Despite pandemic, format promises to be extensive (PASA Conference)
HARRISBURG, Pa. — The virtual format of this year’s Pasa Sustainable Agriculture Conference has not curtailed this organization’s ability to present an extensive pre-conference and main conference program.
Three weeks of the conference instead of their usual four days means that registrants can access a larger range of educational offerings with fewer overlapping sessions.
Although the pre-conference from Jan. 19-29 is designed for farmers, all are welcome to attend.
More than 30 live educational sessions focus on production.
Those sessions are scheduled during the weekdays at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., and 2 p.m. over two weeks. Examples include “Vegetable Crop Nutrient Needs and Nutrient Management Budgeting,” in two parts; “Grazing Beef Cattle in the Heat;” “Proven Strategies for Profitable Urban Ag;” “New Cheese Varieties: Research and Development for Success;” and “Organic Solutions: How Certification Can Power Up Your Direct Marketing Strategy.”
Those registering for the pre-conference can purchase a pass that accesses the sessions and recordings or register for specific sessions only.
The main conference, Feb. 1-5,, also features more than 30 live and on-demand sessions.
These target farmers, food system professionals and changemakers. This week-long conference portion explores big food system ideas as well as production-focused topics.
These sessions include “Season Extension for Vegetable Farms;” “Building Resilience Through Income Diversification Strategies;” “Biocontrols for Cut Flower Growers;” “No-spray Fruit for the Mid-Atlantic;” and many more.
The keynote address, featured speakers, social and networking events and the virtual exhibits are included in the main conference.
The presentations are mornings and afternoons. Meet-ups, discussion groups, mixers and games are scheduled in the evenings.
Main conference registrants can access the interactive virtual event platform which can be used on computers, tablets and mobile devices, and can navigate to the live and on-demand sessions, peruse virtual exhibits and connect with other attendees. Access to all recordings is included as well.
Robin Wall Kimmerer, the keynote speaker, authored “Braiding Sweeetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants.”
Other featured speakers include Judith Schwartz, author of “Water in Plain Sight: Hope for a Thirsty World;” Malik Yakini, Detroit Community Food Security Network; Rattan Lai, of Ohio State University, Carbon Management & Sequestration Center, who won a 2020 World Food Prize; and Ricardo J. Salvador, of Union of Concerned Scientists, Food & Environment Program.
An abbreviated list of over 100 speakers in the sessions include Anais Beddard, Lady Moon Farm; Steve Bogash, Maronne Bio Innovations. Inc.; Jim Crawford, New Morning Farm; Scott Chase, Patchwork Farm; Tom Ford, Penn State; Lamonte Garber, Stroud Water Research Center; Kelly Gill, Xerces Society and USDA NRCS; Don Jantzi, Rodale Institute; Drew and Joan Norman, One Straw Farm; Katie Poppiti. PCO; Hanna Smith-Brubaker, Pasa Sustainable Agriculture; Richard Stup, Cornell; Justin Trezza, Pensylvania Horticultural Society; Noelle Warford, Urban Tree Connection; and Judy Wicks, All Together Now PA.
The early January 5 rates are $75 for student/apprentice, senior $115 and adults $150. The standard January 28 rates range from $85, $130, and $170. The same rates apply to the all-inclusive pre-conference and main conference. Single recordings for the pre-conference range from $5, $10, and $15 each.
Pasa Sustainable Agriculture has offered to reduce rates for those affected by the pandemic. The deadline to submit the request is January 15.
Instructions on accessing the conference with links will be emailed to registrants.
In addition, they recommend that Zoom with the latest updates be downloaded prior to the conference. Technology support also will be available during the conference.
Registration along with detailed information on the conference may be accessed at www.pasafarming.org.
Questions can be answered at 814-349-9856.