FARMING WHILE BLACK: AFRICAN DIASPORIC WISDOM FOR FARMING AND FOOD JUSTICE

Level: Intermediate
Presenter: Leah Penniman, Keynote Speaker

Some of our most cherished sustainable farming practices - from organic agriculture to the farm cooperative and the CSA - have roots in African wisdom. Yet, discrimination and violence against African-American farmers has led to their decline from 14 percent of all growers in 1920 to less than 2 percent today, with a corresponding loss of over 14 million acres of land. Further, Black communities suffer disproportionately from illnesses related to lack of access to fresh food and healthy natural ecosystems. Soul Fire Farm, cofounded by author, activist, and farmer Leah Penniman, is committed to ending racism and injustice in our food system. Through innovative programs such as the Black-Latinx Farmers Immersion, a sliding-scale farmshare CSA, and Youth Food Justice leadership training, Soul Fire Farm is part of a global network of farmers working to increase farmland stewardship by people of color, restore Afro-indigenous farming practices, and end food apartheid. Join us to learn how you too can be part of the movement for food sovereignty and help build a food system based on justice, dignity, and abundance for all members of our community.


ORGANIC FARMERS’ VOICES IN THE FARM BILL AND BEYOND: HOW DID WE DO AND WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE?

Level: Intermediate
Presenters: Kate Mendenhall and Abby Youngblood

Why do Organic farmers need their own voice in Federal policy? This workshop will lay out the successes in recent federal policy issues where united organic farmers' voices has made a difference, and where that pressure continues to be needed. Topics such as Checkoff, farm programs, and organic standards will be discussed with the lens of building farmer power. Join Kate Mendenhall, Executive Director of the Organic Farmers Association, and Abby Youngblood, Executive Director of the National Organic Coalition, for a lively discussion.


FARMLAND INVESTMENT: OPPORTUNITIES AND CONSIDERATIONS FOR LAND ACCESS

Level: Intermediate
Presenters: Sally Dodge, David Howard, and Dale Guldbrandsen

Impact investments in regenerative organic farming deliver healthy foods, soils, and the reversal of climate change. Sally Dodge and Dale Guldbrandsen will describe the successful business model used at Iroquois Valley Farms to provide farmland tenure and financing for family farmers who are joining the food and farming revolution by rebuilding soils, providing clean healthy food, and sequestering carbon to cool the planet. David Howard from the National Young Farmers Coalition will provide insight into land access issues and NYFC's policy initiatives to address farmers needs. This interactive discussion will demonstrate how private mission-related investment in farmland by socially responsible investors can work to benefit both farmers and investors.


NEW LABELS, NEW CONCEPTS: WHAT DO REGENERATIVE AND REAL ORGANIC MEAN?

Level: Intermediate
Presenters: Dave Chapman and Diana Martin

As the organic label has grown into a fifty billion dollar industry, some of the foundational ideals and beliefs have been lost. Recent attempts to address those losses have resulted in the formation of two new labels: The Real Organic Project and the Regenerative Organic Certification. Both labels operate as an add-on to USDA certification, and are operating pilot programs this year. Learn about the goals, challenges, and progress of these two programs as they explore the need for new labels to better serve farmers and eaters.


MAKING LOCAL HEALTHY FOOD ACCESSIBLE TO DIVERSE COMMUNITIES

Level: Intermediate
Presenters: Erin Summerlee, Qiana Mickie, and Kate Miller-Corcoran

Learn about bringing together healthcare providers and local food retailers (farmers’ markets, CSA programs, mobile produce markets) to increase access to local food for diverse communities, while opening new markets and customer bases for farms. Erin Summerlee, Director of the Food & Health Network of South Central NY, will offer strategies for building partnerships with healthcare providers and leveraging clinics as hubs for local food distribution and education. Kate Miller-Corcoran, Farm Share Coordinator, VINES (Volunteers Improving Neighborhood Environments) will share the nuts and bolts of how the FVRx has worked for their multi-farm CSA program, and practical approaches for actively involving participants in the design and delivery of food access programs. Qiana Mickie, Executive Director of Just Food, will share lessons from the season of a unique collaboration of new partners that connects healthcare, equity, and CSA to LGBTQ clients in NYC.


THE FARM LABOR DILEMMA: IMMIGRANT WORKERS ON NEW YORK FARMS

Level: Intermediate
Presenters: Carly Fox, Luis Jiménez, Chris Cashen, and Mike McMahon

Farmers struggling to find sufficient labor for their farms find that immigrant workers with farm backgrounds have the necessary skills and work ethic. But US immigration laws make hiring immigrant farmworkers complex and problematic. Hear the stories of a farmer who uses the H2A program, a farmer who hires direct, and a Mexican farmworker who will share why he came to the US and what it would take to make this work livable for him and his compatriots. Come with your questions, let's talk about the solutions.


CREATING PESTICIDE-FREE ZONES IN YOUR COMMUNITY

Level: Intermediate
Presenter: Jay Feldman

Jay Feldman, founder and Executive Director of Beyond Pesticides, will describe how citizens have taken their community health into their own hands and created pesticide free zones managed with organic practices at various levels. From organic land and landscape care, to alternatives for schools, hospitals, and legislation at the local, state, and federal level, Beyond Pesticides has been in the forefront guiding individuals and communities to get the toxics out of their lives. Discuss communities that adopted policies in the northeast and throughout the country, the challenges and successes. Hear the stories and ask lots of questions!