1. Home
  2. Non-Profit Incubation
  3. Piedmont Fibershed
  4. Events
  5. 2016 Climate conference

2016 Climate conference

Climate Adaptation


Abundance NC & Central Carolina Community College bring you the 4rd Annual Climate Adaptation Conference.   Registration is now open for the conference this March 4, 2016, at Central Carolina Community College, Pittsboro Campus, NC.

Tickets are also available now for the pre-conference “Amuse Bouche” evening event on March 3.

We sell out each year, so buy your tickets soon!

color_food_introNatasha Bowens is an author, farmer, and political activist whose advocacy focuses on food sovereignty and social issues. As a young biracial woman in today’s agricultural movement, she is dedicated to honoring, preserving, and amplifying the stories of Black, Native, Asian and Latino farmers and food activists. Her multimedia project The Color of Food evolved from her work exploring the intersection of race and agriculture for Grist magazine, and from her blog Brown.Girl.Farming, where she writes about issues related to racial inequality, food sovereignty, and resilience. Natasha has interviewed and photographed over 65 North American farmers of color; her work has garnered her national media attention, and she has been featured on CNN, The Atlantic, and Colorlines.

Other speakers and facilitators listed on the event page.

What is the climate conference all about?

Our Climate Change Adaptation conference grew out of a need for education and support of our local farmers, who have been in distress due to the extreme weather challenges they’ve been facing in the last several years.

What happens at the conference?

The conference is divided into three parts:

  1. Amuse Bouche, a pre-conference evening event, hosted by WUNC’s Leonida Inge, 6 – 8:30 PM Mar 3rd.  With hors d’oeuvres, cash bar and live music.  A sampling of persepctives on climate change adaptation with renowned thought-leaders Natasha Bowens and Laura Lengnick. This panel discussion, Q&A, and networking event is open to the public and takes place at the Fearrington Barn.  $5 – $20.
  2. Climate Adaptation Conference at Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) in Pittsboro on Mar 4th, 8AM-4PM.  Break out sessions for in-depth analysis of specific issues for large scale, medium, and backyard farmers along with food shed and social activists.  Local lunch included.  $20-65.  Read more.

Why we do it: Responding to community needs

In the fall of 2012, Pittsboro farmer Laurie Heise called the Abundance Foundation with a question. She asked, “How do I prepare for climate change on my small, diversified farm?” Abundance didn’t have an answer. So the Abundance staff started calling around and in doing so we found we were not alone. It seemed many farmers, thinkers and organizations were themselves wondering the same thing.  The idea for a conference was born.

Over 140 farmers, researchers and activists convened at the first conference if its kind, Farming Strategies for Today’s Changing Climate, in February 2013 in Pittsboro, NC. Farmers shared observations of increases in unpredictable and extreme weather events, greater heat and drought causing early bloom drop, reduced fruit production and an environment that was more difficult for farm workers.


Farmers and researchers collaborate in a breakout small group discussion


Breeding and seed saving was a topic of interest at the conference.

An interactive, idea-sharing conference:

During the conference, farmers chat with scientists and researchers, as well as other farmers. This is a chance for NC farmers to put their hands on the pens and democratize agricultural policy on a local level.  It is the growers, the researchers, the activists, and the eaters who will make successful adaptation possible. All of us are being called upon to “stretch,” or to challenge ourselves to change how we do things. Passing knowledge along at events like this conference is one way to do it.

More history

Visit the 2015 Conference page to see photos, the schedule, and learn more about what happened and what we learned at the conference last year.

A huge thank you to our sponsors!

Special thanks to our Partners and Sponsors:
CCCC logo