A letter from the Executive Director

Here at the BFA we have just completed our 6th annual Soil & Nutrition conference, and laid out major endeavors for the year to come in our strategy meeting that followed the conference...
We have historically held our annual Soil & Nutrition conference in February, but this time decided to move up the date to December so that the conference could be completed before winter really commences, giving us these next three cold months to get some real systemic work done!

It was truly inspiring to share time and explore critical questions of soil health, human health and planetary health with others so passionate about these issues.  As has been the case in previous years, there was a tangible sense of camaraderie, passion and excitement about the movement we are building, and where it is headed. The caliber of speakers and the content they presented, along with the depth of the attendees, made it an event referred to by many with superlatives strong enough to make us blush. "The best conference I have ever attended", "Like the Acres conferences used to be thirty years ago", "The most important conference to occur in North America this year", and more.

Looking forward to a burst of energy and growth in the coming year
Now that we have set the bar sufficiently high, plans are already in the works for an even better event next year. The topic areas and speakers set the tone – if there is someone you know of who you think would be a good addition, or a topic you would like to see addressed in our next conference, please send your suggestions to conference@bionutrient.org. Dates are not finalized yet for next year's event, but we are looking at the same window between the end of November and beginning of December. Pencil it in now!

Our organizational strategy meeting held immediately after the conference laid out what I think will be our major new endeavor of the year, and one which may take this organization and our work to the big time. Dozens of inspired and committed individuals gathered on Tuesday evening and then reconvened the following day, Wednesday, to listen to presentations from Mike Stenta of Farm OS, Dorn Cox of Farm Hack, and Greg Austic of PhotosynQ lay out the components that they have each been working on. Together, we aim to enter into a collaboration that will build out an open-source platform and tool stack that we can use to accomplish a number of systemic and synergistic objectives. There was a general consensus among the attendees that this project aligns well with the mission and agenda of the BFA, and moving forward should be prioritized. Work is ongoing to establish the project, and we should be in a place to say more as the project develops over the next months. Stay tuned!
Help champion regenerative farming that's better for people & the planet
If you enjoyed this year's conference, but have yet to join as a BFA member, sign up with the organization for a member discount to next year's conference as well as all our other organization workshops, among other member benefits. As a 501(c)3 non profit organization, we run to a large degree on the grassroots support of our membership, as well as the generosity of others. For the work that we accomplish, much less the work we are working to achieve, we have an embarrassingly small budget, and are only able to sustain ourselves based upon the commitment to mission and ability of our staff to work far below market wage. Fundraising has always been one of my weakest suits, and will hopefully be systemically addressed in the coming year. For the time being however, we have trusted that our work is recognized, and those who have the capacity to support us will. We have a brokerage account for those who are in a position to donate stock, and checks to the BFA are gratefully accepted. Visit us on the web at http://bionutrient.org/get-involved/ for more ways to get involved in support of healthy soils, healthy communities, and a healthy planet!

Thank you,

Audio recordings of the conference now online

Click here to access the
S&N Conference Archives
For those who were unable to make it to the Soil & Nutrition Conference this year, audio recordings of all the presentations and the accompanying powerpoints are now freely available online at the Soil & Nutrition Conference Archives.  Put on the headphones while you are warming your toes in front of the winter woodstove – an ideal time for deep listening and reflection.  And we also encourage you to share with your friends & allies.

Upcoming workshops

Even though we are in deep winter, many of us are perusing seed catalogs and dreaming of warmer weather.  It is in these quieter months that we schedule the bulk of our courses, and Dan will be logging significant mileage this winter presenting our core workshop series about high bionutrient crop production: "Principles and Practices of Biological Management".  This two-day workshop builds upon your knowledge and experience to find ways to increase the health of your soil and crops for greater yields, healthier produce and better marketability. Nearly 2,000 growers have attended the course over the past six years, and our attendance continues to grow thanks to word-of-mouth promotion of the course by previous attendees.  Learn more at www.bionutrient.org/workshops

Free introductory lectures

In anticipation of the scheduled workshops above, the BFA will be reaching out to farmers, gardeners, nutritionists, food advocates and all who are curious about the relationship between soil health, plant health and human health. Dan Kittredge will be offering free evening lectures about the importance of bionutrient-rich foods, and the exciting form of biological and energetic farming that integrates scientific principles in simple, commonsense ways that empower growers to significantly improve their crops. Explains Dan, "For me, it's about looking at food and plants in a new way – providing the ideal environment for a plant's genetic potential to manifest itself."  Learn more at www.bionutrient.org/events

The calendar is getting fairly full, but there are still a few windows available for those interested in coordinating events in their areas. Contact gary@bionutrient.org if you would like to host a lecture or course, or know of a conference we should be presenting at.

Winter conference engagements

Being the "off season" for regional growers, farming conferences abound at this time of year, and as Dan hopscotches around the country between workshops and speaking engagements, he is also scheduled to speak at a number of the premier winter conferences in the East.  Learn more at www.bionutrient.org/events
Montpelier, VT  Jan 7 & Mar 18
Athens, OH  Jan 21-22
Lewes, DE  Feb 5-6
Bedford Hills, NY  Feb 12 & Mar 19
Richmond, VA  Feb 18-19
Pomona, CA  Feb 25-26
Sebastopol, CA  Mar 5-6
La Villita, NM Mar 22-23
Mills River, NC  Apr 8-9
and more to be scheduled!
Lewes, DE  Jan 5
Mount Sydney, VA  Jan 12
Taos, NM  Jan 23
Santa Fe  Jan 24
Albuquerque, NM  Jan 24
Richmond, VA  Jan 30
Whallonsburg, NY  Mar 14
Virginia Biological Farming Conference
Hot Springs, VA – Jan 10-11
NOFA/Mass Winter Conference
Worcester, MA – Jan 14
NOFA/NH Winter Conference 
Concord, NH – Jan 28
NOFA/NJ Winter Conference -
New Brunswick, NJ – Jan 29
Farming for the Future Conference (PASA)
State College, PA – Feb 1-4
2017 OEFFA Conference
Dayton, OH – Feb 9-11
Organic Growers School Spring Conference
Asheville, NC – Mar 11-12

Deep appreciation for our conference sponsors

Thank you again to the sponsors of the 6th Annual Soil & Nutrition Conference.  With the generous support of the enlightened organizations below we were able to create a broad and dynamic program for the benefit of all.  Thank you.

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