Request for Workshop Proposals 36th NOFA Vermont Annual Winter Conference 

36th Annual NOFA-VT Winter Conference
February 17-19, 2018
University of Vermont, Burlington, VT

Proposal application period: August 1, 2017 - September 20, 2017
Proposals will not be accepted after September 20, 2017 

submit proposals

About the Conference: 

The NOFA-VT Annual Winter Conference is Vermont's largest agricultural conference, bringing together more than 1,100 farmers, gardeners, homesteaders, educators, policy makers, food system workers, and consumers for three days of workshops, networking sessions, meals and celebration. 
Location: University of Vermont's Davis Center and surrounding campus, Burlington, VT
Dates: February 17-19, 2018 

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



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


We will host one day of “intensive” workshops on Monday, February 19th.  These intensive workshops are an opportunity to dig deep into a topic area and are typically 6 - 8 hours long (with a mid-day lunch break).  Compensation arrangements for intensives will be handled on a case-by-case basis. All intensives must be able to accommodate between 45-65 people during their session. If you need to cap your attendance please explain the reason and give your attendance cap when you submit your RFP.

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, but do receive free registration and lunch during the day of their presentation (see 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. 

This year we ask that all presenters take care of printing their own handouts/supplemental materials for each of their workshops. Please contact Kyla Bedard, Winter Conference Coordinator, if you need assistance.

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. White board with markers (flip charts are available upon request)

The following AV must be supplied by the presenter:

  1. Your presentation on a flash drive AND in your email.
  2. 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.

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.


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:

Questions and Information

For more information about the conference and/or information concerning workshop content and submission process, contact Kyla Bedard at (802)434-4122 or [email protected].

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 27, 2017.

Thank you for your interest in participating in NOFA-VT’s 36th 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.

Download the PDF for full submission details »