Registration for The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association’s Farmer to Farmer Conference is now open. The conference is known for its intimacy, in-depth treatment of topics and farmer-led discussions. It is open to all farmers. The conference offerings are based on the idea that farmers learn best from their peers and other practitioners. Conference speakers include university faculty, extension educators and other agricultural professionals. The conference offers a unique workshop session format, which presents talks by both agricultural service professionals and farmers before opening up to farmer discussion to capitalize on the knowledge of all in attendance, according to a news release from MOFGA, based in Unity.

This year the conference will be held virtually — bringing together presentations, panels and breakout groups mixed with farmer-led discussion groups and one-on-one farmer connection opportunities.

A favorite aspect of the conference, farm tours, will continue this year. Virtual farm tours will feature Footprint Farm of Starksboro, Vermont; Evening Song Farm of Shrewsbury, Vermont; and Nature’s Circle Farm, located in Maine’s Aroostook County. These farm tours will be pre-recorded and available to conference attendees beginning on Sunday, Nov. 1, and will run throughout the conference and beyond.

The keynote address, “Climate Change, Resilience and the Future of Food,” will be presented by Laura Lengnick on Monday, Nov. 2. Lengnick is an award-winning soil scientist who has explored agricultural sustainability for more than 25 years as a researcher, policymaker, educator, author, consultant and farmer. She is the founder and principal consultant at Cultivating Resilience, LLC, an Asheville, N.C.-based firm that works with organizations of all kinds to integrate resilience thinking into operations and strategic planning.

Farmer to Farmer Conference sessions will be held on Monday, Wednesday and Friday (Nov. 2, 4 and 6), featuring four session-blocks with five conference sessions available per block. Sessions include a healthy mix of production, marketing and farm management topics as well as a specific racial justice track and a livestock track.

Participants are encouraged to register soon. Conference registration is $60 per person after that. MOFGA is offering a sliding scale option: Attendees can choose to pay $20, $30, $40, $70 or $80. The event is free for MOFGA Journeyperson/Maine Farm Resilience Program participants, BIPOC farmers and veteran farmers. MOFGA has lots of scholarships available as well; applications must be submitted by Thursday, Oct. 15.

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