Farmers fill Davis Center

The Northeast Organic Farmer Association of Vermont (NOFA) held their 25th annual Winter Conference this weekend at the Dudley H. Davis Center, bringing farmers, gardeners and organic enthusiasts to campus. The event attracted about 1400 attendees according to Caitlin Gildrien, the NOFA Outreach Coordinator. NOFA works to promote an economically viable and ecologically sound Vermont food system for the benefit of current and future generations, according to their website. Sax in the Grass played live music while attendees sampled different organic products. The conference boasted more than 80 workshops, including the butchering of a calf on the steps of the Fleming Museum. This workshop was noted to be “not for the faint-hearted,” in the conference’s registration packet. Attendees could also sample Vermont Coffee Company coffee and a enjoy a woodfire pizza oven. Additional exhibitors included Organic Valley, Shelburne Farms, Efficiency Vermont, VT Land Trust and others. Carol Collins of Singing Spindle Spinnery said she has been coming to the NOFA conference for more than 20 years. “People come here who love what I love,” she said. Meg Klepack of City Market commented on the importance of the conference for unifying Vermont farmers. “You get this warm glow in your heart, it’s like you’re not in this alone,” Klepack said. “Without this conference, we’d all be so isolated on our own farms.”