The Ins and Outs of Packaging and Bottling Foods for Entrepreneurs

With continued interest in local and regional foods, there are emerging opportunities to advance food innovations and entrepreneurs. On Thursday, December 6 at the Virginia Farm to Table Conference, there will be two workshop sessions on the ins and outs of packaging and bottling local and regional foods. The sessions will be coordinated by Virginia Food Works and Virginia Cooperative Extension and will feature Joell Eifert director of Virginia Tech’s Food Innovations Program. Dr. Theresa Nartea extension specialist with Virginia State University will join Joell and talk about different aspects of marketing and promoting your food products.

If you have a product sample that you would like Joell to test for you, please bring a sample with you to the workshops!

2018 Conference Schedule at-a-Glance

To download a PDF version of the 2018 Virginia Farm to Table Conference Schedule at a Glance document, please visit: https://wp.me/a2Lx3m-t9

To register for the 2018 Virginia Farm-to-Table Conference, please visit Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Program Registration site at https://tinyurl.com/VAFT2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Registration for the 2018 Virginia Farm-to-Table Conference: “Nourishing Farming, Community, and Hope” is now open!

The registration site for the 2018 Virginia Farm to Table Conference is now available at https://tinyurl.com/VAFT2018.

For a glance of conference sessions, please visit: https://wp.me/a2Lx3m-t9

Virginia Cooperative Extension, in partnership with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation ServiceVirginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher CoalitionVirginia Sustainable Agriculture Research Education (SARE)Virginia Farm Bureau FederationVirginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS), and community partners, present the seventh annual Virginia Farm to Table Conference on December 5 – 6, 2018 at Blue Ridge Community College’s Plecker Workforce Development Center in Weyers Cave, VA.

Speakers and panelists will address and share their experiences about the microbial roots of life and health, agricultural behavioral health, food security, social justice, growing their market, food system development, silvopasture, agroforestry, and intensive greenhouse and high tunnel production!

The conference planning committee is pleased to have Virginia’s Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry Bettina Ring open the conference on Day 1. Dr. Ed Jones director of Virginia Cooperative Extension and Jack Bricker state conservationist of Virginia’s USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service will kick-off Day 2 with a discussion about collaboration and working together.

The conference planning committee has put together a good core of speakers and has made significant progress on the agenda.  Trainers and speakers who may be of interest to you and your organization include these experts:

  • Dr. Mike Rosmann, Clinical Psychologist of Agricultural Behavioral Health and fourth generation farmer from Harlan, Iowa
  • The Reverend Dr. Heber Brown III, Senior Pastor of Pleasant Hope Baptist Church and founder of the Black Church Food Security Network in Baltimore, Maryland
  • Dr. David Montgomery, Professor of Geomorphology at the University of Washington and author of Dirt: The erosion of civilizations, The hidden half of nature: The microbial roots of life and health, and A growing revolution: Bringing our soil back to life
  • Anne Bikle, Biologist and Landscape Architect of Dig2Grow and co-author of The hidden half of nature: The microbial roots of life and health
  • Michael Reilly, Co-founder and Executive Director of Slow Money Central Virginia
  • Dr. Elsa Sanchez, Professor of Horticultural Systems Management at Penn State University
  • Dr. Beth Gugino, Associate Professor of Vegetable Pathology at Penn State University
  • Hana Newcomb, Co-owner of Potomac Vegetable Farms
  • Steve Gabriel, Co-founder of Wellspring Forest Farm and agroforestry specialist with Cornell University Extension and author of Silvopasture and Farming in the Woods
  • Mark Dempsey, Farm Services Coordinator of Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
  • Patryk Battle, Gardener and cook of Living Web Farms
  • Catherine Bukowski co-author of the Community Food Forest Handbook
  • Kirk Ballin, Program Coordinator of AgrAbility Virginia
  • Beth O’Connor, Executive Director of Virginia Rural Health  Association
  • Karen Tanner, Extension Agent with Virginia Cooperative Extension
  • Rachel Armistead of Sweet Farm
  • Graze 300 VA and Virginia Forage and Grassland Council session.

On Wednesday evening, there will be a public lecture and book signing with Dr. David Montgomery and Anne Bikle authors of Dirt: The erosion of civilizations, The hidden half of nature: The microbial roots of life and health, and A growing revolution: Bringing our soil back to life. An ice cream social and producer-buyer gathering will precede the public lecture.

More details about the conference will be coming soon but mark your calendars for December 5 and 6! You will be challenged and inspired!

Share Your Feedback!

The planning committee would like to hear your thoughts on the 2017 Virginia Farm to Table Conference – Let us know what you loved and what we can improve on.

If you attended the Conference, be sure to submit your evaluation at tinyurl.com/2017F2TConferenceFeedback

We hope those that attended had a great time, made new connections, and took away ideas that can be applied to businesses and Virginia’s food system!  A special thank you to our attendees, speakers, moderators, sponsors, and partners for making this Conference the best yet!

Special Workshop with David Montgomery and Anne Bikle: Friday, December 7, 2018, Petersburg, VA

The learning and fellowship doesn’t end after the Virginia Farm to Table Conference (December 5-6).

Attend this special workshop on Friday, December 7th in Petersburg, VA with David Montgomery and Anne Bikle authors of Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations, The Hidden Half of Nature: the Microbial Roots of Life and Health, and Growing A Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back To Life.

Cost of registration is $25 and includes lunch.

To register, please visit https://tinyurl.com/realdirt18 or call Cyndi Marston at (540) 232-6010.

 

 

 

Five Good Reasons to Take a Seat at the 2016 Virginia Farm-to-Table Conference

By Liz Kirchner, Eric Bendfeldt, and French Price

Pull up a chair. Gathering this winter, appropriately in the breadbasket of the Shenandoah Valley,  is Virginia’s fifth annual Farm-to-Table Conference inviting you to join farmers, chefs, food historians, scientists, community development specialist — an ecology of food systems thinkers and ground-breakers — to join the conversation and emerging action around local food. If that doesn’t whet your appetite, here are five more reasons why you should take your seat at the table.

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5) Pre-Conference Tour of Shenandoah Valley farms and farm-to-table initiatives on Tuesday, December 6.

4) Producer-Buyer Networking Event on Wednesday, December 7, 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. There will be food product samples, free handouts and information, and… FREE ICE CREAM!!!!

3) Great Conversation Shared over Yummy Local Food! — A Bowl of Good will again cater the event and be sourcing as much of the food and drink from the Shenandoah Valley as possible. Expect to leave the conference feeling not just well fed, but nourished with great conversation and foods that were raised with care by farmers who are also attending the conference.

2) Ellen Kahler of Vermont Farm to Plate and the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund and other thought-provoking speakers and practitioners such as Alex Hitt of Peregrine Farm, Chef Michael Twitty, Reverend Nancy Yarnell, and Glyen Holmes of the New North Florida Cooperative.

1) Dr. Ricardo Salvador, Director of the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Food and Environment Program, will be opening the conference and sharing his insights and expertise on the challenging question “Does the ‘Food System’ Need Fixing?”.

So join us at the 2016 Virginia Farm to Table Conference and discover your own reasons!