Wednesday, January 12, 2011

PASA's Farming for the Future Conference- 20 Years of Food System Inspiration

As mid-January quickly approaches I am reminded that time is running out to register for the convivial, informational, and inspirational Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA)'s Farming for the Future Conference. As I have written before, there has been no more influential force in my farming career than PASA and its Farming for the Future Conference. For me it signifies the official start of the season--the place where my enthusiasm and energy for farming is renewed and reinvigorated--where the well-spring of passion, drive, and inspiration is refilled. This is a particular special conference in that it marks the 20th year of occurance with a keynote by the "godfather of sustainable agriculture" Wes Jackson and the conference theme of "Strengthening from Our Roots: Claiming Our Food-System Future."

I encourage you to browse the conference program that includes local meals, music, socializing, expert speakers, as well as a diverse range of informational sessions. I leave you with words from PASA's executive director Brian Snyder:

This year’s conference is special in many ways, but none as poignant as the opportunity we have to celebrate our 20th gathering together as a community of common purpose. My first conference was the 10th, so this is also a milestone of much significance to me personally. As such, it is a time to take stock of where we’ve come from and what we’ve achieved together. In true PASA fashion, however, we are not at all ready to give up the struggle that began even before our first gathering in 1992...the dual effort to restore dignity to farming and good food to the tables of all citizens in this nation and beyond.

Indeed, as our conference theme makes clear this year, we are ready to assert ourselves in a way we never could in the past. An economic recession has come and gone, and there will be others, but the rising tide of interest in the sources of our food and how it is produced will not be diminished anytime soon. That a healthy food system is a key element of our continued high quality of life on this planet is a conclusion being reached by folks at both ends of the political spectrum, and everywhere in unites us in ways that few other endeavors are able to.

We look forward to welcoming you to this latest edition of one of the largest and most respected gatherings of sustainable agriculture enthusiasts anywhere in the country. Come join us as we explore the great sustainable opportunity now before us, that of claiming our food-system future for our families, our communities and, indeed, the entire world.

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