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 Natural Awakenings Lancaster-Berks

Local Conference Promotes Sustainable Agriculture

The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) is hosting its 29th annual conference from February 5 through 8 at the Lancaster County Convention Center, in downtown Lancaster. Keynote presentations and educational sessions on more than 100 food and farming topics will be interspersed with networking events and regionally sourced meals.

The conference draws more than 1,800 farmers, food system professionals, educators, advocates, market managers, homesteaders and others that are passionate about building a better food system.

On February 6, filmmaker and author Josh Tickell will provide the keynote address, Activism and Regeneration. Michael Twitty, chef and author, will give the keynote presentation, Culinary Justice: Defining a Theory of Gastronomic Sovereignty, on February 7.

An extensive trade show features vendors and businesses that serve gardeners, farmers and sustainable agriculture professionals. There will be opportunities to talk with and purchase products or services from seed companies, small equipment manufacturers, soil amendment producers, marketing consultants, organic certifiers, extension agents, feed producers, government agencies, researchers and more.

The Future Farmers mini-conference educates and entertains children while their parents attend the main event. Children from kindergarten through eighth grade can enjoy a wide range of activities developed to increase their understanding of farming, nutrition and sustainability.

Workshare program opportunities are open to all, beginning in December and extending until after the conference in February. Participants can reduce their conference registration costs in exchange for lending a helping hand by trading between four and 12 hours of work. Scholarship support, which is open to aspiring farmers and current farmers of all experience levels, is also available.

“Farmer attendees operate at scales that run the gamut from urban farms and market gardens to farms that span several thousand acres, and everywhere in between,” explains Melissa Cipollone, PASA communications strategist. “No matter your experience level or agricultural interests, you’ll be able to pack your schedule with valuable sessions that help hone your craft and advance your cause.”

Cost varies. Location: 25 S. Queen St., Lancaster. To register, call 814-349-9856 or visit

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