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January 13 is Registration Deadline for 35th Annual Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York’s 2017 Winter Conference

Written By Editor on 1/10/17 | 1/10/17

It’s the final two weeks to register for the 35th Northeast Organic Faming Association of New York’s (NOFA-NY) 2017 Winter Conference, Long Live the Farmer: Diversity & Biodiversity in Saratoga Springs, NY. From January 20-22, this year’s bonus includes the first Northeast Organic Seed Conference: Owning Our Own Seed.
“Each year our conference strives to inspire, inform, and provide an unparalleled opportunity for networking and for reciprocal reaching and learning,” noted NOFA-NY Executive Director Andrianna Natsoulas. “Including the Seed Conference is a wonderful addition to an already dynamic line-up of more than 100 workshops in 17 different tracks.”
Tying the two together is Keynote Speaker, the eminent CR Lawn, founder of Fedco Seeds. He will focus on creating an ethical, sustainable seed system and share strategies for overcoming obstacles. Many additional conference highlights include a seed swap, a special joint presentation by award-winning chef Dan Barber of Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Cornell vegetable breeder Michael Mazourek on chef-breeder collaboration, special half-day workshop intensives, a participatory on-farm horse-powered workshop, book signings, films, special discussion groups, and social activities.
Special interest tracks feature fruit, vegetables, livestock, grains, beverage, mushrooms, permaculture, gardening and homesteading, draft animals, plus marketing and business, policy, social justice, urban farming, small scale food processors, and community, education, and co-ops.  More than 80 conference exhibitors also will be in attendance.
Workshops and discussion groups will delve into what farmer diversity looks like. There will be a "Dismantling Racism" workshop led by Keith McHenry, as well as discussion groups for women, veterans and LGBTQ farmers and advocates. NOFA-NY aims to recognize divisions, bridge them and honor their diversity. Stephen Gabreil will organize a teach-in (or two) for Farmers in Action to prepare for civil leadership in the coming months and years. NOFA-NY also will live stream the events in Washington, DC so attendees can stay informed of what is happening in the nation’s capital.  
Mike and Gayle Thorpe of Thorpe’s Organic Family Farm are the 2017 NOFA-NY Farmers of the Year. Their family-owned and operated farm encompasses more than 2,000 acres of organically managed land in East Aurora, New York.  The Thorpes grow over 300 varieties of certified organic fruits, vegetables, hay, and grains, have a CSA of 540 families, and a citrus grove in Florida.
For attendees with children ages 5-12, a children’s conference with hands-on activities is available. Pre-registration is required. Full children’s conference fees are $130 or $55/day.
Online registration is open through Friday, January 13, 2017 at www.nofany.org/conference, or by calling the NOFA-NY office (585) 271-1979. Full conference registration is available ($285) or pro-rated for full- and half-day intensive sessions. NOFA-NY members receive a 10% registration discount. Walk-ins are welcome.

A 20% student discount may be awarded to groups of three or more students; those interested should contact (585) 271-1979. (Valid Student ID required.)  
Registration fees include breakfasts and lunches, all workshops (including the seed conference), trade show, keynote addresses, meetings, and all other scheduled activities.  The Saratoga Hilton and City Center is located at 534 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY.
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