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Susquehanna Life

PASA Hosts Field Day on Farm Biodiversity

May 06, 2016 11:58AM ● By Erica Shames

Examining Biodiversity within the Context of Climate Change

On Thursday, June 2, the Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) will host a Farmer-to-Farmer Exchange event on Farm Biodiversity & Climate Change, to be held at Harvest Valley Farms in Valencia, PA (Butler County).  This Field Day will provide a full day immersion into the subject of climate change, its impacts on the farming system, and strategies to effectively adapt to climate change through increasing biodiversity on the farm.

Field Day hosts, Art and Dave King of Harvest Valley Farms, will discuss their farm and demonstrate some of their own sustainable farming practices, including a highly diversified crop production system; use of beneficial insects; crop rotation; cover cropping; and rye straw mulch.  Event participants will explore how these practices can help make a farm more resilient in the face of a changing climate. 

PASA’s Director of Educational Programs, Franklin Egan says: “Pennsylvania’s future under climate change is full of uncertainties, and it can be overwhelming for farmers to form a strategy to adapt to shifting weather patterns.  Fortunately, strategies that many Pennsylvania farmers have already been implementing - soil cover, living roots, crop diversity, and limited tillage - remain sound principles for adapting to a changing climate.”

Guest speakers will also contribute their expertise to the program, including John R. Taylor, Assistant Professor of Sustainable Agroecology at Chatham University, Lee Stivers, Penn State Extension Educator in Horticulture, and Heather Manzo, Penn State Extension Educator in Ag Entrepreneurship & Community Economic Development.  Topics covered will include larger-scale impacts of climate change and farm-scale adaptation strategies, the importance of cover crops, crop rotation and crop diversification within the context of climate change, and resources available through various U.S. Department of Agriculture agencies to help make these adaptation strategies financially viable. 

PASA’s Field Day on Farm Biodiversity & Climate Change will be held on Thursday, June 2 from 11am to 4:30pm at Harvest Valley Farms in Valencia, PA.  The cost of the Field Day is $30 for PASA members, $45 for non-members.  Further details and registration can be found online at pasafarming.org/farmbiodiversity. 

About PASA

The Pennsylvania Association for Sustainable Agriculture (PASA) is one of the largest and most active sustainable agriculture organizations in the U.S. 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.

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