I would like to invite you to participate in this year's Organic Crossroads
Conference, to be held March 4-7 at Naramata Centre, in Naramata, BC.
This is the first time (that we know of) that farmers, environmentalists,
and agriculture activists have worked together to bridge the gap between
us. It is time for us to find common ground, and to subsume our
differnences in order to make our future more sustainable.
This conference is focused on building the skills we all need to continue
farming, to create sustainable communities, and to help our groups work
effectively and proactively. The conference will begin with a Leadership
Training workshop on building grassroots groups' capacity for appropriate
action, including a special "playshop" on censunsus-building. In the
following days, a whole variety of meetings and workshops will take place
on issues ranging from a soil fertility to genetic engineering, from
on-farm processing to seed saving. The conference will also feature an
organic winery tour, an auction and a dance.
We hear all the time about really exciting projects taking place all over
the country, but we so seldom get a chance to meet the people involved, to
learn what worked for them and to figure out how we can use that technique
or expertise. It's also not very often that we have a chance to get
together to create united action, to work together in larger groups, and to
create our own agenda. This conference is an unparalleled chance to do all
of this, with a really diverse group of people who share the same basic
The conference is a collaboration between three groups, all of which have
been active for many years in sustainable agriculture and community
activism throughout the Pacific Northwest. WSAWG (Western Sustainable
Agriculture Working Group) is an association of 31 sustainable agriculture,
environmental and farming organizations, which unites its members to create
a stronger voice, and to share programs, information, and successful
action. COABC (Coalition of Organic Associations of BC) is BC's provincial
organic certification body, responsible for maintaining standards and
assisting bio-regional certifiers and for promotion of organic agriculture.
IOIA (International Organic Inspectors' Assoc.) is the international body
which trains organic inspectors to verify farmers' compliance with organic
standards. All three organizations bring their special skills and concerns
to this conference, creating a unique and exciting crossroads between
activism and farming.
As you will see, each organization is taking charge of a separate area of
the conference. Several workshops and events are open to everyone, while
others require specific registration. Please let us know if you would like
more information on any of the workshops.
We already have some very exciting guests, including Mark Ritchie from the
IATP (Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy), BC Minister of
Agriculture Corky Evans, and Barb Meister of the US Small Farm Commission.
I have enclosed more information on what's happening at the conference, how
to get there, and registration forms. Please find a way to come to this
conference: we need you. None of us can work alone, so let's get together!
If you can't come yourself, please find someone else from your organization
I look forward to hearing from you, and to meeting you at the conference.
Rebecca Kneen,WSAWG Conference Coordinator
Western Sustainable Agriculture Working Group * Crossroads Conference
March 4-7, 1999 * Naramata BC
Rebecca Kneen, Conference Coordinator
S12, C17, RR1 Sorrento BC V0E 2W0
Tel: 250-835-4775 * fax: 250-835-8561 * email: email@example.com
Rebecca Kneen/Brian MacIsaac
S12 C17 RR1
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