The Northeast Organic Farming Association of Vermont (NOFA-VT) Winter Conference has long been a key educational and inspirational gathering for Vermont’s farmers. The 30th annual conference, taking place February 10-12, 2012 at the University of Vermont in Burlington will be no exception ‘ with extra emphasis on the inspiration.After a particularly challenging year, Vermont’s growers are looking forward to the opportunity to exchange ideas, learn new techniques, and create connections. The NOFA-VT Winter Conference brings together farmers, educators, researchers, and more to build knowledge and tackle hard questions ‘ like how to create a vibrant and resilient food system in the face of climate change and a struggling economy.On Saturday, keynote speaker and local extension expert Vern Grubinger will share his vision of the future of Vermont’s food system. ‘The resilience of Vermont’s food system is challenged by many factors, including climate change and weather extremes, reliance on fossil fuel, loss of good farmland, and consolidation of food processing, distribution and retailing,’ says Grubinger. ‘Strategies for addressing these challenges are emerging as part of an ongoing transformation in how people think about food. This presentation will highlight some of these strategies and the farms involved with them, celebrating the progress being made and suggesting new actions for the future.’Over 30 of the weekend’s workshops are intended for commercial farmers and will cover topics such as Produce Safety, Farm Finance, Flood Recovery, Alternative Energy, Pasture Management and much more. In addition, day-long seminars on Friday will address Advanced Orchard Health for Sustainable Fruit Production, Nose-to-Tail Butchery, Organic Beekeeping, Renewable Energy Options, and Weed Management in a Wetter, Warmer Climate.About NOFA Vermont: NOFA Vermont is member-based organization working to grow local farms, healthy food, and strong communities in Vermont. Our members are farmers, gardeners, educators and food lovers of all sorts ‘ anyone who wants to help us create a future full of local food and local farms. Our programs include farmer and gardener technical assistance, farm to school support, organic certification, advocacy, an online apprentice and farm worker directory, an annual Winter Conference, and programs that work to ensure access to fresh, local food to all Vermonters, regardless of income.
Fox News 25 Sep 2012France is set to ban the words “mother” and “father” from all official documents under new plans to legalize gay marriage and give equal adoption rights to homosexual and heterosexual couples. Under the proposed law, only the word “parents” would be used in marriage ceremonies for all heterosexual and same-sex couples, a move that has sparked widespread outrage, The Telegraph reports. Changes to the civil code would mean swapping all references to “mothers and fathers,” in legal documents, with the word “parents.” The proposed law has been met with resistance by members of the Catholic Church. “Gay marriage would herald a complete breakdown in society,” Cardinal Philippe Barbarin, the head of the French Catholic Church, told Christian’s RFC radio last week. “This could have innumerable consequences. Afterward they will want to create couples with three or four members. And after that, perhaps one day the taboo of incest will fall,” he said, according to the report. “Who is to say that a heterosexual couple will bring up a child better than a homosexual couple, that they will guarantee the best conditions for the child’s development?” Justice Minister Christiane Taubira told France’s Catholic newspaper, La Croix.http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/09/25/france-set-to-ban-words-mother-and-father-under-plans-to-legalize-gay-marriage/http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/france/9563543/France-set-to-ban-the-words-mother-and-father-from-official-documents.html