Letter from EcoFarm Board of Directors
Dear Friends of EcoFarm,
For 40 years, EcoFarm has brought people together for education, community building, inspiration, and celebration. Yet, because of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have had to take a break from holding in-person events and, in January 2021, we were forced to move our annual EcoFarm Conference on-line.
But…we still strongly believe in the power of gathering together. So, this coming January, in 2022, we will again be holding our conference at the Asilomar Conference Grounds, in Pacific Grove, CA. We intend to host the safest in-person conference possible, and, with your help, we can avoid the transmission of the Covid-19 virus.
To that end, EcoFarm’s Board of Directors has unanimously decided that all attendees at the 2022 conference must be vaccinated against Covid-19 and wear masks while indoors (except, of course, while eating and in sleeping rooms). Other precautions will also be put in place at the conference including physical distancing, sanitation stations, deep cleaning of meeting rooms, etc. We are consulting with health specialists to decide whether to require testing
After substantial discussions, the Board made our decision for the following reasons.
To protect your health. Unvaccinated and vaccinated people may spread the virus, but unvaccinated people are more likely to become hospitalized or die from Covid. We know that testing is not perfectly reliable, but through masking, and vaccination mandates we can seek to reduce the risk that conference attendees become seriously ill.
To ensure that the conference does not become a super-spreader event. We need to do everything we can to prevent harming our community, and it is our responsibility to take measures to protect the reputation of the Ecological Farming Association.
To do our part to end the pandemic. The evidence is irrefutable that the only way we are going to get this pandemic under control and reduce the emergence of other dangerous variants is to achieve herd immunity through vaccinations. As a socially and health-conscious organization, it is our responsibility to take measures toward this goal, just like it is our responsibility to minimize our ecological footprint.
We know that some of you have chosen to not get vaccinated. Even so, it is our hope that the lure of attending EcoFarm in person will perhaps be enough incentive for you to get the shot - not only for your own health but also for the health of our community. If you choose not to vaccinate, we urge you to attend our virtual conference in February 2022. More details will be coming this fall.
The Board wants to assure you that we didn’t make this choice to shame or exclude anyone. We made it because we feel it is in the best interests of EcoFarm and our wider organic/sustainable ag community. We know that not everyone will agree with this decision and if you have any comments or question, please feel free to contact EcoFarm’s Executive Director, Andy Fisher, firstname.lastname@example.org
In good health,
EcoFarm Board of Directors