Food safety and advancing sustainability in farming will be explored at the 14th annual “World On Your Plate” conference being hosted on Oct. 6 and 7 at Daemen College.
The conference, “Restore the Earth,” will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday and from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday in the college’s Wick Campus Center, 4380 Main St. in Amherst.
“Advancing sustainable agricultural practices is vital to enhancing the well-being of our environment and our communities,” said Dr. Brenda Young, Daemen’s program director of global and local sustainability. “The conference will focus on ways farmers and consumers can foster a healthier and safer food system, while also help raise awareness on the rights of farm workers.”
On Friday, the conference will feature a showing of the documentary “Cesar Chavez,” a labor organizer and co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association. The screening will be followed by a question and answer session with Arturo S. Rodriguez, president of United Farm Workers of America who is continuing to build the union founded by his father-in-law.
Rodriguez will also serve as the morning keynote speaker as part of Saturday’s conference activities. A leader in protecting the rights of farm workers across the country, he has pushed for historic legislation on immigration reform and workers’ rights.
The Saturday afternoon keynote speaker will be Linda Black Elk of the Catawba Indian Nation, an ethnobotanist and restoration ecologist. She specializes in culturally important plants for food and medicinal purposes, and has authored a field guide on edible wild plants of the Dakota people.
Saturday’s conference schedule will include workshops on gardening and growing healthy foods, climate change and food security, justice for farm workers, healthiest sources of protein, and farmers markets, among other topics. Information from area vendors, live entertainment, and other activities are also planned.
An organic vegetarian lunch featuring locally grown foods will be served, and a workshop on preparing organic foods will be a part of the day’s events.
Advance tickets for the two-day conference are $30 or $35 at the door. Friday only tickets are $10 in advance or $15 at the door. Local students may attend for free by pre-registering and with appropriate school identification.