The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) is hosting its 23rd annual Farming for the Future Conference at the Penn Stater Conference Center in State College, Pennsylvania. The theme of this year’s conference—which takes place February 5th through 8th—is “Letting Nature Lead,” and will feature speakers Daphne Miller of WholefamilyMD and PASAbilities Main Speaker, Miguel A. Altieri.
Daphne Miller is a family physician and the author of books such as The Jungle Effect and, most recently, Farmacology: What Innovative Family Farming Can Teach Us About Health and Healing. In Farmacology, Miller advocates for agricultural practices that promote “farming in the image of nature, farming in the way that nature farms,” and move away from the chemicalized, reductionist approach to farming that defines industrial agriculture.
Miguel Altieri is the current advisor to the Globally Important Ingenious Agriculture Heritage Systems program and the director of the US-Brazil Consortium on Agroecology and Sustainable Rural Development. “We know one thing for sure: it’s that industrial agriculture has already failed to feed the world,” says Altieri, who promotes agroecological farming as an alternative method in solving the issues of food security and nutrition.
In addition to these speakers and workshops on everything from the 2014 Farm Bill to cheese recipes, the PASA Conference will include benefit auctions, a seed swap, and three film screenings of Growing Cities, Symphony of the Soil, and The Greenhorns. A Future Farmers Program will also take place during the conference, for young aspiring farmers to learn about sustainable practices and connect with other young agriculturalists. The ultimate goal of the annual conference, according to PASA Executive director Brian Snyder, is “to inform our members of the latest innovations in sustainable agriculture, while also giving them an opportunity to celebrate the past year and look forward to the next.”