Working Lands

Session One: An Acre at a Time: Managing Land for Climate Resiliency

September 19 | 10:00 am to Noon

Recent reports that the planet had its hottest four years on record highlight the need for accelerated work to keep global warming below critical tipping points, as well as the need to ensure that our communities are prepared for the changes in climate we are already experiencing. Management of working lands can play a vital role both in helping to mitigate the effects of a changing climate as a natural solution, and in adaptation. This workshop will showcase practices that foster carbon sequestration, such as restoration of the land, grass-based agriculture, and conservation of forests, and offer practical solutions to using working lands to help prepare our region for a changing climate.

Speakers: Joshua Faulkner, Farming & Climate Change Program Coordinator, UVM Extension Center for Sustainable Agriculture; David Patrick, Director of Conservation Programs, The Nature Conservancy, NH Chapter; Steven Whitman, Founder and Principal, Resilience Planning & Design.

Session Two: Governing for Farm Viability

September 19 | 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Farm and forest entrepreneurs are at the heart of the New England landscape and an integral part of what makes our region a quality place to live. Agriculture is not only vital to our heritage but an integral driver of our local economy. This session will focus on how we can ensure that our state and municipal farm policies and tax systems work for our farmers. We will highlight success stories in state level tax reform and policy management to encourage farm profitability and the continuation of the agricultural tradition in New England.

Session Three: Crazy Good: Show Me the Money – Creative Financing for Farmers and Food Producers

September 20 | 9:00am to 11:00am

Every small business owner knows the challenges of securing capital.  This proves even more challenging for farmers since lenders often don’t “get” farming and see their businesses as riskier. Thankfully, this view is starting to change as more lenders get on board with lending to the agricultural community.  This workshop will highlight several innovative financing opportunities for farmers and food producers, including a new farm-focused credit union—the first of its kind in the nation—and a community loan fund that offers business planning services alongside its lending products.

Speakers: Scott Budde, Project Director, Maine Harvest Credit Project; Charlene Andersen, Farm Food Lender, New Hampshire Community Loan Fund

Session Four: Bridgeable Gaps: The Fuel for Rural Change

Colonial Theatre | September 20 | 1:00pm to 3:00pm

Keynote Speaker: Art Markman, IC2 Executive Director, The University of Texas Austin

Hannah Grimes Center for Entrepreneurship Key Partners

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