2019 Pre-conference Mini Courses

Thursday, January 24, 2019
1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

These half-day courses give participants an opportunity to spend an afternoon learning from experts. You’ll go home with practical information that you can put to use right away. You must register to participate in the mini-courses. Pre-registration is strongly recommended, as space is limited. Please note that mini-courses are offered at the same time as the field trips.

  1. The Dual Plate: Food for Survival, Food for Comfort

  2. Cracking The Code: Dismantling The Dynamics of Oppression (Racism)

  3. Holistic Animal Healthcare—Healthy Livestock are Happy Livestock

  4. Hoophouse Production of Cool Season Crops

Mini Course #1

The Dual Plate: Food for Survival, Food for Comfort

Instructors: April Hampton, The Telling: A Gathering of Remembrance (AL), Devon Hamilton, Grilling for the People (CA), Qiana Mickie, Just Food New York (NY) and Chefarmer Matthew Raiford, Strong Roots Provisions (GA)

Photo by Justin Hampton.

Photo by Justin Hampton.

Learn how foods that were once considered simply fit for survival have paved the way for the rich culinary experience of resilience known as Soul Food. “The Telling: A Gathering of Remembrance” serves to tell the story of African-American emancipation in the United States and provides a guide for an event that commemorates a journey from Africa to North America through picture, song, poetry, scripture and a ceremonial meal consisting of familiar foods that have historical significance. The culinary journey will be prepared in collaboration with local farmers by Chefarmer Matthew Raiford, a 2018 James Beard Semi-finalist, and Devon Hamilton of Trade Roots Culinary Collective.  After taking part in the readings of the ceremony and sharing in a special meal, participants will engage in group discussion that addresses the present day issues we face around food and race including topics like seed saving, land access, the movement of food and people and how we can work together to transform our current food system.

Mini Course #2

Cracking The Code: Dismantling The Dynamics of Oppression (Racism)

Instructor: Wekesa Madzimoyo, AYA Educational Institute (GA)


Learn about the Process Communication Approach (PCA), a tool-set used to highlight and dismantle personal, interpersonal, and institutional-cultural aspects of systemic oppression as it relates to the food system. This course will teach participants how to Crack-The-Code to become emotionally authentic for honest dialogue and ready to heal injuries born of oppression. Skilled instructor Wekesa Madzimoyo will expose how oppression warps how we recognize ourselves and the “other,” and offer a tool called the River of Touches which can correct this distortion and smooth the way to create authentic personal, interpersonal, institutional, and cultural change to combat racism and oppression. Throughout the process, we will create a safe place to be authentic in this quest to dismantle the dynamics of oppression. This course is not just for “them;” It’s also for “us” regardless of which side of the fabled superior/inferior social dynamic society has placed you. It will prepare you to Challenge, Heal, and Create (CHC), leading to victory over the oppression of racism.

Mini Course #3

Holistic Animal Healthcare—Healthy Livestock are Happy Livestock

Instructor: Ann Wells, Springpond Holistic Animal Health (AR) 


Good health is the mind and body together in harmony with the environment. This course will help all livestock producers learn how to observe their animals and use management strategies that will achieve the harmony that results in good health. Learning what a healthy animal looks like as well as a healthy environment will be explained. Husbandry and management practices, including vaccinations, birthing, breeding, body condition scoring, common stresses and how to reduce them will be covered. There will also be a discussion of mineral supplementation and which ones to feed. Dr. Ann Wells graduated from Oklahoma State University School of Veterinary Medicine and has more than 25 years of experience in livestock production, including producing and selling natural lamb and grass-finished beef.

Mini Course #4

Hoophouse Production of Cool Season Crops

Instructor: Pam Dawling, Twin Oaks Community (VA)


Want to know how to keep your hoophouse filled with productive food crops in the cool season? This course is loaded with practical information. In this course you’ll learn: 1) how to choose which crops to grow, including winter greens, turnips, radishes and scallions; 2) how to plan for continuous harvests with maps, schedules, and month by month planting lists; 3) how to maximize use of the valuable space, with transplants, succession planting, interplanting and follow-on cropping. The course also includes tips to help minimize unhealthy levels of nitrates in cold weather with short days. Instructor Pam Dawling is the author of Sustainable Market Farming and is a CSA farmer at Twin Oaks Community in central Virginia.