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Seeds and Breeds: Breeding for the Future of Agriculture (Pre-Conference)

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Featuring Walter Goldstein, Mandaamin Institute; Craig Holdrege, The Nature Institute; Julie Dawson, Cornell University; Harald Hoven, Rudolf Steiner College; and Dana Burns, Healing Traditions Veterinary Services

Many of the challenges facing our food and farming landscape today, from environmental degradation to colony collapse, to obesity and poor nutrition, can be traced back to compromised plant and animal health born of misguided, mechanistic and one-sided breeding practices. Can we develop new capacities and new breeding techniques, through biodynamics and Goethean science, to work in partnership with nature towards an agriculture that genuinely enhances soil, plant, animal and human health? Can we integrate and learn from the traditional breeding practices of the past and present? 

In this workshop we will explore these questions and possibilities. Walter Goldstein will give an overview of his 25+ year experience of breeding corn, wheat, and sheep for organic and biodynamic farms. Julie Dawson will discuss her work with participatory breeding on farms in Europe. Harald Hoven will discuss seed saving, production and selection practices that result in vegetable varieties that are adapted to individual farms. Craig Holdrege will discuss the contribution a holistic understanding of animals and plants can make to an organism-appropriate breeding process. And veterinarian Dana Burns and a panel of animal breeders will share new ways of looking at animal breeds and breeding.

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Conference: 
2012 North American Biodynamic Conference
Date: 
Thu, 11/15/2012 - 1:00pm to 6:00pm
Location: 
Monona Terrace
United States