CT NOFA's annual Getting Started in Organic Farming Conference helps aspiring organic farmers develop successful farming careers. This event teaches the basics of developing and running an organic operation to both brand new farmers and farmers who are established but want to switch to organic. Attendees have access to valuable support and resources as well as a unique opportunity to interact with knowledgeable experts and established farmers.
8:30am-4:00pm in room 1962 of the College Center at Croizer-William.
Lunch will be provided.
View the conference agenda HERE.
Registration is now closed. Walk-ins are welcome!
CT NOFA members - $40
Future Members - $50
Student pricing - $40
Connecticut College students can attend *FOR FREE* on a scholarship provided by the school; sign up for the conference through the Office of Sustainability, firstname.lastname@example.org, Phone: (860) 439-5068.
Holistic Farmland Management
Crystal Stewart- Cornell Cooperative Extension Vegetable Specialist
Caring for the land involves understanding its natural qualities and then matching your farm goals to land stewardship goals. This talk will discuss methods to assess the capabilities of land and how to select the right path towards long-term land and farm improvement.
Crystal is a regional vegetable specialist with Cornell Cooperative Extension, specializing in organic and small farm production as well as garlic research. She teaches Holistic Management through the Beginning Women Farmer Program throughout the Northeast, and loves helping farmers develop whole-farm plans.
Organic Farming and the Age of the "Locavore" Movement
Steve Munno- Massaro Community Farm
Steve will lead a discussion about the "locavore" movement, and how organic food production was a principle reason for the local food movement's rise in the Northeast. But cost of production and the availability of locally produced conventional product has made it increasingly difficult to survive. How do we survive?
Steve Munno is the Farm Manager at Massaro Community Farm of Woodbridge, CT, which is certified organic, operates a CSA, sells to restaurants and markets, offers educational programs and events, and donates a portion of its harvest to hunger relief organizations. Steve currently serves on the CT NOFA Board of Directors.
Basics of Livestock Raising & Infrastructure
Ed & Belinda Learned- Stonyledge Farm
Learn the basics of raising beef, pork and chicken on a small scale, in a pastured/grassfed setting and infrastructure and equipment needed. We hope to share what has worked for us along with local suppliers and USDA processors.
We are a small, family farm in North Stonington and raise grassfed beef, pasture-raised pork, chicken and free-range eggs. Meat is processed locally and USDA inspected. Our meats are sold on farm, at farm markets, Fiddleheads Co-op and via the Connecticut Farm Fresh Express online store.
Getting Started in Organic Certification
Duncan Cox -Baystate Organic Certifier
Duncan will explain how the organic certification process works. He will describe how crop, livestock, and processing operations large and small can become certified to the USDA National Organic Standards.
Duncan Cox has been inspecting organic farms and processors for Baystate Organic Certifiers since 2003, after first obtaining an MS in Soils from Washington State University, organically producing apples and onions in Washington State, and assisting farmers in both the Pacific Northwest and in South Carolina.
Gaining Access to Quality Farmland
Kip Kolesinskas- UConn Extension
Kathy Ruhf- Executive Director for Land for Good
Participants will gain an overview of common methods/sources for gaining access to farmland, including listing services, and municipal, land trust, and private lands. Topics will include criteria for evaluating a parcel's agricultural potential, elements of a good lease, and kinds of leases to consider.
Kip Kolesinskas- Land Conservation Specialist for the Uconn's "Scaling Up Program" for beginning farmers, and consultant for the CT Dept of Agriculture and American Farmland Trust.
Kathy Ruhf- Executive Director for Land for Good. Kathy has taught, written, and consulted about beginning farmers, land access, and farm succession for 25+ years.
So You Want to Farm: Keys to Financial Success
Lynn Weaver-Farm Credit East
So you want to farm, but what combination of factors are helpful in starting a farming business and being financially successful? Actual results from the FarmStart program shed light on several factors that successful businesses have in common. Lynn's presentation will help participants become comfortable using these consistent factors.
Lynn is the manager of Farm Credit East's Dayville CT office. He was raised on a dairy farm and is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University. His passion is working with the agricultural community, helping farmers be successful personally and professionally. He is also the manager of FarmStart, an investment program which helps to fulfill Farm Credit East’s vision of a vibrant, entrepreneurial agricultural community by giving ambitious new farmers a healthier financial start.
Connecticut College is located at 270 Mohegan Ave, New London, CT 06320. The Event will take place in Croizer-William Hall in room 1962in Directions to Connecticut College click HERE. For a Campus Map click HERE.
Snow Date Sunday, January 25th:
In the event of inclement weather on Saturday, January 24th the conference will take place the following day on Sunday, January 25th. Please plan accordingly.
Direct questions about the conference to Stephanie Berluti, conference coordinator: email@example.com; 203-308-2584.
Event Flyer, Event Postcard