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Since 2016, the ISKCON Ministry for Cow Protection and Agriculture (IMCPA) has been organizing multiple farm conferences every year in four continents. The result has been ISKCON farm staff in each region coming closer together, networking and sharing best practices, and making increased progress towards Srila Prabhupada’s simple living and high thinking vision.

2019 marks the 50t h anniversary of cow protection in ISKCON, so it’s an excellent time to look at and celebrate that progress. And this year’s North American Farm Conference will take place where it all started – New Vrindaban, West Virginia.

The conference will be co-organized by ISKCON New Vrindaban, ECO-Vrindaban and the IMCPA. It is expected to draw participants from all over the USA and Canada. The group will include active farmers, city devotees who are interested in sustainable living, and ISKCON leaders. Among the guests will be Parmananda Das and Satyabhama Dasi, the very first cowherds in ISKCON, who cared for Kaliya, New Vrindaban’s first cow, back in 1969, and later helped establish Gita Nagari in 1974.

The first day of the conference will be dedicated to fifty years of cow protection. Opening proceedings with Chandramauli Swami, who was a New Vrindaban cowherd in the 1970s, will share some of his memories from the early days there, and speak about fifty years of cow protection in the West.

Next, Krishna Kshetra Swami will speak about how to keep cows in the center both now and in the future of ISKCON, drawing from his new book for prestigious publisher Palgrave MacMillan, “Cow Care in Hindu Animal Ethics.”

In “Dharma and Ecology,” IMCPA Director, Kalakantha Das, will speak about how cows and bulls are the Earth’s biological engine, and how their contribution is connected to spirituality.

Finally, an ox training demonstration will take place on site at New Vrindaban’s ox barn. The day will end at Srila Prabhupada’s Palace with kirtan and recollections from New Vrindaban’s early cowherds.

During an evening program, cowherds will share stories about the early day of cow protection in New Vrindaban – This year celebrates the 50th anniversary of cow protection in ISKCON, started in NV

Saturday, meanwhile, will focus on “Economy, Food Production and Community Dynamics” and will start with a practical session on how to grow produce using high tunnels, by Kacey Gantz of the West Virginia University Extension, who has helped many farms in the area including New Vrindaban.

Next, Astotarastata, the son of well-known simple living advocate Hare Krsna Dasi, will talk about his experience producing food in a Congo war zone, where he helped 10,000 families go from no food production to abundance.

The conference will include a tour of ECO-Vrindaban projects — pictured here are the ECO-V team with Nanda the ox outside their valley barn

All the way from New Govardhana, Australia, temple president Ajita Das and manager Damodar Das will explain how their Krishna Village program works. The highly successful effort provides accommodation, recreational facilities and courses for volunteer workers, who in turn grow the produce needed for the Deities and community.

Lastly, an international group of senior devotees will report on their two-day training with the Amish in Pennsyvlania, discussing what we can learn from their lifestyle, community dynamics and the successful economic activities they do to make a living.

Sunday, the final day of the conference, will focus on ECO-V, New Vrindaban’s cow protection and agriculture organization. It will kick off with a workshop by ECO-V board member Chaitanya Mangala Das about how to run a non-profit. There will also be workshops on beekeeping and dairy production, as well as a tour of New Vrindaban’s vegetable growing and cow care operations.

Sunday, the final day of the conference, will focus on ECO-V, New Vrindaban’s cow protection and agriculture organization. It will kick off with a workshop by ECO-V board member Chaitanya Mangala Das about how to run a non-profit. There will also be workshops on beekeeping and dairy production, as well as a tour of New Vrindaban’s vegetable growing and cow care operations.

ISKCON New Vrindaban offers 9 meals, 6 snacks & 3 nights accommodation for $108 per participant. Space is limited. Register today!