GMO Expert Jeffrey Smith to Keynote Annual CT NOFA Winter Conference

CT NOFA’s Winter Conference Welcomes Families, Farmers and Foodies

March 3, 2012

8:30 am – 4:30 pm

Manchester Community College

Manchester, CT

Jeffrey M. Smith is the founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, the orgnaization behind the Campaign for Better Eating in America.

The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Connecticut (CT NOFA) announces its 30th Annual Winter Conference, an important day or learning and sharing for farmers, gardeners, locavores, homesteaders and anyone interested in sustainable living. The conference features workshops (listed in detail below), internationally-celebrated speakers, and the largest local-sustainable food potluck lunch you’ve ever seen. (Yes, attendees are expected to bring a dish to share. No stress; we’ll be posting recipes.)

The 2012 Winter Conference’s keynote speaker is Jeffrey Smith, noted author and speaker on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the leading consumer advocate promoting healthier, non-GMO choices. He is the author of Seeds of Deception and Genetic Roulette, and will share insights on the real threats that GMOs pose to local food production as well as to consumers’ health.  A second workshop on GMOs will be hosted by Daniel Ravicher, legal counsel representing CT NOFA and 80 other plaintiffs against Monsanto to legally protect small farms and farmers.

In this video Jeffrey Smith succinctly (2 minutes!) explains why corporate science is wrong when they say GMOs are safe.

If you’re in the mood to be entertained while learning more about GMOs, Rob Herring’s rap video is excellent!

All workshops are taught by Connecticut professionals bringing expertise from the farm, kitchen, government, or non-profit organization dedicated to sustainable living. Learn to grow fruit, garlic, honey, nuts, and mushrooms. Classes on pollination, nitrogen management and soil microbiology are among those that will provide more technical instruction. Sustainable home-life classes include seminars on root cellars, food storage, cooking, household products as well as well as how to make healthy choices in cosmetics. For activists and community organizers, the conference offers workshops in climate change, starting food co-ops, and establishing winter farmers’ markets.

The Winter Conference is a celebration of local foods and farms.  In keeping with this theme, attendees are asked to bring a favorite food dish for the potluck feast.  Local, organic vendors including Sweet Sage Bakery of Madison, CT and Bean & Leaf of New London, will be selling delicious, sustainable treats.  Children are welcome to spend time in the Family Play ‘n’ Chill room.

The CT NOFA 30th Annual Winter Conference will be held at Manchester Community College, on Great Path Rd in Manchester, CT, on March 3 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Registration is $50 for NOFA members, $60 for non-members ($35 for students or seniors).  This is a bargain considering the value your receive- a keynote address plus multiple workshops that would easily cost $25 each elsewhere. There is a $5 discount for early registration (before  February 18th) and an additional $10 discount for those interested in volunteering.  For more information and registration online, visit,  or call the office at 203-888-5146.


Organic Seed vs. Monsanto: The Lawsuit Challenging Patents on Seed – Attorney Daniel Ravicher, NYC

Certified Organic Nutrient Dense Small Fruit – Julie Rawson & Jack Kitteredge,  Many Hands Organic Farm, MA

Wild Bees and Pollination – Dr. Kim Stoner of CT Ag Experiment Station

Root Cellars & Food Storage – Chris Chaisson, Whole Farm Services, VT

Public Act 490 – Joan Nichols, CT Farm Bureau

Nitrogen Management on Farms – Tom Morris, UConn Plant Scientist

Science and Principles of Soil Microbiology – Joe Maggazi, Green Earth Agriculture

Pasture Raised Laying Hens – Brianne Casadei, Exec. Director Terra Firma Farm

Better Choices in Rx, Cosmetics, Household Products – Valerie Cookson-Botto

Raising Garlic – Farmer Wayne Hansen, Wayne’s Organic Gardens

Honey Bees – Marina Marchese, Red Bee Honey

Growing Nuts in Connecticut – Dr. Sandra Anagnostakis, CT Agricultural Exp. Station

Mushroom Growing on a Small Scale – Carol Brzozowy & Jim Peppin, Maggie’s Farm

Biotech Threats to Organic Agriculture – Ed Stockman, Summit Farm

Animal Welfare Approved Certification – Brigid Sweeney, Animal Welfare Approved

The Dynamic History of the Connecticut Forest – Jeffrey Ward, CT Agricultural Exp. Station

Collards & Other Cold Weather Greens for Health & Flavor – Chef John Turenne, Farmer Wayne Hansen and Naturopathic Physician Leigh White

Winter Farmers’ Markets Are Hot! – Winter Caplanson, Coventry Regional Farmers’ Market

Worm Composting Simplified – Nick Mancini, Organic Gardening Simplified

Co-ops Build a Better World: Co-operatives and Food Security – Erbin Crowell, Neighboring Food Co-op Association

How You Can Easily Grow Fresh Greens All Winter – David Zemelsky, Starlight Gardens

Climate Change In Connecticut: What Can We Expect and Do – Jennifer Pagach, CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Raising Dairy Goats and Making Cheese – Paul Trubey, Beltane Farm

Soil Management Techniques – Bryan O’Hara, Tobacco Road Farm

Food as Medicine – Dr. Leigh White, Natural Family Health, LLC

Transition Movement Workshops:

  • First:  Transition Success Stories – Tina Clarke & Terry Halwes
  • Second: Permaculture and Transition – Cynthia Rabinowitz & Joan Spear
  • Third:  Transition: Lighting the Fire for Action – Coleen Spurlock

Lead in Soils – Concerns and Corrections – Dawn Pettinelli, UConn Soil Nutrient Analysis Laboratory

Edible School Gardens – Dan Levinson, Green Village Initiative (GVI)

and more to come…


Interested in being a vendor or promoting your organization at our event?  Last year’s conference attracted over 400 passionate organic-minded individuals, and at least the same number are expected this year.   Email CT NOFA for details, print and mail this form, or call 203-888-5146.

Confirmed exhibitors:

Animal Welfare Approved – Alexandria, VA
Barefoot Books
East Granby, CT
Green Earth Agriculture
– North Branford, CT
Healthy Cleaning Solutions
– Tolland, CT
Land for Good
– Keene, NH
Lancaster Ag Products – Ronks, PA
Natureworks – Northford, CT
Progressive Asset Management – Wellesley, MA
Sunlight Solar Energy – Milford, CT
Sweet Sage Bakery – Rockfall, CT
USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service – Tolland, CT
USDA-New England Agricultural Statistics – Concord, NH


Music, storytime, children’s workshop, hanging out. CT NOFA provide pillows, books, and comfy places for kids to just shlump down and read!


Chef John Turenne of Sustainable Food Systems and an impressive staff of kitchen volunteers will once again be on hand to pull it all together, making sure hot dishes are hot and salads are dressed.

Please bring a dish to share with everyone—it need not be local food or even organic—do what you can. Email if you need help with a recipe or ingredients or just have a questions. Thanks! Put a label on the bottom of the container and claim it at the end of the conference. Please bring a plate and utensils as this event is committed to avoiding waste.


CT NOFA is accepting raffle donations. Gently used treasures, duplicate garden tools, gift baskets, unused gift certificates or gift certificates for your business (=great advertizing!) are all welcome. CT NOFA Board member Janet Heller will be coordinating this year. Call the office at 203-888-5146 or email.

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