SOQUEL, Calif. — Recently described in the LA Times as “one of the most influential events in the world of sustainable agriculture,” the EcoFarm Conference has been gathering ecologically minded farmers, ranchers and foodies alike for the past 40 years.
In partnership with Sierra Harvest, this year’s EcoFarm Conference will be held live, online Wed. – Saturday, January 20 – 23. The move to a virtual format opens up this galvanizing event to a wider audience, with even more stellar speakers and a lower price tag.
While the conference won’t be held on the Pacific Coast as it usually is, the array of opportunities and diverse voices that come with the digital format is sure to inspire and empower.
With a focus on practical regenerative agriculture and a strong lens of equity, social justice, this year’s gathering is not one to miss.
The first keynote session will feature leaders from a variety of fields as featured in the book Bite Back: People Taking on Corporations and Winning discuss the new directions, systems, and alliances that the food and farm movement must make to re-think, re-imagine, and re-create the way we produce, distribute and consume food in America.
Other visionary keynote speakers include Rupa Marya, M.D., John Kempf and Reginaldo (Regi) Haslett Marroquin. Focusing on everything from ecology and climate change to regenerative strategies for soil health to sustainable poultry systems, even the most seasoned grower will find something new to learn in this year’s conference.
Thursday’s keynote features Farmworkers on the Forefront and Friday’s Successful Organic Farmers keynote features leading farms owned and run by people of color. Matthew and Althea Raiford and Ben Burkett will share their stories and what they’ve learned along the way.
The final keynote will be given by renowned physician, activist, musician, and farmer’s wife – Dr. Rupa Marya. Dr Marya advocates deeply for creating a culture of care as the most effective way to manifest impactful change in population health.
The event is preceded with all-day Pre-conference intensives that will take place on January 13 -19 including Organic Pioneers and the Future of Real Organic, Regenerative Agricultural Systems: Equity and Inclusion Healing People and the Planet, Lessons from the Hemp Field: Navigating Opportunities and Risks of the New Market, White Out: Retelling the Story of Our Identities and Our Role for Racial Justice. Too chilly outside to think about bundling up to go on a farm tour? EcoFarm has you covered. Pre-conference events will culminate with Friday’s virtual Nevada County Farm Tour focused on Ecological Agriculture on Small Farms of the Sierra Foothills and Live Q&A with Farmers. Stone’s Throw Farm will discuss soil occultation, For the People Seeds will teach about seed production cleaning and saving, and Super Tuber Farm will share skill around bed preparation and weed management.
“Agriculture and growers don’t have a reputation for being sexy, but somehow EcoFarm manages to maintain a balance between cool and innovative content and more thoughtful deep dives, with engaging conversations on timely topics that resonate for all growers, such as the broad and yet very critical umbrella topic of soil health,” comments Amy Wu, Founder & Director of From Farms to Incubators.
Sierra Harvest Farm Institute Director Molly Nakahara said, “Collaborating with EcoFarm is a big win for our local farmers! It enables Sierra Harvest to deliver cutting edge ag research, the wisdom of successful farmers from across the nation, and important conversations on the role of farming in reversing climate change right into the homes of our local farmers, ranchers, homesteaders and local food lovers.”
In addition to world-class keynotes, the conference will be offering 50+workshops in English and Spanish, a virtual expo, seed swaps, cooking demos, networking, consultations with experts, awards, and much more.
Tickets to the conference are available now, and prices will go up January 20th. Help 2021 get off to a new start by joining EcoFarm for a conferenced filled with visionary leaders and practical skills to elevate our farms and food systems…and reimagine our future.
To learn more about EcoFarm Conference and to register, visit www.eco-farm.org/conference
–Ecological Farming Association (EcoFarm)