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Farming seminar here this weekend

January 18, 2008

The Future Harvest Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture will hold its 2008 "Farming for Profit and Stewardship" Conference Jan. 18-19 at the Sheraton Four Points in Hagerstown.

This is the ninth year for the conference, which brings together many outstanding farmers in sustainable agriculture as well as nationally known researchers.

More than 20 different seminars will be offered during the two-day conference, as well as pre-conference workshops that tell how to measure soil health using an series of field and lab tests, and also sessions on how to start organic farming from scratch.

The annual event is known to provide educational information on sustainable and organic agriculture, and is helpful to farmers and educators. Increasing farm profits will be the focus of an education session in Hagerstown later this week.

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Seminar topics vary from honey production and marketing, pasture fencing and restraints, and internet marketing tools. In addition to the seminars, there will be an annual membership meeting and an election for officers of the board of directors.

The keynote speaker will be Cynthia Barstow, an expert in marketing farms. She will explore opportunities created by consumers' increasing interest in how food is produced.

Barstow is a popular author, university professor and consultant who is an expert on shopping for eco-friendly produce. Her "Eco-Foods Guide" is an optimistic examination of the downsides of modern agriculture's prolific use of pesticides, growth hormones, and nonrenewable resources. Barstow is president of "Seed to Shelf: Marketing for Sustainability," where she works with grower groups to create distinctive brands for the marketplace.

For more information visit www.futureharvestcasa.org/08conference.html or call 1-410-549-7878.

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