Back to Your Roots set for May 17-18

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Submitted by Marie Walker

Campti Field of Dreams Inc., and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service will host “Back To Your Roots 2018,” a sustainable agriculture conference, May 17-18 at Northwestern State University in Russell Hall. The conference is designed to empower the next generation of farmers, ranchers and value-added producers, with environmentally friendly tools and techniques that produce more income. The conference features three internationally known speakers. They are Dr. Chuck Fluharty, president and CEO of the Rural Policy Research Institute; JM Fortier, farmer and author of “The Market Gardener”; and Joel Salatin, third generation farmer and author of several books including, “You Can Farm.”

The conference will begin Thursday afternoon at Oakland Plantation, followed by a welcome reception at the National Center for Preservation, Technology and Training. The event will then move to Russell Hall at NSU. Friday will feature an I-day Master Class by Fortier, where he will share his techniques used to generate $150,000 per year on an acre and a half in vegetable production.

Saturday will feature a I-day Master Class with Joel Salatin when he will discuss how his iconic farm, Polyface, works, and speak about access to land, finances, marketing, staff, partnerships, fertility management, water management, grazing plans, fencing and stacking. “Our goal is to provide participants with financially lucrative models that are replicable and scalable as we work toward rebuilding our local food system,” said Donna Isaacs, Campti Field of Dreams executive director.

The event will feature other federal, state and local partners and technical experts from the Natural Resources Conservation Service, Farm Service Agency, Rural Development, Louisiana Department of Agriculture and the LSU AgCenter. Optional events include a farm-to-table dinner with Chef Desi Bourgeois and a trip to Landry Vineyards for tour, wine tasting and dinner. Back To Your Roots 2018 is free and open to the public but registration is required as seating is limited.

For more information, visit camptifieldofdreams.org or call 318-521-4998. Campti Field of Dreams is a 501 (c) 3, non-profit organization dedicated to improving quality of life in rural communities.