We're now accepting proposals for our 2020 Conference!

We’re seeking innovative and enthusiastic presenters for our 2020 Sustainable Agriculture Conference. The conference will be held February 5th–8th, 2020 in Lancaster, PA at the Lancaster County Convention Center.

Our annual conference, now in its 29th year, draws a diverse audience of farmers, food system professionals, educators, advocates, and homesteaders for four days of intensive learning on more than 100 sustainable food and farming topics.

Our overarching goals for the conference are to:

  • Provide training and education that promote the environmental, economic, and social wellbeing of farms, the food system, and communities
  • Serve as an outlet for sharing cutting-edge research and science-based solutions, while preserving and passing on traditional farming knowledge and heritage
  • Be a venue where people, businesses, and organizations from across the sustainable agriculture movement make meaningful connections
  • Embrace an inclusive definition of sustainability, which accepts a diversity of methods and philosophies of production

Timeline

Deadline for proposals: June 14th, 2019

Final notification of proposal status: August 30th, 2019

Note: We will evaluate proposals periodically throughout the RFP window, and may be in touch prior to the final notification of proposal status. Also, we confirm full- and half-day sessions earlier than shorter sessions, so consider proposing longer sessions well before the deadline.


Selection Process

We work with a volunteer committee to assemble conference programming that reflects and meets the needs of our diverse audiences. We evaluate proposals using the following criteria:

  • Consistency with our organizational mission to build a more economically-just, environmentally-regenerative, and community-focused food system
  • Alignment with our conference goals (outlined above)
  • Expertise and experience of presenter(s)
  • Relevance of topic to our audience

You’re welcome to contact us for feedback on your ideas prior to submission. Please contact Kristin Hoy at kristin@pasafarming.org or 814-349-9856 x11.


Lengths of Sessions

We offer several lengths of sessions. full-day sessions, which are seven hours, will be scheduled on Wednesday (February 5) only. The rest of the sessions will be scheduled over Thursday to Saturday (February 6–8).

  • Seven hours: Full-day sessions should focus on a specific topic, and use the time to teach attendees a skill or technique that will help them to improve their farming operation. The agenda can include one or multiple presenters; however, we prefer to have no more than four. The proposal will require a draft agenda. We will schedule three to six full-day sessions, on Wednesday only, at this year’s conference.
  • Three hours: Half-day sessions should take an in-depth look at a specific topic. They can include one or multiple presenters; however, we prefer to have no more than three. The proposal will require a draft agenda.
  • 90 minutes: The majority of our sessions will be 90 minutes, which allows time either to provide an overview of a broad topic, or to focus on a very narrow subject. These are a good format for lectures, panel discussions, and facilitated group work. They also work well for a short presentation combined with other formats. They typically include one to two presenters. For panel discussions, we prefer to limit it to three presenters (in some cases, a pair of speakers can count as one presenter), plus a moderator.
  • 60 minutes: This length of session is well suited to inspirational lectures (allow 20 to 30 minutes for Q&A), as well as more interactive sessions like Q&As, discussions, learning circles, or demonstrations.

Note: Trade show stage programming will be arranged separately from this proposal process. If you are interested in presenting in the trade show for up to 20 minutes about a product or project, please contact Kristin Hoy directly at kristin@pasafarming.org.


Conference Audiences

Approximately 50 percent of conference attendees are current farmers—over half of whom have farmed for eight or more years—and over 80 percent of attendees grow agricultural products in some way. Considering this, we strive to focus much of the conference programming on farm production, business, and marketing topics; however, we also seek to cover a broad range of issues relevant to the sustainable agriculture movement.

We are seeking programming that meet the needs and interests of the following groups:

  • Experienced farmers
  • Intermediate farmers
  • Aspiring & beginning farmers
  • Homesteaders & gardeners
  • Agriculture & food system professionals
  • Agriculture & food system educators
  • Youth (high school & beyond)
  • Sustainable food system advocates
We will organize our programming under the following themes:

  • Fruits, vegetables, & more
  • Business & marketing
  • Soil & ecosystem health
  • Policy & community
  • Livestock
  • Row crops
  • Value-added & beyond

Compensation

As a nonprofit education organization, we try to stretch our budget as far as possible to maximize the impact of our program. We also understand that some speakers may need additional support to participate in our conference. You will have the opportunity on the proposal to share your needs. Below are some guidelines regarding compensation.

  • We are happy to offer complimentary registration to our speakers for as much of the conference as you would like to attend. Lunch and free parking is provided the day you speak.
  • For speakers who travel more than 50 miles one way, we will consider requests to cover travel costs. We can also provide one night  of lodging per day of speaking. All speakers are responsible for booking their own lodging, within the PASA block at the Lancaster Marriott, and using the appropriate method of alerting PASA of reservation details. Please note that we cannot provide this support for speakers who will attend with a sponsoring company. We can arrange lodging and a roommate, if that is preferred.
  • Limited funding is available to cover speaker requests beyond our standard compensation. We are a nonprofit, charitable organization supported by our members, and we ask presenters to consider this when making requests. We are willing to consider non-traditional requests. Waived speaker costs can be included as part of in-kind support. Please be specific in your requests.

Submission Instructions

Click on the button below to submit a proposal. You will be able to save your progress. Upon submission, the primary contact will receive a copy of the responses.

To submit multiple proposals, you will need to complete the form once for each submission.

 

Submit a proposal