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Susquehanna Life

Have You Heard About the Sunshine Farmers' Conference?

Feb 22, 2017 11:14AM ● By Erica Shames

The Sunshine Farmers' Conference, which takes place March 14 at the Pine Barn Inn, Danville, is a gathering of farmers, agency folks and interested community members who are concerned about the present and future of farming sustainably.

The conference name is derived from the desire of each of us to be Sunlight Farmers. That is, ideally each of us makes decisions every day that allow our farms (or backyards) to capture the most amount of sunlight possible. It is our responsibility to foster a system that captures the most possible sunlight 365 days a year. A plant’s ability to capture sunlight feeds not only the plant, but also the life below the ground and in turn livestock and ultimately human beings.   

Who should attend the Sunshine Farmers Conference?

Everyone!  This conference is designed for anyone interested in learning about the health of the soil. The health of the soil affects each and every person who eats and in order to capture the most sunlight we need to foster the underground world.   

- Farmers who wish to improve their operations and run more efficiently while producing more crops in an environmentally friendly way.  

- Agency and Extension folks who work directly with farmers need to understand how practices need to change and which practices are most cost effective at increasing production and reducing environmental impact.  

- Citizen groups and organizations who desire to protect natural resources need to understand and network with progressive farmers willing to improve farming practices to protect the resource.  

- Government officials and policy makers need to understand the concerns and implications of current agricultural practices’ footprint on the environment and what steps can be taken to reduce that footprint.  

- Agricultural industry, crop advisors, and nutritional production consultants need exposure and understanding of environmentally friendly farming so they can provide the tools producers need. 

Who will speak at the Sunshine Farmers Conference?

Gabe Brown, a pioneer of the current soil health movement and a rancher from Bismarck, ND, will speak about the benefits of managing animals holistically and plant and production diversity.  

Dr. David Montgomery and his wife, Anne Biklé, from Seattle, WA, will discuss the benefits of mychorrizal fungi and beneficial soil microbes for both the soil and our guts.  

Dr. Fred Provenza is a forage ecologist and will be presenting about the benefits of managing ecosystems to promote health for soil, animals, and humans.

This soil health conference is sponsored by Upper Susquehanna Crop Management Associates. Please contact Sarah Troisi at or (570) 922-1838 for more information or to register.  The ticket prices for the event are $115 until March 4th or $130 at the door.  There is a discount for subsequent registrations for the same company of farm.  The student price is $20 and there is a group rate of $95 for ten or more registrants.  Visit to view the conference agenda and register for the event. Visit to order tickets.

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