My wife and I just returned from the TOFGA conference in South Padre, TX. The main focus was on organic production systems for gardeners and farmers.
What an event! Speakers covered all aspects of organic production including marketing, transitioning to organics, and creating sustainable agricultural systems. It touched on the impact of everyone from a home gardener to large cattle and citrus producers.
Mary Ann volunteered to do the technical set-up for each speaker in one of the two concurrent tracks so she got to basically hear more than half of all the presenters. Her feedback was very positive. We did pass out a feedback survey but have not compiled it yet.
I was able to hear a few of the speakers but spent most of my time volunteering in the bookstore. Not a bad place to be - when I wasn't talking to people about the 50+ books we had for sale, I was browsing through them.
Dr. Elaine Ingham, http://www.soilfoodweb.com/
, and Howard Garrett were the keynote speakers. I couldn't say enough about how well received both of them were. My biggest regret is that we donâ€™t have tapes or video of the speakers. This is a volunteer organization and the few people who organized it just ran out of time and money to do more. We were very proud to be associated with the work that they did accomplish.
The food was just about worth the admission price of $195.00. It was all organic, mostly locally produced and plenty of it. Even the hotel cook staff said it was enjoyable to work with such quality food. Friday night there was a final banquet featuring local Aztec/Apache Indian Tribes. They dressed and sang in authentic tribal dance. The crowd was overwhelmed by their performance. I spoke with several of the Indians during the week and they were so pleased to be asked to perform. Their culture and way of life is fast disappearing so they are happy and proud for a chance to relive it.
If you want to know more about the organization or wish to join, go to http://www.tofga.org/