There is a slow movement from sustainable agriculture to regenerative agriculture. This comes as the realization that human health and wellbeing are inextricably tied to soil health. Farmers are going to have to do more to improve soil health than add NPK. Farmers will need to understand the natural regenerative processes used to build soil health and farm wealth. Building soil is not just good for the environment; it is also good for the farmer and good for the local economy. Back to Your Roots (BTYR) 2020 is focused on this triple bottom line.
BTYR2020 will look at cultural foodways and the ways in which rebuilding our local food system can have a positive impact on Louisiana’s rural economies, as well as the health and wellbeing of its people. The conference will include three 2-Day Masters Series covering organic fruit and vegetable production, management intensive grazing, and direct marketing.
These times are tough on everyone, which makes having a local food system so important! We have seen a significant increase in those growing their own food. Louisiana has the opportunity to improve the health and well-being of community members by growing more nutrient-dense food locally. This conference brings internationally recognized Masters in fruit, vegetable, livestock production, and marketing to help you grow more food, create jobs, and rebuild the local economy. Whether you are growing for your family, community, or for market this conference is for you!
We have made changes to the conference structure to protect participants, speakers, and volunteers. This year’s conference has been spread over four days and moved outdoors to facilitate social distancing. The event will be limited to 75 participants and participants are required to provide their own transportation to and from each location.
Please note: You will need to make a choice between Direct Marketing and Management Intensive Grazing on Saturday, September 12th!
- JIM RIDDLE: ORGANIC FRUIT & VEGETABLE PRODUCTION • 2-DAY MASTER SERIES
An organic farmer, gardener, organic inspector, educator, policy analyst, author, speaker and avid organic eater. He co-owns and operates Blue Fruit Farm, where he and his wife grow blueberries, black currants, elderberries, and more. He was steering committee chair for the newly formed Organic Farmers Association. Jim is former chair of the USDA National Organic Standards Board and a leading voice for organic agriculture. Join us to learn how you can tap into the $50 billion and growing US organic market.
Dates: Thursday, September 10 (8:30 am – 4:30 pm) / Friday, September 11 (8:30 am – 12:00 pm)
Location: Delaterre Permaculture Farm, 9338 Highway 34, Eros, LA 71238
- JIM GERRISH: MANAGEMENT INTENSIVE GRAZING • 2-DAY MASTER SERIES
Jim Gerrish is an independent grazing lands consultant providing service to farmers and ranchers using both irrigated pastures and native rangeland as well as working in high natural rainfall environments. He received a BS in Agronomy from the University of Illinois and MS in Crop Ecology from University of Kentucky. His past experience includes over 22 years of beef-forage systems research and outreach while on the faculty of the University of Missouri. His research encompassed many aspects of plant-soil-animal interactions and provided foundation for many of the basic principles of Management-intensive Grazing.
Dates: Friday, September 11 (2:30 pm – 4:30 pm) / Saturday, September 12 (8:30 am – 4:30 pm)
Location: Sample Farm 1214 LA-1, Coushatta, LA 71019
- JOEL SALATIN & SHERI SALATIN: DIRECT MARKETING • 2-DAY MASTER SERIES
Editor of the Stockman Grass Farmer, and internationally renown as the christian, libertarian, environmentalist, capitalist, lunatic farmer and his daughter-in-law Sheri Salatin, the direct marketing guru behind the brand, Polyface Farm. Realizing early on that small farmers could not compete in the low-margin commodity game, the farm began marketing directly to families, restaurants and institutions. Today, the farm services 4,000 families in urban neighborhood drop points, 50 restaurants, collaborates with other artisanal farmers in the region, and ships nationwide. The Polyface team is now 20 full-time folks who push out nearly $3 million in sales per year. Join us to learn how to cut out the “middle man” and keep that revenue on your farm. Branding, messaging, collaboration, pricing and distribution are just some of the topics that will be covered in this 2-day master series.
Dates: Saturday, September 12 (8:30 am – 4:30 pm) / Sunday, September 13 (8:30 am – 4:30 pm)
Location: Mahaffey Farms 4851 US-80, Haughton, LA 71037
Lunch and Snacks are included in the Conference Registration Fee. Reasonable accommodations will be made for persons with disabilities.