Real Organic Project Virtual Symposium to Feature Over 60 Leading Voices in Sustainable Farming

The Real Organic Project celebrates nearly 500 farms nationwide and is expanding its educational efforts this winter by inviting farmers and students to attend their Virtual Symposium each Sunday in January from 12 p.m. - 2 p.m. PST at a reduced rate, or to view the recorded sessions for free. The 2021 symposium, titled “Can Real Organic Farming Be Saved?” features over 60 leading voices in sustainable agriculture and food, including Al Gore, Vandana Shiva, Leah Penniman, Paul Hawkin, Chanowk Yisrael, JM Fortier, Elliot Coleman, and Dan Barber.
 
Did you know California is the third highest state in the nation, after Vermont and New York, for Real Organic Project certified farms? Even with new virtual farm visit protocols in place, 2020 brought significant growth to this add-on certification program, with almost 500 farms now “Real Organic” certified. 
 
Real Organic voices, the story of the label, and the connection between organic farming and climate change, soil health, nutrition, and community will be celebrated during the Real Organic Project’s Virtual Symposium. Several California voices will be featured, including Alice Waters of Chez Panisse and the Edible Schoolyard Project, Paul Muller and Dru Rivers of Full Belly Farm, Chanowk Yisrael of Yisrael Family Urban Farms, Kat Taylor of TomKat Ranch, and Benina Montes and Rose Burroughs of Burroughs Family Farms.
 
The Real Organic Project is expanding its educational efforts this winter and inviting farmers and students to attend at a reduced rate, or to view the recorded sessions for free. The 2021 symposium, titled “Can Real Organic Farming Be Saved?” features over 60 leading voices in sustainable agriculture and food, including Al Gore, Vandana Shiva, Leah Penniman, Paul Hawkin, JM Fortier, Elliot Coleman, and Dan Barber.
 
The symposium will take place every Sunday in January from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., with each Sunday featuring a different topic. Sessions will focus on the history of the organic movement, soil health, climate change, health and nutrition, and the work that can change our organic food system. In the spirit of creating an educated community of farmers, consumers, and advocates, the virtual symposium will feature small discussion groups, networking opportunities, and live panel discussions with some of the speakers. The themes for each session are as follows:
 
— January 3: What is Real Organic?
— January 10: What is Soil Health?
— January 17: Farming and Climate
— January 24: Health and Nutrition
— January 31: What Can We Do?
 
One ticket grants you access to all five sessions. Ticketing options range from $45 to $100, with special discounts available for farmers and students. Need-based scholarships are available to ensure that anyone that wants to attend will not be denied access based on their available income. There is also a bulk incentive that includes a virtual visit by a certified farm. Consumers, educators, or farmers interested in learning more or buying tickets to the symposium are encouraged to visit www.realorganicsymposium.org or email kim@realorganicproject.org for more information.
 
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This article was written by Ariel Pressman.
 
The Real Organic Project is a farmer-led nonprofit that fights for integrity within the certified organic food system. Through their add-on label, they seek to help farmers and consumers distinguish which USDA Organic products are soil grown and pasture raised. The Real Organic Project certifies a diverse array of 500 farms across the country. To find out more about their add-on label and advocacy work, visit www.realorganicproject.org. Interested consumers can also use the website to find information on where to purchase Real Organic Project certified produce, meat, dairy, eggs, and grain. 
 

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