The conference is organized around four tracks, each of which will have multiple sessions, including hands-on workshops, presentations, panels, and opportunities for student posters.
Tracks are meant to provide a guideline to the conference schedule for those who wish to focus their experience on a particular skill-set or area of knowledge. Brush up on your how-tos (Nuts and Bolts), incorporate faculty participation into your program (Teaching and Learning), get started with a new program or maintain or make new partnerships on campus (Sustainable Growth), and connect your program to new opportunities in the community (Breaking Bread, Building Markets). Conference participants may attend sessions from a single track, or select sessions from multiple tracks to create a program which best suits their needs. The four tracks are:
1: Nuts and Bolts: Logistics of College Farm and Garden Operations
Presentations in this track will be suited to those interested in successful operation of a productive college farm or garden. Practical workshops will range from irrigation, weed, and pest management, to season extension, soil fertility, composting, and crop planning. Specialists from participating schools will present their innovative approaches to the challenges of farm operations based on experience in the field.
2: Teaching and Learning on the Farm and in the Garden
Liberal arts colleges are using farms and gardens in innovative ways to enrich learning through connections with the curriculum, co-curricular activities, service learning and research. Sessions in this track will explore what we are teaching on our farms and in our gardens, how we are teaching, what learning outcomes we are attaining, and what curriculum, research and service learning models we are developing.
3: Sustainable Growth: Starting and Sustaining Farm and Garden Programs on the College Campus
This track will address strategic approaches toward initiating, sustaining and diversifying new and existing farm programs by highlighting start up stories and discussing strategic planning approaches for curricular integration and work with institutional dining services. Creative approaches toward campus education, growing student involvement and communicating the benefits of farm programs within the college community will help round out this wide-ranging track that aims to provide participants with a diverse skills set for application at their respective institutions.
4: Breaking Bread, Building Markets: Connecting Community Partnerships
Farmers markets, Community Supported Agriculture programs, food banks, and local farms are just some of the community outlets with the potential to create beneficial financial and educational partnerships for our farms and gardens. Presenters will highlight examples of successful connections with organizations, individuals, and businesses in the local community.