The Virginia Association for Biological Farming (VABF) has been around since the late 70’s organizing and supporting sustainable farmers and food producers at the state level. VABF served as an inspiration for Land and Table as we formed to network the local food movement in our region three years ago. Each year VABF hosts a farming conference that brings together a top-notch group of speakers and workshop leaders to encourage the growing shift toward organic and ecologically-minded agriculture and to support the food producers who have already made the transition. This year’s 17th annual VABF conference (in collaboration with Virginia Cooperative Extension, and Virginia State University) will be held January 29-30 at the W.E. Skelton 4-H Conference Center at Smith Mountain Lake. We are fortunate to have this excellent farming conference hosted in our area this year and there is still time register. Some of the highlights include: Plenary Speakers:

  • John Boyd, National Black Farmers Association
  • Todd Haymore, Virginia Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry
  • Forrest Pritchard, Organic Farmer and New York Times Bestselling Author
Pre-Conference Workshops:
  • Steve Groff: Making Cover Crops Pay
  • Rosalind Creasy, Rowen White & Ira Wallace: Seed Saving School
  • Nazirahk Amen: Tools and Mechanized Equipment for Successful Small Farms
  • Jim Adkins: Slow Poultry Strategy Seminar
Concurrent Workshop Sessions:
  • David Grimsley: Appalachian –Chinese Medicinal Herbs
  • Rowen White: Seed Stewardship
  • CJ Isbell: Holistic Integrated Commercial Crop-Livestock System
  • Barbara Pleasant: The Pantry-Driven Garden
  • Steve Groff: Cover Crops and Tillage Systems
  • Jim Adkins: Advanced Poultry for Commercial Purposes & Backyard Poultry
  • Nazirahk Amen: Nutrient Dense Grain Production for the Small Farm, and Introducing Rice
  • Dr. Phil Sponenberg: Sustainable Livestock Breeding and Selection
  • Cindy Conner: Scaling-Up from a Homestead Garden to a Market Garden
  • Doug Pfeiffer: Managing Invasive Insect Pests Organically
  • Rosalind Creasy & Ira Wallace: Edible Landscaping – The New American Garden
Other Workshops include:
  • Livestock
  • Commercial Horticultural Crops
  • Gardening
  • Homesteading
  • Integrated Systems and the Big Picture
  • Virginia Innovations in Tomato Growing
  • Designing a Cropping System Around Pepper Profits
  • USDA Meat Processing Options for Virginia’s Organic Producers
  • Marketing Journeys of Successful Farms
  • Virginia’s Organic Future: Research
  • Nurturing Pollinators
  • Organic Pasture Establishment and Improvement
  • All about Row Covers
  • Labels, Laws and Biological Marketing
  • Growing Healthy Greens
  • Healthy Cows, Healthy Dairy
  • Tradeshow Exhibits
  • Local and biologically grown food (including breakfast!)
  • Taste of Virginia Friday Night Social
  • Silent Auction
  • Youth and Kids program
  • Organic Foods Festival (Potluck)

Get all the details and register now >>>

This conference could be the single greatest investment in your future that you make this year. And for those who are looking for a discounted rate there are volunteer opportunities available.
  Funding to pay VABF conference registrations for Cooperative Extension, NRCS, FSA, VoAg teachers is now AVAILABLE. Farmers market managers, 4H Leaders and similar folks may also be eligible. The USDA-SARE Professional Development Program has generously made funds available for public servants to attend the conference and/or pre-conference workshops. Some agency educational credits are available. To sign-up for free registration public servants should contact: Eric Bendfeldt – Virginia SARE Director  VABF annual farming conference flyer]]>

Land And Table

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