10 Tips for Making the Most of the Wise Traditions Conference

by Ann Marie Michaels on November 3, 2012

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Join your fellow butter lovers and raw milk drinkers this year at the 13th annual Weston A. Price Foundation Wise Traditions Conference. In this post, I’ll share with you 10 tips for making the most of the conference.

This will be my 5th year to attend the annual Weston A. Price Foundation Wise Traditions Conference. This year it’s in Santa Clara, CA — in my backyard (OK, not exactly — it’s 8 hours away — but still, we don’t have to fly).

By the way, I’ll be leading a panel discussion on Sunday afternoon. Here’s my panel info:

Ann Marie Michaels, Founder, Village Green Network
Growing Your Business or Brand with Social Media
1:30-2:50 pm Sunday Nov 11

Are you a holistic practitioner? Sustainable farmer or food producer? Do you want to spread the real food message online? Learn how to grow your small business, build your brand and make money. Ann Marie Michaels, Founder of Village Green Network leads a panel of successful social media marketers. Learn how Chris Kresser LAc, is building his integrative medicine practice using Facebook and podcasting, how Cultures for Health’s Julie Feickert gets to the top of Google and is using YouTube to attract customers, and how Jennifer McGruther was able to quit her job, and is now making six figures blogging at Nourished Kitchen.

We’ll also be at our Reversing Food Allergies booth #309 if you want to come find us!

10 Tips for Making the Most of the Wise Traditions Conference

1. Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund Fundraiser

Get there early so you can go to the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund Fundraiser on Thursday night.

I went to their fundraiser last year in Dallas and it was a lot of fun. The food was great, the conversation was excellent, and there was dancing. This year the menu looks amazing and there will be apple cobbler with vanilla ice cream for dessert.

Pictured above: Jason Monahan and Kelly of Kelly the Kitchen Kop.

2. Dress for Comfort

You know how conferences are. You walk a lot, so you need comfy shoes that don’t hurt your feet. And it gets cold because of the air conditioning in the hotel, so wear layers.

The food is incredible at this conference, and you’ll be eating a lot, so you may want to wear your comfy pants that expand. 😉

Just look at all this butter and cream:

Seriously though, it’s not fancy — you can wear jeans.

3. Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund Breakfast

Grab breakfast and support the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund. They usually have oatmeal, hard-boiled eggs, yogurt, and because it’s California, they will have raw milk.

I don’t always eat breakfast at the conference because I usually stay up late talking to people in the bar and don’t get up that early (breakfast is over at 9 am). Some of the best networking goes on in the bar at night — come meet us for a glass of wine!

Pictured above: Jenny McGruther of Nourished Kitchen, me, Kimberly Hartke of Hartke is Online and Alex Lewin of Feed Me Like You Mean It and author of Real Food Fermentation.

But if you are a breakfast person, this is the ticket — just get there early! (Maybe one day they’ll consider extending it until 9:30 for night owls like me.)

Oh, and on Sunday morning there’s a big fabulous brunch with sausage and bacon and French toast. You don’t want to miss it!

4. Bring Your Credit Card

The discount prices are awesome at the conference. I always buy a year’s worth of cod liver oil when I’m there because I save so much with the conference specials. There will also be lots of great t-shirts, bumper stickers, you name it. And most vendors will have everything shipped back to you so you don’t have to lug it home.

5. Bring an Empty Cooler

If you are close enough to drive to the conference, bring a cooler or two. You don’t need to bring any food because there will be plenty. This is to lug food home.

There are always floor discounts (especially the last day) and there’s so much good food to be had cheap. Also, on the last day, just after the closing ceremony, they give away all the extra food that didn’t get eaten at very low prices — everything from coconut flour to loaves of bread to grass-fed cream. All stuff that can be taken home and put into the freezer.

6. Don’t Stress About Getting to Every Lecture

I get the Fleetwood recordings every year so I don’t have to worry about trying to get to all the lectures I want to go to. This frees me up to be able to hang out, visit with people (and get lots of hugs), explore the booths, and of course do plenty of taste testing (research, of course).

If you’re a blogger or if you’re going to the conference for business, this is your time to network. How many other chances will you get in one weekend to rub shoulders with so many people who are doing so much to change the food supply? Just get the recordings and you’re insured that you won’t miss a thing.

Pictured above: Debbie Young of Grassfed Momma, Matt Stone of 180 Degree Health, and Kristen Michaelis of Food Renegade.

7. Bring the Family

Families are welcome. You’ll see lots of nursing mamas all around. And if you bring your husband, he can watch the baby while you attend a lecture. (Babies and kids are not allowed in the talks.)

Don’t bring your spouse unless s/he is really into this kind of thing. And if you’re there for business, you may want to just go alone or with a friend or colleague. It’s a very busy weekend and you won’t have a lot of time to pay attention to a needy partner who doesn’t share the passion like you do. If s/he does, by all means, bring ’em along!

8. Enroll Your Kids in the Children’s Program

If you’re bringing your kids and they are over 3 and out of diapers, put them in the children’s program. 5-year-old Kate will be attending the children’s program this year. They get to make sauerkraut, do crafts, and attend lectures and learn about beekeeping and the benefits of raw milk.

They even get to have a movie night and a dance party. And every year, they do a performance at the end. It’s very cute and lots of fun.

9. Try the Liver

Put on your big girl panties and try the liver. It will be on the menu and you can find liverwurst and other offal at some of the booths. I know a lot of folks don’t like liver and organ meats, but trust me, it’s really good. And it’s good for you.

10. Don’t Be Shy

Reach out and say hello to people and get to know them. Sit next to people you don’t know and strike up a conversation. You’ll hear so many amazing stories from people who have overcome everything from cancer to autism. You’ll also get to chat with farmers and leading nutrition experts. Ask questions, make friends, and you’ll get a lot of hugs.

My favorite thing about this conference is how inspired I feel about our food supply and the passionate people on the cutting edge who are making changes. It energizes me for the whole year.

And please do come and say hello to me!

Are You a Village Green Network Blogger?

If you’re a member of Village Green Network, we’ll be having a networking dinner for bloggers on Friday night. See the thread on our private online forum for details.

Not a member of Village Green but want to be? Click here to sign up.

Can’t Make the Conference?

Follow Village Green Network on social media for conference updates, pictures and news:

Twitter (Use hashtag #wapfcon)

Thanks to Christina Byard, Co-Leader of the Holistic Moms Network Tri-City Area, CA Chapter, who gave me the idea for this post.

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