- The CSA Expert Exchange is an online conference co-presented by Small Farm Central and the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) occurring live on March 15 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Nationwide, the conference is expected to engage between 500-1,000 Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farmers. The conference will be accessible via any web browser; attendees will be available to watch video of presenters, view powerpoint slides, and interact via chat to ask questions. The fee is $45 and registration is open at csafarmconference.com.
The CSA Expert Exchange will consist of four sessions, each one hour in length, focusing on the following topic areas; CSA management, member retention & maintaining a profitable CSA operation, certifications and equipment and member education.
The featured speaker will be noted author and CSA pioneer, Elizabeth Henderson, author of Sharing the Harvest: A Citizen's Guide to Community Supported Agriculture.
Conceived by Robyn Van En as an antidote to industrial, monocrop agriculture, the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) concept offers farms the opportunity to become centers of more sustainable communities.
Based on inspiring examples from other CSAs around this country and the world and her own experience with Peacework Farm and the Genesee Valley Organic CSA (now renamed Peacework Organic CSA), Elizabeth Henderson will discuss how the most successful CSAs are much more than a clever marketing alternative for family farms.
These long-term CSAs are respected, local institutions, providing healthy, fresh food while involving members, educating consumers, training new farmers and serving as hubs of economic development.
"Many members of PASA currently operate or are becoming more interested in starting CSA operations on their farms. We felt partnering with Small Farm Central to offer this unique online conference was a great way to engage participants from a wide geographic area, while having noted experts in this field share their experiences," said Michele Gauger, Membership Director with PASA.
Small Farm Central is also offering 20 scholarships to new and beginning farmers to help offset costs to participate in the CSA Expert Exchange. The deadline for applications is Friday, March 1.
"It is exciting to be able to bring Elizabeth Henderson's wealth of experience to CSA farmers across the country: she has 25 years of experience running a CSA and has been at the forefront of the CSA movement during all of those years.
It is so important for farmers to learn from each other as we create a vibrant local food system. The online format is just a new way to collaborate and learn," said Simon Huntley from Small Farm Central.
Full details about the CSA Expert Exchange: An Online Conference are available at csafarmconference.com.
With over 6,000 members, the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) is one of the largest and most active sustainable agriculture organizations in the U.S.
Page 2 of 2 - Through educational programs and regional marketing assistance for farmers, advocacy, and public outreach, PASA seeks to promote profitable farms that produce healthy food for all people while respecting the natural environment.
PASA's hallmark event, the Farming for the Future Conference, draws thousands of participants from more than 30 states and six countries each February. For more information, visit pasafarming.org.
About Small Farm Central
Small Farm Central is a leading technology provider to small-scale farms across the U.S. and Canada. Started by an former CSA farmer, Small Farm Central provides farm websites, CSA member management services, and more to help increase the economic sustainability of small-scale farmers by creating professional and engaging experiences for the farm's customers.
Small Farm Central's Member Assembler technology is built to manage the office side of the CSA from online member signup and payment processing to box packing and delivery logistics.