Our overarching goals for the annual conference are to:
Deadline for proposals: passed
Final notification of proposal status: September 14th
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:
We offer several lengths of programming. The full day of programming, which is seven hours, will be scheduled on Wednesday only. The rest of the programs will be scheduled over Thursday to Saturday.
Seven hours: The full-day programs 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 programs, on Wednesday only, at this year’s conference.
Two and a quarter or three hours: The half-day programs (2.25 or 3 hours) should take an in-depth look at a specific topic. Tracks 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 programs will be 90 minutes, which allows time either to provide an overview of a broad topic, or a 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.
45 or 60 minutes: This length of program is well suited to inspirational high level lectures, Q & As, discussions, or longer demonstrations. They work well for interactive programs like learning circles or discussion groups.
30 minutes: New this year, we will schedule short talks and demonstrations in the trade show. This format can be used to provide industry updates and product demonstrations. Sponsors in particular are encouraged to offer program proposals for this format.
Approximately 50 percent of conference attendees are current farmers, and over 85 percent grow agricultural products in some way. Considering this, we strive to focus most 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 a variety of programs that meet the needs and interests of the following groups:
We will organize our programming under the following themes:
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 around compensation.
We are no longer accepting proposals for the 2019 Conference.