Design for Pollinators at UVM.

 


Sorry, this workshop is FULL - No Walk-Ins

Farming the Woods: Seeing the forest for More Than Just the Trees 

Farming the Woods9:00am­–4:00pm

Billings, Marsh Lounge

For too long, forest management has focused on timber and firewood as the main yields, limiting the opportunity for farmers and adversely affecting the long term heath of the forest. Steve Gabriel, author of the new book Farming the Woods, invites you to learn a remarkably different perspective on forest management: a healthy forest can be maintained while growing a wide range of food, medicine, and other products. Steve will cover cultivation of non-timber forest crops such as American ginseng, shiitake mushrooms, ramps (wild leeks), maple syrup, fruit and nut trees, and ornamentals, along with compelling stories of active forest farmers from around the country.

Presenter: Steve Gabriel is an ecologist, educator, author, and forest farmer from the Finger Lakes region of New York. He currently works for Cornell Cooperative Extension doing agroforestry and education and runs Wellspring Forest Farm which produces mushrooms, duck eggs, pastured lamb, nursery trees, and maple syrup.

Sorry, This workshop is full - no walk-ins

 



 

Six-figure Farming for Small Plots 

Six-figure Farming9:00am­–4:00pm

Waterman, Memorial Lounge

This workshop will provide in-depth instruction with Jean-Martin Fortier about how adopting intensive methods of production can lead to the optimization of a cropping system.  Topics will include: farm set-up and design for biologically intensive cropping systems; alternative machinery, minimum tillage techniques and the use of the best hand tools for the market garden; best practices for weed and pest management; and how to develop a systematic approach to crop planning and season extension.

Presenter: Jean-Martin Fortier, one of Canada’s most recognized and influential organic growers, is the author of the Market Gardener: A Successful Grower’s Handbook for Small-scale Organic Farming. His book shares the techniques, tools and technology that makes his 1.5 acre market garden productive and profitable.

 



 

Get Started with Your Vermont Produce Safety Accreditation!

Safety Accreditation10:00am­–4:00pm

Billings, Apse

This workshop is for the vast majority of Vermont produce farmers who will be exempted from the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) but will likely need some food safety credibility to satisfy customers (and insurance companies). Get started on the Vermont-made produce safety accreditation being developed by the Vermont Vegetable and Berry Growers Association and UVM Extension. During this intensive, you will learn about this program and begin the accreditation process by drafting a practical produce safety plan for your farm, or revising the one you already have.

Presenters: Hans Estrin works for UVM Extension to develop Vermont’s local fresh food markets. He co-founded the Windham Farm and Food Network, co-developed Extension’s Practical Produce Safety Program, and now coordinates the Vermont Produce Safety Accreditation Program. Ginger Nickerson coordinates the Produce Safety Program at UVM Extension’s Center for Sustainable Agriculture.  Her academic training is in agroecology and she has a strong interest in agroforestry and how integrating woody perennials can improve resiliency of agricultural systems. 

Saturday Night Events

Conference Mixer with the Exhibitors

5:15-7:30 - Exhibitors' Hall, Davis Center, 1st and 2nd Floors

Our popular conference social gathering is back! Enjoy appetizers and wine and beer selections while you chat with friends and visit with the exhibitors. 

This year we’re excited to feature Edith Gawler & Bennett Konesni sharing old-time fiddle tunes, Swedish dance tunes, and farmer’s ballads & hollers—plus a community sing with the participants from the work song workshop, in collaboration with the singers from Cate Hill Orchard! 

The Community Art Project and the 4th Annual Seed Swap will also be happening during this time. 

Hors d’oeuvres are generously provided by our friends at SugarSnap Catering. Cash bar.

 

4th Annual Seed SwapSeed Swap Packets from High Mowing Organic Seeds
5:15-7:30pm

Hosted by our friends at High Mowing Organic Seeds, the Seed Swap is the perfect place to expand the biodiversity of your farm or garden. 

Please bring your clearly labeled seeds to share! An expert from High Mowing will be on hand to answer questions, and we’ll provide packets for you to take home your new seeds.

 

Not ready to turn in yet?

Looking for something fun to do after the Social? We invite you to head downtown and enjoy some of our great local restaurants.

We especially recommend the following Burlington-area businesses, which support NOFA Vermont through our annual Share the Harvest fundraiser. Reservations are recommended, as this Valentine's and Presidents' Day weekend and restaurants will be busy.

City Market/Onion River Coop  Juniper
El Cortijo Lake View House Restaurant
The Farmhouse Tap & Grill  Leonardo's Pizza (take-out only)
Great Harvest Bread Company (breakfast & lunch only)
 Leunig's Bistro
Guild & Company
Penny Cluse Cafe (breakfast & lunch only)
Guild Fine Meats (take-out only)
The Skinny Pancake (Tell them you're with NOFA and they'll donate 10% to us!)
Hen of the Wood  Trattoria Delia

For more dining options, visit the Vermont Fresh Network or the Seven Days' guide to restaraunts and bars, Seven Nights.