Mark Your Calendars!
Virginia Cooperative Extension, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, Agua Fund, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, Virginia Food System Council, Blue Ridge Community College, Virginia Foundation for Agricultural Innovation and Rural Sustainability (VAFAIRS), Virginia Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE), Virginia Farm Bureau Federation, Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition, Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services’ (VDACS) Virginia Grown, Farm Credit of the Virginias’ Knowledge Center, Chesapeake Foodshed Network, Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative, Virginia Division of Energy, T & E Meats, Frazier Quarry, Rockingham Group, Allegheny Mountain Institute, Houff’s Feed and Fertilizer, and community partners present the 2016 Virginia Farm to Table Conference on December 6 – 8, 2016. This year’s conference will start with an optional pre-conference tour of farms and food businesses in Staunton and Augusta County on Tuesday, December 6.
The formal conference will be held at Blue Ridge Community College’s Plecker Workforce Development Center in Weyers Cave, Virginia on Wednesday and Thursday.
Confirmed resource speakers and panelists to-date include the following:
- Dr. Ricardo Salvador of the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Food and Environment Program
- Ellen Kahler of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund
- Chef Michael Twitty of Afroculinaria
- Alex Hitt of Peregrine Farm
- Leo Tammi of Shamoka Run Farm
- Dr. Ron Morse of Virginia Tech
- Sarah Cohen of Route 11 Potato Chips
- Thora and Ed Pomicter of Teeny Tiny Spice Co.
- Dawn Story of Farmstead Ferments and New Moon Naturals
- Gary Lantz of Cannon Hill Farm
- Jessi Cushman of Evergreen Acres
- Dr. Morris Henderson of 31st Street Baptist Church
- Glyen Holmes of the New North Florida Cooperative
- Rev. Nancy Yarnell of Urban Recipe of Atlanta, GA
- Lynn Trizna of Rodale Institute and St.Luke’s Hospital’s Farm Initiative
- John Fant of the Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition
- Jenna Clarke of Project Grows
- Tony Kleese of Earthwise Organics
- Dr. Marcia DeLonge of the Union of Concerned Scientists
- Dr. Andrea Basche of the Union of Concerned Scientists
- David Sours of Public House Produce
- Jim Hankins of Fauquier Education Farm
- Maureen McNamara Best of Local Environmental Agriculture Project (LEAP)
- Trevor Piersol of Allegheny Mountain Institute Urban Farm at Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind
- Greg Knight of Blue Ridge Area Food Bank
- Brad Burrow of Artisan’s Hope
- Katrina Didot of A Bowl of Good
- Wendy Wenger Hochstetler of Wenger Grapes
- Christie Huger of Mountain View Farm Products
- John Garber of Red Front Supermarket
- Dr. Andrew Wingfield of George Mason University and the Virginia Sustainable Food Coalition
- Regina Schweitzer of Virginia Mennonite Retirement Community‘s Farm at Willow Run
- Elizabeth Borst of Virginia Food Insecurity and Nutrition Incentive Network
- And representatives from DC Central Kitchen, Hungry Harvest, and MisFit Juicery.
This year’s conference will again feature a time for producers and buyers to network and a Young/Young at Heart and Emerging Farmer and Rancher Networking Mixer on Wednesday evening.
The conference will also provide in-depth training on soil health, whole-farm budgeting, and strategic food system planning.
The working agenda is now available and will be updated periodically. A registration link to Blue Ridge Community College online class registration platform will be available in the near future. For businesses and organizations that would like to financially support the conference through sponsorship or exhibitor opportunities, please contact Eric Bendfeldt of Virginia Cooperative Extension at 540.432.6029 Ext. 106.