Carbon Farming for Food, Health, Prosperity and Planet! Bristol 2015

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Reversing Global Warming:
Carbon Farming for Food, Health, Prosperity and Planet!

A conference for farmers, gardeners, government officials, city-town councils, civic  leaders, school board members, educators at all levels, park/forest and environmental managers and stewards, nursery and landscape business owners, and all other folks concerned about health, prosperity and the ecological future of the planet.

A one-day conference organized by Biodiversity for a Livable Climate and sponsored by the Institute for Sustainability and Post-Carbon Education at Bristol Community College

DATE: Friday, February 20, 2015
Program runs from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 pm
LOCATION: Bristol Community College
777 Elsbree Street, Fall River, MA
Auditorium H 210.

Tickets are $5-$35, sliding scale, volunteer slots and scholarships available.  For further information, please contact Climate2015@Bio4Climate.org.  Since catering is expensive and we don’t want to order too much food, lunch and snacks are included for all who register by noon on Friday, February 13th. Those who register after that time will be responsible for their own food during the day (bring your own or purchase from cafeteria).

Download a poster here  (large file, takes a minute to load . . . )

PROGRAM
(see Speaker Bios here)

8:00   Registration, Snacks

Morning Session:  The View from Above, the View from Below

9:00   Opening A World of Possibilities

Greg Sethares, Acting Vice President for Academic Affairs
Nancy Lee Wood, Professor of Sociology
Bristol Community College

Greg and Nancy will welcome us to BCC and describe the College’s longstanding support for local sustainability and organic agriculture.

9:15  Global Warming: The Good, the Bad, and the Very, Very Scary – Video

Adam Sacks, Executive Director, Biodiversity for a Livable Climate

The climate news gets worse every year. Adam suggests how we may broaden the familiar narrative and transform it into one of biodiversity, planetary regeneration and abundance.

9:30 The Carbon Farming Panorama – Video

Jono Neiger, Ecological Designer, Regenerative Design Group

There are many flavors of land management to remove carbon from the atmosphere and store it in soils where it belongs, often for centuries or millennia.  Jono Neiger offers us an overview of several approaches that may be applied in a wide variety of ecosystems, and some that are particularly suited to the landscape and biology of Southeastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

10:00 Building Soil for a New World – Video

Bruce Fulford, Principal, City Soil

Returning carbon to the soil is the foundation of restoring ecosystems. For thirty years Bruce Fulford has been building soils.  He will tell us how he does it, and the remarkable results that he’s seen from reclamation and remediation of land, urban composting and greenhouse agriculture.

10:20 Q&A – Video

Adam, Keith and Bruce will form an ad hoc panel and entertain questions and comments on their presentations.

10:45 Geographical Networking among Participants

An opportunity for attendees and speakers to network with others from their local areas.

11:15 An Ecosystems Approach to Wetlands and Climate 

Gillian Davies, Senior Wetlands Scientist, BSC Group

Wetlands have the capacity to store enormous amounts of carbon because soils under water have minimal exposure to air. Gillian Davies will discuss how to integrate climate change thinking into managing wetlands, with multiple benefits for local resiliency such as flood control.

11:40 Biodiversity, Local Keystone Species and Carbon Farming – Video

Jim Laurie, Restoration Ecologist, Biodiversity for a Livable Climate

Biodiversity is the foundation of healthy, resilient ecosystems. We humans have the ability to create the conditions for biodiverse  landscapes which restore water cycles, purify the air, grow nutritious foods and build soil carbon from the carbon dioxide in the air. Jim Laurie will give us some ideas of how to recreate the living systems which are so essential to our well-being, with a focus on Southeastern Massachusetts.

12:00 Q&A – Video

Gillian and Jim will entertain questions and comments on their presentations.

12:15 Lunch

Box lunches for vegans, vegetarians and omnivores will be served.

Afternoon session: Teaching and Learning the Solutions

1:15 New Paths in Climate Activism at the Local Level – Video

Sam Sutter, Mayor of Fall River

As Bristol County District Attorney, Sam Sutter took a courageous step in his public acknowledgement of the dangers of global warming in the Lobster Boat Blockade case last fall. How did he make the transition to an icon of global warming activism?  What does he make of the new climate paradigm where biology and ecology, not small carbon molecules, are the key? How should that be incorporated into local governance?

1:30 Panel: Educating for the New Climate Paradigm – Video

In this era of global warming and extreme weather events we face the uncommonly difficult task of preparing our children for the future. How do we explain to them what is happening, and how we got here?  How do we provide them with the skills and resilience to face these challenges with strength and optimism? Our panelists will discuss models that connect young people to the natural world, help them understand and experience themselves as part of complex and biodiverse ecosystems, and teach the art and science of planetary regeneration.

Paula Phipps, Moderator
Preparing future generations for climate change
Engin Atasay, Assistant Professor of Education, BCC:
Building ecoliteracy into education
Jim Corven, Associate Professor of Biology and Director of Organic Agriculture at BCC:                 Teaching carbon farming as part of organic agriculture
Rachael Furlong from Seeds of Sustainability, a BCC student organization:
Student involvement ranging from fossil fuel divestment to permaculture
Zoe Hansen-DiBello,  Marion Institute:
Engaging communities by teaching in neighborhood gardens, and moving toward carbon farming

2:30 Panel: Local Carbon Farming – Video

How do we continue to farm productively and profitably without having to change everything we do?  This panel will focus on several key practical elements that significantly increase the restorative powers of farming for biodiversity and carbon sequestration,  along with increasing yields, needing fewer if any synthetic inputs, growing profits, and improving the health of both farmers and consumers.

Ridge Shinn, Grazier, Moderator:
The benefits of livestock for soil, food, economy and climate
Paul Schmid, Proprietor of River Rock Farm, Mass. State Rep. from 8th Bristol district:
Raising grass-finished beef, and legislative support for agriculture
Julie Stultz Fine, Farmer and Graduate Student, UMass Amherst:
Cover crops
William McCaffrey, 2nd Generation Farmer in E. Taunton, Cornell U. Graduate:
Farming produce and cranberries

3:30  Break

3:45 Panel: Urban Agriculture in a Thriving Bioregion – Video

Some of the benefits of urban agriculture are well known: increased access to healthy fresh food, reduced “food miles,” and building robust local communities. Looking through the carbon farming lens we also see more benefits: biodiverse landscapes, building carbon-rich soil and creating resilient landscapes that purify the water and air. Our panelists will discuss how to support the growth of urban farm spaces and regional relationships that strengthen them.

Sarah Howard, Earthos, Moderator:
Understanding and stewarding our urban-bioregional systems
Bruce Fulford, City Soil:
Creating agricultural land in an urban setting
Mark Smith, Co-founder, Brookwood Community Farm in Milton, Mass:
Developing farms on peri-urban land – challenges and opportunities
Liz Wiley, Program Manager at Round the Bend Farm, S. Dartmouth, Mass:
Regional support systems for urban farming efforts
Emily Jodka, Founding member of New Urban Farmers, Pawtucket, RI:
Engaging urban communities and kids in innovative and productive farms

4:45 Closing remarks

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