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31st National Pesticide Forum Convenes in Albuquerque

(Beyond Pesticides, April 5, 2013Beyond Pesticides’ 31st National Pesticide Forum begins tonight at the University of New Mexico, bringing together leading scientists, local activists, farmers, teachers and students to discuss organic food systems, building resilient communities, and bringing ecosystems back into balance –incorporating regional issues such as water scarcity and food sovereignty. Sustainable Families, Farms and Food: Resilient communities through organic practices will officially kick off with a performance of A Sense of Wonder, the story of Rachel Carson’s  love for the natural world and her fight to defend it, which is written, produced, and performed by Kaiulani Lee.

Recently added to the lineup of amazing speakers is The Honorable Michelle Lujan Grisham, U.S. Representative for New Mexico’s 1st congressional district. She has done remarkable work incorporating the precautionary principle into state government, by creating an advisory panel which promotes action on human health and the environment. Among the key goals for this effort are indoor air quality, and integrated pest management. We are excited to have her speak!

Check out the schedule and speaker line up here.

Registration is $15 for students, $35 for activists, $75 for non-members (includes a 1-year membership) and $175 for businesses. Registration covers access to all sessions, including organic food and beverage. Online registration is now closed, but walk-ins are welcome!

The forum will be streaming live Friday evening and all day on Saturday at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/beyondpesticides.

Other Program Highlights:

Cutting Edge Science
Researchers in endocrine disruption, birth defects, learning disabilities and more. Featured speakers include:

  • Joel Forman, MD, on his American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) organic food report
  • Tyrone Hayes, PhD, UC Berkeley on frog deformities
  • Isaac Pessah, PhD, UC Davis, on his research linking pesticides and autism as well as research which finds that the antibacterial triclosan impairs muscle function
  • Lynn Caroll, PhD, senior scientist at The Endocrine Disruption Exchange (TEDX) on recent scientific literature on pesticides end endocrine disruption

Protecting Cultural Food Security and Biodiversity
Food and culture are indelibly linked both to each other and to the biodiversity of a region. Speakers will discuss how to balance the needs of all people to create a sustainable future. Featured speakers include:

  • Don Bustos, traditional farmer, IATP Food and Community Fellow and program director for the American Friends Service Committee- New Mexico
  • Clayton Brascoupe, founding member and program director of Traditional Native American Farmers Association
  • Loretta Sandoval, owner of Zulu’s Petals Certified Organic Produce and Nursery, working to preserve local pepper and corn varieties

Organic Land Management
Researchers and practitioners discuss the most cutting edge approaches to managing land without the use of harmful chemicals.

  • Lani Malmberg, board member of Beyond Pesticides and director of Ewe4ic Ecological Services which provides goat grazing service for noxious weed control and land restoration
  • Matthew Chew, Arizona State University on non-native species and their ecological roles in nature
  • Ann Adams, director of community services at Holistic Management International

Fighting GE Crops
From labeling food to preventing the planting of genetically engineered seeds, experts will discuss national and local policies moving forward. Featured speakers include:

  • Andy Kimbrell, Executive Director of Center for Food Safety
  • Eleanor Bravo, New Mexico Food and Water Watch
  • Isaura Andaluz, Cuatro Puertas

Protecting Pollinators
Protecting against declining honeybee health and colony collapse, featuring:

  • Les Crowder, Author of Top-Bar Beekeeping: Organic Practices for Honeybee Health and President of the NM Beekeeping Association
  • Loretta McGrath, director of the Pollinator Partners Project at Farm to Table NM

Organic Solutions
Building resilience in our food system and bringing our ecosystem back to balance. Facing climate change, limited natural resources, and deteriorating agro-industrial infrastructures demand we reevaluate and change our dependence upon chemically-intensive agriculture to maintain a sustainable food supply. We will explore the ways in which policy, planning, and community-based organizing are localizing our food systems and making them more adaptable to physical and cultural change. Featured speakers include:

  • Jeff Moyer, organic farm and gardening expert at Rodale Institute
  • Richard Moore, program director for Los Jardines Institute which advocates for stronger
  • Courtney White, founder and creative director of The Quivira Coalition

The conference is convened by Beyond Pesticides, University of New Mexico Sustainability Studies Program (UNM SSP) and La Montanita Food Co-op.Local co-sponsors include: Agri-cultura Network, Amigos Bravos, Cuatro Puerta, Farm to Table, Food and Water Watch NM, Holistic Management International, Mid-Region Council of Governments Agriculture Collaborative, New Mexico Department of Agriculture’s Organic Program, Our Endangered Aquifer Working Group, Skarsgard Farms, South Valley Economic Development Center (SVEDC).

For more information, including a full list of speakers, schedule and logistics, go to www.beyondpesticides.org/forum .


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