As 2018 dawns, a new state farm bill threatens many of the protections and incentives in place for organic farmers. Amidst this context, NOFA-NY will host their 36th Annual Organic Farming and Gardening Conference in Saratoga, from January 19 to 21. This year's theme is "Healthy People, Healthy Planet," which recognizes the crucial intersection of health and agriculture. There will be workshops in 12 tracks, covering a range of subjects from value-adding techniques to policy, lean business planning to specialty crops like hemp. The keynote speakers will be David Montgomery and Anne Biklé, authors of The Hidden Half of Nature: The Microbial Roots of Life and Health.
A new feature this year is the Wellness Fair, which will be held on January 20. In the style of O+, health practitioners of many modalities will be providing services to conference participants. "We want to honor our farmers by providing some of these services," says Andrianna Natsoulas, Executive Director of NOFA-NY. "Our organic farmers work so hard growing, producing, and selling amazing food for our community, but when it comes to their own bodies, they need a bit of support." The conference is open to the public and includes delicious organic meals, live entertainment in the evening, and a trade show.