10/23/14 – Mark Smallwood: “Regenerative Organic Agriculture and Climate Change”

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On Thursday, October 23, 2014, Mark Smallwood, Executive Director, Rodale Institute, will discuss: “Regenerative Organic Agriculture and Climate Change: Building healthy soil can reverse climate change” at the United Steelworkers Hall, Bethlehem. Doors open at 6:30pm. The presentation begins at 7. Free admission (donations invited). Ample on-site parking lot is accessible from Center St (at the equivalent of 316 Center St, if you’re googling).
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About this presentation:
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Folks at Rodale Institute have noticed something significant about recent climate change reports, whether from large international organizations or small agricultural research stations alike. They have suddenly changed direction. Dire warnings and costly initiatives for slowing it down have given way to reports on how to deal with what is already coming to pass: warmer agricultural regions, super weeds, and extreme weather events like droughts and floods.
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But Rodale Institute asserts that our food supply and our farmers, both affected by and so often contributors to climate change, could also be our salvation. Climate chaos seems overwhelming and unsolvable, but Rodale’s new position paper, “Regenerative Organic Agriculture and Climate Change: A Down-to-Earth Solution to Global Warming“, explains how we can begin reversing the destructive trend today.
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On October 1st, their Executive Director “Coach” Mark Smallwood started his 162 mile walk, from the Rodale Institute to Washington DC, to hand deliver the Rodale research to United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. On the heels of the Climate March in New York City, this walk is the next step in bringing widespread public attention to the benefits of regenerative organic agriculture in reversing climate chaos. Rodale Institute will use this opportunity to encourage Congress to create legislation that helps farmers transition to organic and supports existing organic farmers.
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Mark Smallwood, Executive Director of the Rodale Institute, will discuss all this as the featured presentation of the October 2014 quarterly meeting of the Lehigh Valley Chapter of The Weston A. Price Foundation. Co-sponsors of this presentation: Alliance for Sustainable Communities-Lehigh Valley; GMO Free PA-Lehigh Valley Chapter. 
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Also at the event: 
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Local producers may bring grass-fed, organic, and/or biodynamic products for sampling or sale. Attendees can check out the produce tables before and after the presentation (bring your coolers!). Books & videos will also be available.
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About Mark Smallwood: 
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Coach has been dedicated to promoting organic agriculture, environmental stewardship, efficiency and conservation for over thirty years. He is a long-time organic farmer and biodynamic gardener, raising chickens, goats, sheep and pigs, and driving his own team of oxen.
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As Executive Director of Rodale Institute, Coach has focused his efforts on training a new generation of organic farmers. In partnership with Delaware Valley College, the Institute hosts a one-year organic farming certification program designed for military veterans. In addition, Coach began the Agriculture Supported Communities (ASC) program at Rodale Institute which brings fresh, high-quality organic food to underserved communities and provides an intensive training program for new or established farmers.
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Coach has expanded research efforts at Rodale Institute to explore the connection between soil, food and health. He brought heritage livestock back to Rodale Institute’s 333-acre farm, created a Honeybee Conservancy to train and steward backyard bee keepers, and launched “Your 2 Cents,” a national campaign to support and promote new organic farmers.
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Prior to joining Rodale Institute, Coach served as the Mid-Atlantic Green Mission Specialist and Local Forager at Whole Foods Market, and was the first Environmental Coordinator at MOM’s Organic Market. As his nickname suggests, Coach was also a public school educator and basketball coach.
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