Thursday, 27 December 2012

Keeping food local focus of agriculture conference

By Mike Dawson 

Cheesemaking, beekeeping and important policy issues surrounding the sustainable food movement will be topics at the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture’s conference in February on Penn State’s campus.

The conference will be Feb. 6 to 9 at The Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel, and registration is open.

The sustainable agriculture association, based in Millheim is expecting more than 2,000 people who include farmers, chefs, students and business leaders from the United States and abroad. The theme of the conference is “starting fresh, starting local, starting now.”

“More than ever, it is becoming clear that our prevailing systems for producing and procuring good food for our communities, and for the world, must be reformed rather drastically,” said Brian Snyder, the executive director for the association, in a news release announcing the conference.

The conference’s keynote speaker is Charles Eisenstein, the author of the book “The Ascent of Humanity” and a former instructor at Penn State. Eisenstein is now on the faculty at Goddard College in Vermont.

Another speaker is Ben Hewitt, the author of the book “The Town that Saved Food” that chronicles Hardwick, Vt., and efforts from agricultural entrepreneurs there to set up a network of food that depended on local farms.

The conference starts with two days of sessions with topics that include farming for beginners, beekeeping and cheesemaking. Workshops follow the last two days of the conference, with topics like marketing to restaurants, communicating with policymakers and financial planning.

Eisenstein’s keynote address is Feb. 8, and Hewitt goes on Feb. 9.

The activities also include a seed swap, an auction, live music and programs for children.
Original Article Here

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