The Virginia Association for Biological Farming (VABF) — an organization of organic farmers, gardeners, foodies, educators, advocates and supporters of sustainable agriculture — will hold its 22nd anniversary conference January 22-24, 2022 at The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center.
Featured keynote speakers include Amyrose Foll, founder of the Virginia Free Farm, who is seeking to dismantle and transform the regional foodshed and create community-driven systems based on collectivism and respect for nature. Her presentation is titled, Farming Our Past, The Sacred Science of Traditional Ecological Knowledge. Also featuring Karen Washington, farmer and activist. Her presentation is titled Soil Health is Food Justice. The Conference features other well-known speakers including Bryan O’Hara, Dan Kittredge, Pam Dawling, Joel Salatin, Ira Wallace, Mark Jones, and Cindy Conner.
The Conference boasts three days of educational workshop intensives, presentations, and networking opportunities. Conference goers can choose to attend sessions within 9 educational tracks such as Beginning Farmer, Soil Health, Regenerative Grazing, Business of Farming, Permaculture & Agroforestry and Building Equity in Agriculture.
The Conference features locally-sourced meals prepared by the chefs at The Hotel Roanoke, book sales and author signings, regional meetings and intimate fireside chats, and morning yoga for farmers. Highlights include the Taste of Virginia Expo & Market, a Silent Auction, a Trade Show, a Youth Program, and a feature film presentation.
More than 30 speakers — covering topics from mushroom growing, year-round vegetable growing, growing cut flowers, and raising pastured chickens and pigs, to permaculture and agroforestry — will take the stage during over 60 concurrent sessions.
On Sunday, Jan. 23, 2022, from 2-9 p.m., local food and libation vendors will set up shop in The Hotel Roanoke’s Crystal Ballroom for the Taste of Virginia Expo. Visitors can sample a diverse array of Virginia produced food, beverages, herbals and handicrafts. At 7:30 p.m. the music begins and the market becomes an evening social. Taste of Virginia is free and open to the public.
The 22nd annual Virginia Biological Farming Conference is hosted by VABF in partnership with Virginia State University College of Agriculture and Virginia Cooperative Extension. Discounted VABF member and student rates are available and discounted rooms at the Hotel Roanoke are also available. Volunteer positions are available as well as Sponsorship and Exhibitor opportunities.
Registration for the conference is available at vabf.org. Find out more information here, and contact Lindsay Newsome at [email protected] with questions.