Convergence Keynote: Chris Newman, "Indigenizing 'Big Agriculture'"

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Convergence Keynote: Chris Newman, "Indigenizing 'Big Agriculture'"

Join us for the second of two 2020 Convergence Keynote Addresses with Chris Newman of Sylvanaqua Farms.

By National Young Farmers Coalition

When and where

Date and time

Wednesday, November 11, 2020 · 11:45am - 1:15pm PST



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About this event

The National Young Farmers Coalition's 6th Annual National Leadership Convergence will be held virtually as the first year in a two-year event with the theme of "Achieving Equity Through Agriculture."

Our second of two keynotes will feature Chris Newman of Sylvanaqua Farms. 50% of all proceeds for Chris's Keynote will be donated to Sylvanaqua Farms.

"Indigenizing 'Big Agriculture'"

Farming has largely been regarded as an individual or family enterprise since the invasion of America - from the sugarcane and tobacco plantations of centuries ago, to the modern multi-thousand acre family farm in the corn belt, to the smallholdings and homesteads that comprise most of the farm to table and regenerative agriculture movements. This reverence of the individual - the organizing of farms around nuclear families, romantic partners, or a single person - is the central legacy of settler-colonialism that lies at the heart of most of the core problems young farmers face in this industry: farm succession, farmworker exploitation, farm-owner burnout, access to land, training, capital, and the marketplace. All of these can be traced in a straight line to our culture's elevation of private enterprise and laissez faire economics over collective responsibility and kinship economics. In this talk, we discuss a prosperous future for the communities of all living things on Earth by re-indigenizing agriculture: orienting our food systems around large, integrated, collectively-owned, community-focused, team farming.

About Chris

Chris Newman, an engineer by trade and an enrolled member of the Choptico Band of Piscataway Indians, left his job in Washington D.C. to develop mechanisms to produce enough food to plausibly feed the world while resisting the many threats to global food security – ranging from climate change, to superbugs, to political upheaval, to proprietary biotech. Chris runs Sylvanaqua Farm as an example of ecologically-oriented agriculture, and has just successfully raised a round of capital to support the further development of a collective land ownership model which seeks to combine intensive farming with extensive indigenous agroforestry to meet 1) the economic needs of the business, 2) the ecological needs of the landscape, and 3) the social, cultural, and nutritional needs of the surrounding communities – particularly marginalized communities.

About the organizer

At the National Young Farmers Coalition, we shift power and change policy to equitably resource our new generation of working farmers. We envision a just future where farming is free of racial violence, accessible to communities, oriented towards environmental well-being, and concerned with health over profit.

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