Summer is (kind of) officially over and it’s time to get back into school mode. For many professionals, that “school” and learning piece is found in conferences. The next few months offer several conferences and events that are certain to meet a range of interests.

A few that we’re keeping our eyes on (and hitting the road for):


Inaugural Farm Tank Summit in Sacramento September 22 and 23

The folks at Food Tank – in partnership with the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau, Farm-to-Fork Program and University of California Davis – are sponsoring what promises to be a fantastic two-day event in California’s capital city. #FarmTank will feature more than three dozen thought leaders who will speak on a range of food and agricultural issues. The event also features interactive panels moderated by prominent food journalists…and lots of opportunities for networking. Friday’s line up includes field trips and hands-on activities. Did I mention the delicious food? To learn more about Sacramento, the nation’s Farm-to-Fork capital, read this UC Food Observer piece by Teresa O’Connor. The UC Food Observer will provide live coverage of the event; check our Twitter feed and look for a couple of posts about the people we’re meeting and the things we’re learning…

Among those speaking are Robert Egger and Mary Kimball.

P.S. If you’re interested, register ASAP…this event will sell out. The first day will be live streamed.


Women in Sustainable Agriculture Conference slated for Portland

The 5th National Conference for Women in Sustainable Agriculture – WISA – convenes farmers, educators, technical assistance providers and activists working in food and agriculture. The conference, held in Portland on November 30 through December 2, provides an opportunity for stakeholders to share educational and organization strategies, increase their capacity and discuss policy issues…with a goal of expanding upon the success of women farmers and ranchers. Natasha Bowens, a farmer and author of the acclaimed book The Color of Food, will deliver the keynote address.

Several fabulous field trips are planned, providing participants an opportunity to explore Oregon’s orchards, pastures and community farms. Among those presenting/attending the conference are farmer/author/activist Lisa Kivirist (read our profile of Lisa’s work here) and Mary Peabody, founding director of the Women’s Ag Network (read our Q&A with Mary).

The UC Food Observer is excited to participate in this event; look for live coverage and posts about food and agriculture in the Pacific Northwest…


Farmer Veterans and stakeholders will gather in Michigan

The Farmer Veteran Coalition (FVC) is a national non-profit organization headquartered in Davis, California. Its purpose is to link veterans with employment and educational opportunities in farming and agriculture. FVC believes that veterans possess the “unique skills and character needed to strengthen rural communities and create sustainable food systems.” You can learn more about the FVC by reading my interview with FVC’s executive director, Michael O’Gorman.

The organization is planning its 2016 Stakeholders Conference: United We Farm for November 30 through December 2 at Michigan State University. The conference will bring together farmer veterans from across the country. The gathering also includes government, agriculture, educational and nonprofit groups that work with farmer veterans. The agenda gets down to nuts and bolts, offering tracks that cover livestock, cropping and business aspects of farming. Farm visits and networking opportunities are included. Farmer veterans can apply for a conference scholarship here.


Have a great week!