The Pennsylvania farming community will convene to celebrate and learn about “Nature as Mentor” during the 24th Annual Farming for the Future Conference, presented by the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) in State College, PA, February 3-7, 2015. More than 2,000 participants, comprised of agriculture industry workers as well as students and community and business leaders, will participate in workshops, trainings, exhibits, receptions showcasing regionally sourced foods, an educational program and unique special events. Highlighting the conference are two main addresses, well-known author/activist Frances Moore Lappé and conservation agronomist Ray “The Soils Guy” Archuleta.

“It’s exciting to see the ever-growing public desire for knowledge about healthy agricultural practices, farm-to-table eating, sustainability and, most importantly, how to get involved,” said Brian Snyder, PASA’s Executive Director. “We have a responsibility to our community and to our families to learn about nature and to follow its lead in how we treat our environment. This event is just one example of how sustainability is not a fad topic, but rather a change in the way we live.”

During Friday’s opening keynote address, sponsored by Lady Moon Farms, Frances Moore Lappé will give attendees a look into the research for her book World Hunger: 10 Myths, a topic that resonates throughout the agriculture community. Moore Lappé delivers her message of the importance of embracing agroecology, ending global poverty and meeting the climate challenge as pieces that come together to develop one “ecomind,” an ideology she delivered through her book EcoMind. Through studying groups’ struggles and successes throughout the globe, Moore Lappé addresses aligning with nature for effective practices to empower world citizens to end world poverty.

Saturday’s keynote, sponsored by PASAbilities Sponsor Kimberton Whole Foods, Ray Archuleta is a Certified Professional Soil Scientist whose passion for soil health has earned him the nickname “The Soils Guy.” Archuleta is known for his infectious excitement while sharing his vast knowledge of soil health and agroecology principles, amassed over a more than 25 year career. His expertise extends to water health, quality and irrigation and, as a conservationist, addresses our responsibilities to protecting and nurturing these essential resources.

In addition to these two phenomenal keynote addresses, the conference will also present six in-depth pre-conference tracks and over 100 main conference workshops. Kids have the opportunity to attend and learn as well with an ag-focused Future Farmers program just for them. A bustling TradeShow will connect attendees with over 80 agricultural businesses and organizations. Throughout the four-day event, conference goers will be entertained while they learn, with activities such as live music, movies, yoga, knitting circles, a seed swap and much more. Sponsorship opportunities are available for those who wish to join in this widely attended event.

To learn more about the Farming for the Future Conference, visit pasafarming.org/conference.