Notice of meeting -- Sacramento, CA
Eco-Ag/West -- February 17, 18, 19, 1997
An Acres U.S.A. Conference on Ecological Agriculture
Sacramento Radisson Hotel, Sacramento, California
Cost: $90 advance; $110 on-site
Married couples $145 advance; $175 on-site
Students 1/2 price
For more information call Acres U.S.A., 1-800-355-5313, (504)
889-2100, fax (504) 889-2777, firstname.lastname@example.org
All-day video theater featuring sustainable ag videos
Eco-Ag trade show showcasing products and services
Lectures by consultants and growers
Agenda -- Workshops:
Static-Pile Composting, Malcolm Beck, Monday, 2-5 p.m.
In this workshop, author, speaker, and one of America's foremost
composters Malcolm Beck will detail his static-pile method --
generally more practical than windrows, and tested and proven in
areas with annual rainfall ranging from just a few inches to more
than 60 inches.
Demystifying Biodynamics, Alan York & Steve Moore, Tuesday, 9
This workshop will explain the basic principles, the role of the
various biodynamic preparations, and report on specific
biodynamic-based operations that are successfully using these
techniques in a commercial setting.
Intro to High-Tech Biological Farming, Fred Wood
Tuesday, 2-5 p.m.
Wood will recap how the agricultural chemical industry developed
and why, discuss soils, fertility management, soil testing
(including base exchange and Lamotte), and least-toxic pest and
weed control methods.
Hands-On Soil Fertility, Neal Kinsey, Wednesday, 8:30 a.m.-12
Fertility consultant Neal Kinsey, author of Neal Kinsey's
Hands-On Agronomy, will present an overview on the tremendously
successful Albrecht system of soil balancing, as practiced and
improved by Kinsey. When calcium, magnesium, and the other
nutrients and micronutrients are in the proper balance on the
soil colloid, crops thrive, weed and insect pressures lessen, and
yields and soil tilth improve season after season.
Building a Specialty Crop Farm Plan That Works, Richard Alan
Miller Wednesday, 2-5 p.m.
Many farmers are jumping off of the commodity bandwagon and
finding profit in herbs and other specialty crops. In this
in-depth workshop author, consultant, herb processor Richard Alan
Miller will walk you through building a farm plan that will work
within the unique circumstances of your farm operation.
Agenda -- Lectures:
Tuning in to Nature, Philip S. Callahan, Ph.D., Monday, 10:30
This session walks us through Callahan's early work in insect
communication systems. He will explain that insects are nature's
disposal crew, sent to eliminate unhealthy plants. How these
often subclinically sick plants communicate with insects is of
vital consequence to farmers as many conventional agricultural
practices actually serve as insect attractants.
Guerilla Marketing for the Small Farm, Eric Gibson, Monday, 2
The author of the book "Sell What You Sow" will cover direct
marketing from what to grow and selling your fresh produce or
processed products through farmers' markets, restaurants or
grocery stores, CSA programs, and roadside markets.
CSA-Style Marketing. Steve Moore, Monday, 3 p.m.
How to Successfully Start and Build a CSA
In this session Steve Moore, who operates one of the top CSA's in
the country, hands off the lessons he's learned in starting and
running one effectively.
The Organic Marketplace, George Siemon, Monday, 4 p.m.
The Wisconsin-based CROPP organic cooperative with its Organic
Valley label is one of the most successful organic marketers in
the nation. George Siemon, its director, has insight into
consumer demand for clean food, produced organically and
otherwise, and the growth of this segment that all of agriculture
is starting to take notice of.
Growing for Top Crop Quality, Bob Shaffer, Monday, 7:30 p.m.
Combining Science with Organic Farming
Many organic farmers define themselves by what they don't do, not
what they proactively do. Bob Shaffer will show how the science
of eco-agriculture can join with organic practices to produce
crops of truly superb quality and character.
The Case for Eco-Agriculture, Charles Walters, Monday, 8:30 p.m.
The founder of Acres U.S.A. will build the case that the only way
agriculture can be economical -- at any scale -- is to be
ecological. Farmers will see that the attempt at transforming
agriculture, a biological process, into an industrial process was
doomed from the beginning, and we are now paying the price.
What Really Goes on in Living Tissue?, Bargyla Rateaver, Ph.D.,
Tuesday, 9 a.m.
In this potpourri session, Dr. Rateaver will explain the
real-world implications behind basic biological functions in
plant tissue: subjects that are generally misunderstood by
growers but carry great implications for crop yield, quality, and
pest and disease resistance.
Tillage, Compaction & Soil Fertility, Neal Kinsey, Tuesday, 10
Starting with getting the calcium/magnesium ratio correctly
balanced, which determines the soil's physical structure, he will
discuss ways to control magnesium and especially sodium. The
lecture then will turn to methods of opening up the soil
including soil conditioners, deep-rooted crops such as alfalfa
and sweet clover in rotation, and effective use of the ripper.
Commercial-Scale Eco-Ag Success Story --
Wente Vineyards, Ralph Riva, Tuesday, 11 a.m.
This large vineyard typifies California agriculture in many ways.
Wente's longstanding commitment to sustainable farming methods is
evident in their success. Ralph Riva will profile the operation
handing off the lessons he has learned about making
eco-agriculture work under real-world operational, production and
An Introduction to Insect Biocontrol, Jan Dietrick, Tuesday, 2
This will introduce growers to the many uses of beneficial
insects for biological control of insects. She will place a
special emphasis on species of interest to large-scale row-crop
farmers including both the release of beneficial insects and the
construction of natural insectaries on your farm. Jan is the
daughter and biocontrol leader Everett Dietrick and the president
of Rincon-Vitova Insectaries.
Dietrick & Callahan -- Bug Talk, Everett Dietrick, Ph.D. and Phil
Callahan, Ph.D., Tuesday, 3 p.m.
A free-for-all discussion of insects by the father of insect
biocontrol, Dr. Everett Dietrick, and a scientist who knows how
bugs talk, Dr. Phil Callahan. This will certainly prove to be a
once-in-a-lifetime experience to hear two of eco-agriculture's
true leaders dispense the philosophies and knowledge they've
picked up over a lifetime of observing nature.
Biodynamic Viticulture, Alan York, Tuesday, 4 p.m.
York will explain how he integrates biodynamic methods into the
commercial wine grape vineyards as he consults with wine grape
growers in Mendocino, Lake, Napa and Sonoma counties working with
terrains as varied as hillside, flat, gravel and topsoil.
Life in the Soil -- Understanding the Foodweb, Elaine Ingham,
Ph.D., Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.
In a teaspoon of healthy soil, there are hundreds of millions
living organisms. Dr. Ingham categorizes them by their role in
the soil. Together, they form not a food chain, but an intricate
web of life with one type processing food, another releasing it,
etc. The type and balance of life in the soil varies tremendously
by crop. She will discuss what it takes for mainline growers to
bring the life in the soil (bacteria to fungi ratios, etc.) back
to adequate, balanced levels for their individual crop needs.
Creating a Soil Structure for Soil Life, Jim Barlow, Tuesday,
A collapsed soil with poor structure will not have good microbial
communities because there are too few open spaces for microbes to
occupy and move through. Achieving good soil structure by correct
liming and other practices creates the best habitat for the ideal
foodweb to develop where it can interact with crop plants roots.
He also will discuss soil clay as it pertains to soil structure
and nutrient exchange in plants.
Delivering Nutrition to Plants Via the Organic Colloid, Elmo
Robinson, Wednesday, 2 p.m.
By understanding the role of the colloid in nature, consultant
Robinson has developed methods of fertilization that deliver
organic nutrients to plants quickly and effectively, without the
shock synthetics bring on. He will explain the energy connection
between the organic colloid and nutrients bonded to it -- all
with an eye toward the effect it has on the soil.
How to Create a System for Your Farm, Bob Shaffer, Wednesday, 3
Looking at your farm as a system is the only way you can
effectively combine the various technologies and philosophies
available into an effective, workable program for your particular
soils, crops, farming situation. By understanding the principles
behind the many eco-ag methodologies you can look beyond product
claims and understand their role in helping to move nature to
work in your favor.
Moving from Conventional Ag to Eco-Ag -- What to Expect, Carl
Gwilliam, Wednesday, 4 p.m.
Commercial growers who are forced to answer to the bottom line
first and foremost are finding that eco-ag is the way to go, but
the transition is a three- to four-year process. Gwilliam will
profile ranches and farms who have made the transition to
eco-agriculture and are building their soil while harvesting
crops in a commercially viable situation.
Paramagnetism -- Harnessing Nature's Secret Force of Growth, Phil
Callahan, Ph.D., Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
Through observing nature, Callahan long ago discovered that rocks
hold peculiar powers in regard to plant growth. Upon further
examination, he found that soils with high levels of
paramagnetism, a widely known physical property documented in
every physics text, were health soils. Poor soils invariably
lacked this paramagnetic property. Based on his research, the
race is on between billion-dollar aggregate companies to supply
paramagnetic rock dusts to agriculture.
Register at the conference, or save money by registering
early (by Wednesday, February 12). Mail, fax or e-mail this form
or call 1-800-355-5313 or (504) 889-2100. Fax to (504) 889-2777;
All-inclusive fee for attendance to all seminars, workshops, the
exhibit area and the video theater.
Preregistration At Door
Single $90 $110
Married couples $145 $175
Students with valid ID one-half price
Schedule subject to change; please refer to the official
conference agenda you will receive upon check-in for precise
meeting times. No single-day or exhibit-area-only registration
If you must cancel, we will issue a full credit to be applied to
Acres U.S.A. subscriptions, books, tapes or future conference
fees. If you are uncertain whether you can attend, simply
Eco-Ag/West Conference Preregistration
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The conference will be held in the Radisson Hotel Sacramento,
just north of downtown Sacramento.
The host hotel of the conference, the Radisson Hotel Sacramento,
is a deluxe hotel built on its own lake that will feel like a
vacation in itself. We have negotiated the reduced rate of
$69/night (1 or 2 occupants), or $79 (3 or 4 occupants) for
conference attendees with advance reservations. Call the Radisson
Hotel Sacramento directly at (916) 922-2020, fax (916) 649-9463,
and ask for the reservation desk. Be certain to mention the Acres
U.S.A. Eco-Ag/West Conference and request the special room rate.
If you need help with your hotel reservations, please do not
hesitate to call the Acres U.S.A. office.
The hotel is located at 500 Leisure Lane, just south of
Highway 160. The hotel's phone number is (916) 922-2020.
About the sponsor:
Acres U.S.A. is North America's leading journal on
ecological agriculture. In continuous, monthly publication for 27
years, literally thousands of agriculture's innovators have
appeared in the pages of Acres U.S.A. For subscription
information or a free sample catalog call 1-800-355-5313.
P.O. Box 8800
Metairie, LA 70011 U.S.A.
fax (504) 889-2777
"To be economical, agriculture must be ecological."