The Back To Your Roots 2020 (BTYR 2020), a sustainable agriculture conference hosted by Campti Field of Dreams, will be from Thursday, Sept. 10 to Sunday, Sept. 13. BTYR 2020 is designed to empower the next generation of farmers, ranchers and value-added producers, with environmentally friendly practices that produce more income. This year’s theme is “Regenerative Agriculture, Health, and Wellbeing.” The conference features four internationally renowned speakers instructing three 2-day Master Classes. The outdoor conference will be spread across three North Louisiana participating farms: Mahaffey Farm in Haughton, Sample Farm in Shreveport and DeLaTerre Farm in Eros.
Organic Fruit and Vegetable Production, Sept. 10-11
For more than 30 years, Jim Riddle has been an organic farmer, gardener, inspector, educator, policy analyst, author, speaker, and avid organic eater. Jim was the founding chair of the Winona Farmers Market Association and the International Organic Inspectors Association, and co-author of the International Organic Inspection Manual. Jim co-owns and operates Blue Fruit Farm, where he and his wife grow blueberries, black currants, elderberries and more.
Management Intensive Grazing, Sept. 11-12
Jim Gerrish is an independent grazing lands consultant providing service to farmers and ranchers on both private and public lands across the US and internationally. He currently lives in the Pahsimeroi Valley in central Idaho and works with numerous ranchers using both irrigated pastures and native rangeland as well as working in high natural rainfall environments. His experience includes over 22 years of beef-forage systems research and outreach while on the faculty of the University of Missouri.
Direct Marketing, Sept. 12-13
Joel Salatin, editor of the Stockman Grass Farmer, and internationally renowned farmer and his daughter-in-law Sheri Salatin, the direct marketing guru behind the brand, Polyface Farm, Swoope, Virginia. Realizing early on that small farmers could not compete in the low-margin commodity game, the farm began marketing directly to families, restaurants, and institutions with a branded product line: Salad Bar Beef, Pigaerator Pork, Pastured Poultry and other items. Today, the farm services 4,000 families in urban neighborhood drop points, 50 restaurants, and collaborates with other artisanal farmers in the region for distribution efficiencies, and ships nationwide.
“COVID-19 has shown us the importance of a vibrant local food system to our health and wellbeing,” said Executive Director of Campti Field of Dreams Donna Isaacs. “Whether you are a backyard gardener, a beginning farmer or a conventional farmer interested in organic production this conference is for you. It gives you the opportunity to learn from masters so you can help rebuild the local food system.”
The event will feature other federal, state, and local partners and technical experts from the United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service.
BTYR 2020 by the Campti Field of Dreams, a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit dedicated to improving the quality of life in rural communities, in partnership with USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Ross Lynn Charitable Foundation and Bossier Parish Community College. Conference registration is required, and participation is limited to 75 to facilitate social distancing. For more information and to register online, visit camptifieldofdreams.net.