Minnesota Organic Conference organizers have announced the 2018 conference keynote speakers for January 11 and 12, 2018. Farmer, author, and urban agriculture visionary Michael Ableman will present “A Place at the Table” on January 11. University of Vermont Extension Agronomist and organic farmer Heather Darby will present “From Milk to Milkweed: A Vermont Farmer’s Journey to Organic” on January 12.
Michael Ableman is considered one of the founders of the Urban Agriculture movement, and pioneered the sustainable and organic agriculture movements. As the co-founder and director of Sole Food Street Farms, Ableman empowers individuals managing poverty and addiction by providing employment opportunities. Active in both Canada and the U.S., Ableman has been farming since the 1970s. In addition to providing the keynote speech on Thursday of the conference, Ableman will also present a breakout session on the business viability of urban agriculture on Friday.
Heather Darby, an Extension Agronomist with the University of Vermont, has worked with organic farmers for the past 15 years. In addition to applied research and outreach programs on crop and forage production and soil management, Darby owns and operates a diversified organic farm. Darby’s work centered on environmental health won her the Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence in 2010. Darby will share her own experiences as an organic farmer during her keynote speech on Friday of the conference; she will also present breakout sessions throughout the conference on soil health, and organic production of fiber and oil crops.
Registration for the Minnesota Organic Conference is now open. Early Bird registration closes December 29. For more information, including conference updates, visit www.mda.state.mn.us/food/organic/conference or call Cassie Dahl at 651-201-6134.
Alauna Yust, MDA Communications