The Tilth Alliance is teaming up with the Washington Organic Recycling Council for their annual conference.
Their joint conference will be Nov. 10-12 in Kennewick, Wash.
The partnership brings a different layer to the conference and adds more people to the conversation, said Nate Stacey, alliance farm program director. It means more and different presentations, trade show vendors and audience members.
The conference reflects a cooperative and integrated approach to agriculture, which ponders the effects of soil and land access "upstream" of the farm, and food access and human health "downstream, he said.
"If you think about the food system itself, it's a large system, it's not just the farms themselves," he said. "...The challenges we're facing in the food system, food network or farming, are so dynamic and complex that it's not one organization, agency or nonprofit that can really address it. We really need to start having these conversations and bringing those entities together. It's too big, and we need to have those discussions."
Keynote speakers are:
• Dr. Arti Chandra, Seattle family practice physician, who will speak about community-based efforts to improve human health.
• Certified potato seed farmer Brandon Rockey, of Rockey Farms in Center, Colo., who will speak about biotic farming fundamentals.
Other topics include the state's soil health initiative, race and land access, organic compost air and energy emissions and unique food safety challenges for organic fruit growers.
An agriculture policy roundtable discussion, through the alliance's Coalition for Organic and Regenerative Agriculture will cover ways to support "an economically viable, environmentally sound, socially just, stable and resilient community of farms and farmers contributing to a robust regional food supply."
Attendance is expected to be about 250 people.
"We have these amazing opportunities to help support each other," Stacey said. "I think just getting in the room and having discussions about challenges we're facing in the food system is the very first step."