(Beyond Pesticides, March 24, 2009) With the 27th National Pesticide Forum, Bridge to an Organic Future: Opportunities for health and the environment, less than two weeks away, the final program has been set and is available online (in both English and Spanish). This national conference will be held April 3-4, 2009 at the Century Center in Carrboro, NC. Simultaneous Spanish translation will be available.
The Forum will begin with an optional tour of Piedmont Biofuels in Pittsboro, NC on Friday afternoon at 1:00pm. Piedmont Biofuels is a cooperative that runs a research farm and sustainable biodiesel production facility, manufacturing local fuel out of waste vegetable oil. Read more about the facility in an article about Piedmont’s Ecoindustrial Park. The tour is limited to 40 people. To attend the tour, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a seat on the bus.
This year’s conference will feature a special appearance by the Paperhand Puppet Intervention. Giant insect puppets from their “I am an Insect” production will pay Forum participants a visit Friday night.
Keynote speakers at this year’s conference include: Jim Hightower, national radio commentator and author of Swim Against the Current: Even a dead fish can go with the flow; Baldemar Velasquez, social justice leader and president of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC); and, Philip and Alice Shabecoff, authors of Poisoned Profits: The toxic assault on our children. Mr. Shabecoff also founded Greenwire and served as chief environmental correspondent for The New York Times. See a complete speaker list.
The Forum will feature two prominent panel presentations. Scheduled for Saturday morning, the Growing a Fair, Local, Organic Food System panel will include talks by an organic dairy farmer, an organic produce marketer and individuals involved with university and non-profit outreach programs to grow organic production in North Carolina and around the country. In the afternoon, university and government scientists will present the latest pesticide research as part of the Cutting Edge Pesticide Science: Linking exposure to health effects panel.
Workshops will include: Schools and Daycare: Creating a healthy learning environment; Protecting Waterways, Health and the Environment; Farmworker Organizing; Organic Land Management: Lawns, gardens and open spaces; Progressive Policies: Global to local; Farmworker Health Training; a Carrboro Farmer’s Market Tour; and more.
Practical information, including maps, shuttle information and lodging recommendations, as well as a complete speaker list, schedule of events and online registration, are posted on the Forum webpage. For last-minute deals on airfare, try Kayak.com.
The Forum is convened by Beyond Pesticides and Toxic Free NC. Co-sponsoring organizations include: Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, Haw River Assembly, North Carolina Coastal Federation, North Carolina Rural Communities Assistance Project, Piedmont Environmental Alliance, Rural Advancement Foundation International — USA, Slow Food Triangle, Student Action with Farmworkers, UNC Alianza, UNC Environmental Law Project, UNC Environmental Science and Engineering Student Organization.