Over 1,000 Farmers Come Together for the 2016 NOFA NY Winter Conference
The Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY) held its annual Winter Conference in January, bringing over 1,000 farmers and organic enthusiasts from across the Empire State to Saratoga Springs for three days of workshops on the theory, business, and techniques of organic farming.
On the first night, keynote speaker Rosalinda Guillen set the stage for one of the principal conference themes – equity in the food system. Founder and executive director of Community to Community, a grassroots organization working to build connections between popular movements for social justice, Ms. Guillen has been intimately involved in the farm labor movement since she began working on a farm in Washington State at the age of ten. The message she brought to the NOFA conference, that farm workers and small family farms are natural allies in the struggle against industrial agriculture, clearly resonated.
On Saturday, Kathie Arnold of Twin Oaks Farm was presented with the NOFA-NY Farmer of the Year Award. She shared her personal story and spoke about legal protections that can help farmers be prepared for the unexpected.
With workshops ranging from creating a mission-driven farm to raising pastured rabbit, the conference covered a wide range of topics. As a conference sponsor, LEP was pleased to join so many sustainable agriculture enthusiasts from across New York.