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Natural Awakenings Lehigh Valley

Farming for the Future Agricultural Conference

Jan 29, 2016 04:47PM

The nonprofit Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA), one of the largest and most active sustainable Agriculture organizations in the U.S., will kick off a five-year plan to create a robust sustainable agriculture educational program with its Strategic Outreach for Innovation and Leadership (SOIL) imitative during their 25th annual Farming for the Future conference, from February 3 through 6 at the Penn State Conference Center, in State College.

SOIL is anticipated to generate 100 trained and accredited sustainable farmers, 300 new or transitioning sustainable farms, 2,500 farmers participating in farmer-to farmer exchange networks and $150 million in new capital investment in sustainable farming and food systems. More than half of the $3 million initial investment required to implement the new programming has already been raised.

This project has been over three years in the making and will extend for five years into the future, states PASA Executive Director Brian Snyder. “This new initiative represents the dual intention of literally improving agricultural soils throughout the region we serve, while also training and preparing farmers of all backgrounds and experience levels to provide the innovative spirit and leadership that will be needed to achieve a sustainable future for us all.

PASA’s mission is to redefine and expand its impact on agriculture by training farmers to operate sustainable farms. Sustainability hubs will maintain consistent quality of programs while adapting to conditions of the bioregions and communities being served. The three major program elements; Farmer Training and Development, Farmer-to-Farmer Exchange and Farm-Based Research, will take place at each hub.

For more information or to join PASA, call Membership Director Michele Spencer at 814-349-9856, ext. 17, or visit

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