ECOFARM CONFERENCE AND THE FARM BILL

ECOFARM CONFERENCE AND THE FARM BILL

EcoFarm Predicts Record Attendance for the West’s Leading Sustainable Farm
Conference

Soquel, CA-January 23, 2012- The Ecological Farming Association anticipates
a full house at the 32nd Annual EcoFarm Conference, Raising EcoFarmers’
Voices, at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove. The event takes
place from February 1 – 4, 2012, and is the largest ecological agricultural
gathering in the West, offering more than 60 workshops, and a comprehensive
array of educational and networking sessions for 1,500 farmers, marketers,
activists, consumers, students, and educators.

Raising EcoFarmers Voices is almost sold out, but EcoFarm staff reports that
there are a limited number of day passes for most conference activities, as
well as some lodging and meal options; they urge people to sign up as soon
as possible.

With the national 2012 Farm Bill legislative process gearing up, the
conference will feature a number of timely sessions focusing on what the
National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) calls “a prime opportunity
to amplify our voices and push for a greener, healthier, and fairer food and
farm system for consumers and family farmers.”
Leading sustainable food and farm advocates will conduct a comprehensive
session detailing the nuts and bolts of the Farm Bill, and two policy
experts, author Dan Imhoff, and Renata Brillinger of the Climate Protection
Campaign, will lead an interactive discussion on developing strategies and
coalitions. In a session entitled “Think Federally, Act Locally,”
experienced policy organizers will share tactics to enable food movement
stakeholders to wage effective campaigns.

“We gather each year for the EcoFarm Conference to advance the cause of a
healthy, safe, and just food and farming system,” says Ken Dickerson,
EcoFarm’s executive director. “We are delighted by the response this year,
and look forward to this special time to learn from each other, share our
stories, form networks, and collaborate.”

The conference, which is supported in part by Clif Bar & Company, Full Belly
Farm, and Veritable Vegetable, hosts artisan cheese, beer, and wine
tastings; live entertainment; an Exhibitor Marketplace showcasing over fifty
organic and ecologically-based businesses and organizations; a mixer linking
current and future farmers; a seed swap; and new this year, a series of
Farmer Discussion Groups. In addition to the full schedule of sessions on
farm production, marketing, business, and finance, conference-goers will
have multiple opportunities to learn from nationally-known leaders on topics
encompassing current political, ethical, and social issues, such as fixing
school food, GMOs (genetically modified organisms) , and the fast-growing
CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) movement.

“The EcoFarm Conference is inspiring,” says Andy Scott, farmer at Hidden
Villa Farms in Los Altos, Calif. “EcoFarm always manages to bring together
new people with the newest ideas.”

The Ecological Farming Association nurtures healthy and just farms, food
systems, communities and environment by bringing people together for
education, alliance building, and celebration. Over the past 31 years, the
EcoFarm Conference and education programs have reached more than 75,000
participants, supporting grassroots leadership and regional solutions to
increase and promote healthy, ecologically-sustainable farms and food
systems.

To learn more about the EcoFarm Conference, and to register, visit
www.eco-farm.org, write info@eco-farm.org, or call 831.763.2111.

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