5th Annual Massachusetts Urban Farming Conference

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Northeastern University Curry Student Center

360 Huntington Ave.

Boston, MA 02119

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Presented by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation and merck family fund

The 5th Annual Massachusetts Urban Farming Conference (UFC) is designed to advance the opportunities and address the barriers involved in cultivating a resilient and thriving Urban Farming sector. The UFC is a multi-sector stakeholder forum designed to share information regarding what is currently happening in Massachusetts. The UFC fosters solutions, sustainable networks and business relationships.

The UFC brings together participants representing all aspects of Urban Farming including, but not limited to, farmers (including roof top, chicken, bees, etc.), land trust managers, policy makers, commercial buyers, foundations, investors and all others. The 5th Annual Massachusetts Urban Farming Conference is comprised of interactive panels, demonstration workshops, expert discussions on diverse and relevant topics with distinguished Conversation Leaders and one of the best networking opportunities for this sector.


Conference Schedule:

SESSION 1: 8:45-9:45 am

Aquaponics and Vermicomposting for Urban Farms

  • Dr. Joe Buttner, Professor, Salem State University (Facilitator)
  • James Carnazza, Founder and President, Full Circle Earth
  • Anastasia Perullo, Salem State University
  • Laura Presutti, Salem State University

CommonHood: Agriculture Supported Communities

  • Bruce Fulford, Owner, City Soil & Greenhouse LLC (Facilitator)
  • Danielle Andrews, Dudley Farm Manager, The Food Project
  • Cara Snajczuk, Co-Manager, Haley House Urban Farm
  • Glynn Lloyd, Founder and CEO, City Fresh Foods
  • Greg Watson, Director for Policy and Systems Design, Schumacher Center for a New Economics

Technical and Financial Resources Available from the USDA Service Center Agencies

  • Christine Clarke, State Conservationist, Natural Resources Conservation Service -USDA (Facilitator)
  • Mia Halter, District Conservationist, NRCS
  • Jeff LaFleur, Executive Director, MA Association of Conservation Districts
  • Dawn Pindell, Outreach Specialist, for CT,MA, RI, USDA Farm Service Agency

Irrigation Systems for Urban Farms

  • Curtis Stone, Green City Acres, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

Commercial Kitchens; Strengthening Our Local Food Economy

  • Sarah Brezniak, Principal, Captus Group LLC (Facilitator)
  • Jen Faigel, Executive Director, CommonWealth Kitchen
  • John Waite, Executive Director, Franklin County Community Development Corporation

Chef Talk: Getting Your Product into Restaurants

  • Didi Edmonds, Chef and Author (Facilitator)
  • Alex Crabb, Chef, Asta, Boston
  • Peter Davis, Chef, Henrietta’s Table/Charles Hotel
  • Tristram Keefe, Famer, Urban Farming Institute
  • Irene Li,Co-Owner, Mei Mei Street Kitchen & Restaurant
  • Steve Verrill, Owner, Verrill Farm

Regenerative Placemaking

  • Emmanuel Pratt, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Sweet Water Foundation

Keynote: 9:55-11:00 am

Farming in the City

Curtis Stone, Green City Acres, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

SESSION 2: 11:10-12:10 pm

Film Showing: "Arc of Justice" and Discussion of Community Land Trusts

  • Barbara Knecht ,Registered Architect, Urban Farming Institute (Facilitator)
  • Tony Hernandez, DNI Director of Operations & Stewardship, Dudley Street Neighbors Incorporated
  • LaShawn M. Hoffman, Managing Partner, Hoffman & Associates, Atlanta, GA

Rural and Urban Farms: Building Partnerships and New Market Models

  • Stevie Schafenacker, Technical Assistance Coordinator, Local Hero Program, CISA (Facilitator)
  • Lydia Sisson, Founding Co-Director, Mill City Grows
  • Mark Smith, President, Brookwood Community Farm
  • David Dumaresq, Farmer, Farmer Dave's
  • Karen Washington,Farmer and Co-Owner Rise&Root Farm. Co-Founder BUGS(Black Urban Growers)

Youth in the Food System: Jobs Beyond Fast Food

  • Francey Slater, Founding Co-Director, Mill City Grows(Facilitator)
  • Shavel’le Olivier,Co-Chair/Youth Coordinator, Mattapan Food and Fitness Coalition
  • Juana Lopez, Green Team Member, Groundwork Lawrence
  • Youth Participant, UTEC, Lowell
  • Jackson Renshaw, Co-Owner, Fresh Food Generation
  • Heather Conley,Community Food Manager. Groundwork Lawrence

The Economic Impact of Cultural Crops

  • Frank Magnan, PhD, Stockbridge School of Agriculture, UMass Amherst
  • Maria Moreira, Executive Director and Co-Founder, World Farmers
  • Rafael Herrero, Director of Agriculture and Environment, Nuestras Raices

Protecting Intellectual Property in Urban Farm & Food Businesses

  • Mary Rose Scozzafava, Ph.D, Partner, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr

Urban and Small Farm Financing 101

  • Ruth Goldman, Program Officer, Merck Family Fund (Facilitator)
  • Gerard Kennedy, Director, DACTA, Massachusetts Department of Agriculture Resources
  • Christine Kimball, Loan Specialist, Rural Development, USDA
  • Samantha Stoddard, Loan Officer, Farm Credit East, ACA

MA Local Food Plan and the Role of Urban Agriculture

  • Winton Pitcoff, Director, Massachusetts Food System Collaborative


Lunch: 12:10-1:30 pm


Session 3: 1:30-2:30 pm

Food Sovereignty, Urban Agriculture and Neighborhood Impacts

  • Catherine Sands, Director, Fertile Ground (Facilitator)
  • Bayoán Rosselló-Cornier, Community Organizer & Planner, Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative
  • Emmanuel Pratt, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Sweet Water Foundation
  • Karen Washington,Farmer and Co-Owner, Rise&Root Farm. Co-Founder BUGS(Black Urban Growers)

Cultivating Success with Immigrant Farmers

  • Jessy Gill, Program Director, World Farmers (facilitator)
  • Rafael Herrero, Director of Agriculture and Environment, Nuestras Raices
  • Immaculate Nyaigoti, Outreach Specialist, World Farmers
  • Janel Wright, Farmer Training Program Manager, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project

Greenhouse Management

  • David Dumaresq, Farmer, Farmer Dave's

Crunching the Numbers to Crush Your Season

  • Curtis Stone, Green City Acres, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

Soil Fertility

  • Frank Magnan, PhD, Stockbridge School of Agriculture, UMass Amherst

Season Extension: Techniques and Tools

  • Greg Maslow, Farm Manager, Newton Community Farm

The Case for a Smarter and More Integrated Agriculture Industry

  • Henry Gordon Smith, Managing Director, Blue Planet Consulting

Session 4: 2:45-3:45 pm

Diversifying the Field: Stories From the Front Lines

  • Shani Dowd, Director of Culture InSight, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation (Facilitator)
  • Rose Gonzalez, Community Engagement Director, Groundwork Lawrence
  • Talib Toussaint Paskins, Food Justice and Market Manager, Gardening the Community
  • Anne Richmond, Co-Director of Administration and Finance, Gardening the Community

Youth and Entrepreneurship: Models for Success

  • Dave Madan, Founding Trustee, UFI (facilitator)
  • Michael Barnett, Professor of Science Education and Technology, Boston College
  • Ed Frechette, CIO, UTEC, Lowell
  • Maya Paul, YouthGROW, Worcester
  • Grace Sliwoski, YouthGROW Coordinator

Agribusiness, Outreach and Marketing

  • Michelle Cruz, Business Development & Outreach Manager, Farm Fresh Rhode Island
  • Georgina Sarong, Farmers Markets Program Manager, Farm Fresh Rhode Island

Boost Your Farm Power With Chickens!

  • Khrysti Smyth, Founder, Yardbirds Backyard Chickens

Intensive Crop Production Systems for Urban Farms

  • Curtis Stone, Green City Acres, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada

Food Safety/FSMA: Everything You Need To Know

  • Michael Botelho, MDAR, Commonwealth Quality Director


Closing Keynote: 4:15- 5:15 pm

Civic Synergy and Urban Agriculture: Democratizing Food Production

  • Greg Watson, Director for Policy and Systems Design, Schumacher Center for a New Economics


Back by popular demand: Karen Washington, Co-Owner, Rise & Root Farm; Co-Founder, Black Urban Growers

More on Opening Keynote Presenter:

Curtis Stone, Green City Acres, Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada.

Returning to the MA Urban Farming Conference, Curtis will be the morning Keynote and will also lead several sessions throughout the day. He has traveled around the world, presenting 3-5 day workshops to help urban farmers become more successful and profitable; we are really excited that he will be with us for the 2017 UFC! Many of last year’s attendees have remarked on how they have incorporated techniques and best practices gleaned from his presentations, that said, March 4, 2017, you’ll have another opportunity to learn how you too can build a viable and profitable urban farming operation.

Ticket options:

--Student Rate ( High-school , under 18, ends February 25, 2017)

--College students, 20% off current price

--There is a waitlist for volunteer opportunities

--Groups rates available for 5 or more (20% off current ticket price)

For general information please contact Rose: rose.arruda@state.ma.us

Refunds available until February 20, 2017. By registering to attend the UFC, **all participants acknowledge, understand and agree to being photographed or recorded for all purposes, including UFC related promotional use and that panels are subject to change.



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Northeastern University Curry Student Center

360 Huntington Ave.

Boston, MA 02119

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