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EcoFarm 36 - the future of food

Pamela Lanier, eTN Ambassador  Jan 24, 2016

The 36th annual EcoFarm conference in Monterrey wrapped up this weekend after four days of panels, workshops and plenary sessions and was attended by over 2,000 farmers, ranchers, other professionals and 180 scholars on scholarships.

The need for an ecologically sound, socially just, and economically viable food and farming system has never been more urgent. The work of EcoFarmers has never been more needed or more relevant to the major issues —from reversing climate change to improving human health. Many answers to the problems inherent in the extractive, chemically intensive, conventional agricultural model can be found within the ecological and organic approaches that EcoFarm works to champion.

This year's conference theme was all about regenerating our lands, water, communities, and planet.

Workshops and individual consulting covered a diverse group of topics:
Farm Marketing Clinic
Soil carbon sequestration workshop
USDA programs
B corporations
Food safety and
an annual Seed and Scion Swap

One of the primary sponsors, Blue Apron, a company that delivers meal kits, hosted a talk and reception regarding the opportunities for organize farmers to become suppliers to their meals. Blue Apron stands out for their efforts to sustainably source as much as possible of their meal ingredients and to buy organic whenever they can.

The conference attendees were themselves nourished by delicious organic meals crafted with ingredients from over 90 farmers and producers, and prepared by Asilomar's prize winning chefs. For many farmers and ranchers, EcoFarm Conference is the one time of year when they leave their farms for a few days to connect with their peers and regenerate.

Amongst the books and films debuting at the conference was "The Good Company: Sustainability in Hospitality, Tourism and Wine" the author presented on a panel discussion about Agritourism - a timely topic today as the sharing economy reaches the farm.

Ultra-rocking bluegrass band "Hot Buttered Rum" played dancing music till the wee small hours but folks still found energy to join Save our Shores for a cleanup at iconic Asilomar Beach.

EcoFarm 36 - the future of food
Photo Credit: Broken Banjo Photography

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