Agenda

The CSA Expert Exchange will consist of five main sessions.  The main sessions will run between 20-60 minutes.  For a full breakdown of the conference schedule, go here.

1. CSA Pioneer & Noted Author, Elizabeth Henderson
1. CSA Pioneer & Noted Author, Elizabeth Henderson

The importance of community!

Conceived by Robyn Van En as an antidote to industrial, monocrop agriculture, the CSA concept offers farms the opportunity to become centers of more sustainable communities. Based on inspiring examples from other CSAs around this country and the world and her own experience with Peacework Farm and the Genesee Valley Organic CSA (now renamed Peacework Organic CSA), Elizabeth Henderson will show that the most successful CSAs are much more than a clever marketing alternative for family farms. These long-term CSAs are respected, local institutions, providing healthy, fresh food while involving members, educating consumers, training new farmers and serving as hubs of economic development.

Elizabeth Henderson, is the author of the famous CSA manual that has inspired a whole generation of both farmers and consumers around the world, "Sharing the Harvest: A Citizen's Guide to Community Supported Agriculture."  Recently she accepted the role of Honorary President for URGENCI, an international network of community-supported agriculture farms and organizations.  She is a retired farmer and lifetime activist.  Her book is available through the Genesee Valley website.

2.  CSA's and the Food Community
2. CSA's and the Food Community

Lynne Rossetto Kasper, of “The Splendid Table” program, will be joining us briefly to discuss how CSA's are perceived in the greater food and cooking communities. As a host of a nationally syndicated radio show, Lynne regularly interviews chefs, restauranteurs and other food experts from around the country. From this perspective, she'll discuss her thoughts on the challenges and opportunities presented by CSA's and will share some cooking techniques relevant to CSA members.

3. Retention
3. Retention

Many CSAs suffer from low retention rates and research shows that the most successful CSAs retain members.  CSA farmer Gary Brever will discuss his techniques for keeping members happy and bringing them back each year.

Gary runs Ploughshare Farm, a certified organic farm located north of Alexandria, MN.  He was named the "2012 Outstanding Farmer of the Year" by the Minnesota Jaycees.  He was also awarded "Farmer of the Year" status in 2009 by "Edible Twin Cities" magazine.  

4. Equipment
4. Equipment

Jody and Jean-Paul from Roxbury Farm will discuss their highly efficient 1000+ member CSA in Kinderhook, NY. They will focus on specialized farm equipment used in their operation and finding the correct scale for your CSA.

5. Member Education
5. Member Education

Member education is absolutely essential to increase member retention. It takes skill to turn a box of fresh produce into family meals. Learn how teaching techniques over traditional recipes will turn your members into confident "substitution" cooks.