Working Lands Track
Session One: An Acre at a Time: Managing Land for Climate Resiliency
September 19 | 10:00am 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.
Session Two: Betting on the Farm – Governing for 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 focuses on how we can ensure that our state and municipal farm policies and tax systems work for our farmers. We 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 don’t often “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 session 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.
Session Four: Bringing Big Ideas to Life: Ways to Make Your Small Town Idea Friendly
Colonial Theatre | September 20 | 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Keynote Speaker: Becky McCray, Co-Founder of Save Your Town