Building Sustainable Communities Through Sustainable Agriculture
RALEIGH - The 8th annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference is
being held Friday, November 12 through Sunday, November 14, 1993
at the McKimmon Center at North Carolina State University in
Raleigh, NC. Farmers, consumers, agriculture advocates, food
processors, distributors and retailers, and government and
university representatives will join forces to focus on "Building
Sustainable Communities," this year's theme. The conference is a
project of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA). For
the past thirteen years, CFSA has promoted sustainable and
organic agriculture through advocacy, certification, market
promotion, education, and research. This annual conference is
the highlight of these efforts.
Public concern for water and food pesticide contamination is
growing. Recent reports from the National Academy of Sciences on
the measurement standards used to study the impact of pesticides
on children has caused alarm. Farmers are faced with increased
pressure to reduce pesticide use. Some of today's most urgent
environmental and health questions involve clean water, healthy
soil, and a safe and consistent food supply. Sustainable
agriculture methods answer these questions directly and
demonstrate not only the possibility, but also the profitability,
of sustainable practices.
The primary objective of this conference is to bring
together people from all aspects of the agriculture industry to
interact, learn and share information as we work towards creating
a sustainable future together. The sponsors represent the
diversity and strength of this collaborative effort: Agriculture
Resources Center, Albert's Organics, Carolina Farm Stewardship
Association, Clemson University, Corganics, Harmony Farms, McGill
Environmental, Necessary Trading Company, North Carolina A&T
University, NC Cooperative Extension Service, NC Department of
Agriculture, NC State University, Rural Advancement Foundation
International, South Carolina Land Resources, Conservation
Commission, and Wellspring Grocery. Additionally, this
conference is being held concurrently with the NC Solar Energy
Association's annual conference.
Friday's program will set the stage for discussing the role
of sustainable agriculture in the bigger picture of developing
sustainable communities. Wes Jackson of the Land Institute in
Salina, Kansas, who is known within the sustainable agriculture
community as a visionary leader, will be the keynote speaker. He
will deliver his address, entitled "On Becoming Native to this
Place," at the awards banquet Friday, November 12 at 7:30 p.m.
Mike Nicklas, of the International Solar Energy Society, will
also speak Friday. An afternoon panel will focus on the
relationships between natural resources and how technologies for
different disciplines and resources can be linked together to
support sustainable agriculture and sustainable communities.
A total of twelve workshops Saturday and Sunday will offer
in-depth information on organic production methods, biological
pest control, permaculture, farm biodiversity, rotational
grazing, alternative energy, and intentional communities.
Representatives from the region will discuss their experience and
new developments. A tour of the North Carolina Solar Home will
be held on Sunday. This conference will provide hand-on,
technical and practical information about agriculture production
practices which reduce the need for chemical applications.
Sustainable agriculture solutions embody a systems approach
that considers farmers' economic and lifestyle need. Mutual
goals of consumer and production demands to provide quality,
healthy food are achieved with sustainable agriculture.
Alternative production methods and marketing strategies show
growth potential at a time when growth is needed. Approximately
600 acres in the Carolinas are certified by the CFSA and are
currently in organic crop production. This represents 29 farms,
of which 27 are certified organic and two are certified
transitional organic. Today, according to the Organic Crop
Improvement Association (OCIA), 5% of the total farm population
nationally is certified organic, and that figure is growing.
Ticket are available for the 8th annual Sustainable
Agriculture Conference being held Friday, November 12 through
Sunday, November 14, 1993 at the McKimmon Center at North
Carolina State University in Raleigh, NC. Tickets for the awards
banquet only, featuring keynote speaker Wes Jackson, Friday,
November 12 at 7:30 p.m., are $25.00 and are available now.
After October 22, call for banquet ticket availability. Student
rates are available. For registration or other information,
contact Marjorie Bender at CFSA (919/968-1030).