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EcoFarm Conference

Wednesday, January 23, 2019 - 10:00am to Saturday, January 26, 2019 - 5:00pm

The Ecological Farming Association (EcoFarm) will present the 39th annual EcoFarm Conference January 23 - 26, 2019 in Pacific Grove, CA - Featuring over 70 workshops, intensives, keynote speakers, an exhibitor marketplace, seed swap, awards banquet, live entertainment, mixers, and organic culinary fare. Workshops offer practical and cutting edge information on crop production, livestock, soil health, marketing, distribution, and food systems. As the oldest and largest organic farming conference in the West, EcoFarm is a prime networking and educational hub for farmers, ranchers, distributors, retailers, activists, researchers, and educators.

The Organic Center's Director of Science Programs, Jessica Shade, will be leading the following workshop at the Conference on January 24th from 8:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.:

Organic Truths and Lies – the REAL Science Behind the Benefits of Organic
Moderator: Lisa J. Bunin, PhD, Organic Advocacy;
Speakers: Jessica Shade, PhD, The Organic Center; Asa Bradman, PhD, University of California, Berkeley.

Every year  scientific research on the benefits of organic grows and so does the  spread of misinformation about the effects of organic on our health and environment. This workshop will dispel the myths and highlight what some of the most recent scientific studies say, and don’t say about how organic agriculture impacts our communities and ecosystems. You can rest assured that the benefits are enormous. For example, research has shown  that on average, organic farms have 44 percent higher levels of humic acid—the component of soil that sequesters carbon over the long term—than soils not managed organically. Come hear the latest and greatest about how organic fits into positive strategies to improve soil health, biodiversity, clean water, mitigate climate change, and reduce dietary and occupational exposurea to pesticides.

Organic Trade Association Board Member David Lively of Organically Grown Company is organizing an Organic Trade Association social at the EcoFarm Conference on Thursday, January 24th at 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. in the Sanderling room:

But What has the Organic Trade Association Done for Me Lately?
Ever wonder exactly what the Organic Trade Association (OTA) does, or how its efforts benefit you?  Or maybe you are one of those of the opinion that the OTA’s activities only serve the needs of “the big boys” and not the historic trade and the organic grower base? Here is a chance to sharpen you awareness of the many challenges facing the organic movement and trade, and learn how our most significant national organization takes them on. This event, sponsored by OTA members from the fresh produce sector, will feature OTA Executive Director Laura Batcha in a Q&A session covering the broad range of concerns and activities that occupy the OTA’s staff and members on a daily basis. The setting is casual and the refreshments first rate. This event is open to both members and non-members. Please join us for an enlightening discussion!

The Organic Trade Association's CEO/Executive Director, Laura Batcha, will be speaking at a workshop at the Conference on Friday, January 25th from 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.:

Real, Regenerative, Regular? Which Organic Seal for You?
Presenters: Laura Batcha, Organic Trade Association; Paul Muller, Full Belly Farm; Elizabeth Whitlow, Regenerative Organic Alliance

After extensive controversy over how USDA regulates certified organic, particularly with regards to hydroponics, animal welfare, and corporate bias, two new certifications have arrived on the scene. Both start with USDA organic and add additional features. Representatives will discuss the new programs and what they offer organic farmers and consumers, and we will also hear the perspective from supporters of the existing USDA program. The Real Organic Project, founded by organic farmers, began in 2018 to refine stricter standards than the USDA, testing them in real-world situations with plans to roll out in 2019. Patagonia, Dr. Bronner’s and Rodale Institute are sponsoring the Regenerative Organic label, an add-on to USDA’s organic program, with significantly stricter regulations for soil management, carbon sequestration, animal welfare, ecosystem protection, and farmworker health and safety.

Conference Information:

January 23-26, 2019

Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds 

Pacific Grove, CA