Tuesday, December 13, 2011

PASA Conference Coming Up

Here's my annual publicity for PASA's Farming for the Future Conference.  I've been attending this conference for the last four years, and have always come away excited, energized, and having learned many useful things applicable to my homesteading endeavor.  The conference is held at the beginning of February each year in State College, Pennsylvania.  If you're interested in the sorts of topics I cover here on the blog and reasonably local to PA, I suggest you consider attending.

In the coming year I'll have the honor to be presenting with the man who first inspired me to start keeping a tiny flock of backyard chickens at the PASA conference four years ago.  Harvey Ussery will be leading an all-day pre-conference track on Integrated Homesteading.  I'll be playing backup.  Harvey is more than capable of presenting a knock-out presentation all by himself, as I have seen more than once.  He's concise, well-spoken, and his talks are carefully honed.  He does not waste the audience's time.  My hope as a novice speaker is to not look incompetent by comparison.  Frankly, I'd rather be learning than teaching, but it's hard to say no to an invitation from someone I admire so much.

From now until December 31st, you can receive an early bird registration discount, and additional family members receive discounted registration as well.  There are many ways to reduce the cost of conference registration if you want to attend but need to watch your pennies; everything from scholarships, to facilitated carpooling, to a WorkShare program.  So check it out even if you think it's not in the budget.  The next conference is going to be an even better deal than in previous years, because PASA has decided to pack an extra workshop slot into the two-day conference.  So I'll be able to attend six 80-minute talks instead of five.  I look forward to all the other wonderful extras of the conference as well: picking up free shipping coupons from Johnny's, checking out the free seed-swap table, the local cheese tasting, free live music in the evenings, a free seed packet or two from various seed vendors, the great quotation posters, a wonderful fund-raising auction with so many lovely and useful items, and all the unpredictable things I'll learn from formal presentations and conversations with other attendees.

I'd love to see some of you there, whether at the Integrated Homesteading track or the main conference.  If you plan to attend, please drop me a note.  If you can't attend, I'll most likely to a summary post after the conference, detailing some of the highlights and things I learned.


Sandy said...

Hi Kate,
Best of luck with your presentation! Unfortunately, I'll have to miss it this year; I had to take a week off of work due to hand surgery, so I can't take the days. I'll be back next year, hopefully. GREAT conference!!! Have fun.

Alexis said...

Speaking of Harvey Ussery, thank you SO much for The Small-Scale Poultry Flock, which arrived a few (quite a few now) weeks ago. I read it avidly, cover to cover, exclaiming to anyone who happened to be nearby about the glories of jungle fowl, dancing cocks, sawfly larvae farming, etc, etc, etc. Some of its wisdom obviously doesn't apply here in Australia (the worst my Winters produce is one or two very light morning frosts, and the closest I've ever been to a raccoon is via the internet), but everything else translates perfectly. I've lent the book to my mother, who keeps a *very* small-scale flock of bantams on a hillside at the edge of a tiny country town. She's delighted by the possibilities of electronet fencing, which will accommodate her slope much better than her heavy, comparatively static chook-tractor does, and allow for unsupervised bantam frolicking. Raptors are a bit harder to deal with (she watched an eagle plummet from the sky and snatch a parrot from her balcony recently, so is rightly concerned), but TSSPF has an answer to that too (fishing-line!).

Anyway, to summarise: Harvey Ussery = excellent; you = super kind to be sending his book across the Pacific; this imminent conference duo performance = unmissable, except I'll have to miss it, Pennsylvania being in the wrong hemisphere :-)

Alexis said...

This kind of eagle and this kind of parrot.