UMass hosts 40th annual NOFA conference

Gardeners, farmers, and food policy experts expected to attend

AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Saturday began the 40th annual summer conference for the Northeast Organic Farmer’s Association, where farmers from around western Massachusetts get together to celebrate and educate the public on local agriculture. Local farmers and vendors have already set up their booths. 22News spoke with a few of these vendors to see what they had to offer.

Many of these vendors and farmers have a theme in common, and that is introducing cutting edge technology of farming and agriculture into the community, and teaching the public about these tools so they are more aware of where their food is coming from and how to grow their own produce as well.

Ben Grosscup, who is the coordinator of this weekend event, told 22News that one of this year’s main focuses is on carbon farming, and what that means is learning different ways to extract carbon from the atmosphere and put it into the soil to support the nutrients in that soil, and as a result, help that produce grow more successfully and with the right nutrients inside. They want to tell the public that the key is to work with the climate changes this summer and not against them.

22News spoke with a few vendors, including a Whole Foods booth that is exhibiting locally grown produce, and Dean’s Beans, which has fair trade coffee, and there is even a booth where there are live alpacas for everyone to see and feed as well.

Saturday’s events began at UMass Amherst at 8:00 a.m. and will go until 10:00 Saturday night. This event will be taking place all weekend.

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