this "stipends for farmers" is a great trend

posted February 23, 2010

and very important for us to be publicly grateful for. I recently had a spat with some fancy conference organizers who wanted agrarian presence but weren’t willing to cover gas and expenses for the farmers–. We live in an economy that undervalues farmers time, makes them shlepp hustle and burn. But as we form social structures, institutions and conferences that give us a chance to re-write the rules, I feel quite strongly that we “re-value” the farmers time, and pay them so they can hire someone to feed the animals, and even enough so they can bring home a small earning.  Yes ?

Dear friends,

The Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) is hosting the first State of Organic Seed Symposium on February 25th, in La Crosse, Wisconsin. The Symposium will be the day before the Organic Farming Conference, hosted by the Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service.

The State of Organic Seed Symposium is an opportunity for the organic community to discuss the challenges regarding the usage of organic seed, find shared agreement on priorities, and create an Organic Seed Report and Action Plan to move forward. This is not a traditional “conference” for learning technical skills in breeding or seed production, but rather a policy meeting to analyze and develop big picture solutions to challenges in organic seed systems. Visit the Symposium’s webpage to learn more, view the agenda and download a participation form.

The Organic Seed Alliance is offering a limited number of travel stipends for farmers who want to attend the State of Organic Seed Symposium. Farmers from the Northeast, Southeast and West are eligible for a $250 travel stipend and farmers from the Midwest are eligible for a $100 travel stipend.

If you are interested in attending the Symposium and would like to be considered for a travel stipend, please email Matthew Dillon at matthew@seedalliance.org with a completed participation form. You can download a participation form on the Symposium webpage.