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2015 Farm to Table Conference

For the 4th year, Virginia Cooperative Extension, in partnership with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Virginia Sustainable Agriculture Research Education (SARE), Eastern Mennonite University, Virginia Division of Energy, and community partners, is pleased to present the Virginia Farm to Table Conference December 2 – 4, 2015 at Blue Ridge Community College, Weyers Cave, VA. The theme for this year’s conference is ‘Strengthening Your Foodshed, Protecting Our Watersheds.’

The conference will feature engaging and inspirational speakers with broad experience and knowledge of food, farming and pressing environment issues including Dr. Dennis Keeney of Keeney Place and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, 2014 James Beard Leadership Award Winner — Ms. Karen Washington of Rise and Root Farm and nationally recognized “Queen of Urban Gardening”, Dr. Chuck Benbrook of Measure to Manage and Benbrook Consulting Services, Mr. Robin Morris, Executive Director of Mad River Food Hub and Ms. Ellen Polishuk of Potomac Vegetable Farms.

We hope you plan to attend to network, learn and grow Virginia’s farm-to-table movement in your community and watershed!


Download Paper Registration Form Here


Amish Author and Naturalist, David Kline

Come join us for an evening of conversation with Amish farmer, naturalist, and author – David Kline.

David is an organic dairy farmer from Holmes County, Ohio who has authored several books, including Great Possessions: An Amish Farmer’s Journal, Scratching the Woodchuck: Nature on an Amish Farm, Letters from Larksong: An Amish Naturalist Explores His Organic Farm, and other essays. He is also editor of Farming Magazine: People, Land and Community.

David will join us the evening of Tuesday, December 2nd for a conversation about farming, community, nature, place, and care for the earth. Registration is available for this evening event only.

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David will also be a part of the conference schedule on Wednesday, December 3rd as a speaker and guest. To see complete options and to register for the full conference, please click the link to paper and online registration below.

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Soil Biology Track with Dr. Elaine Ingham

Part of the 2014 Virginia Farm to Table Conference will focus specifically on soil biology with an exclusive full-day soil biology track with Dr. Elaine Ingham of Soil Foodweb, Inc. The first training day will be held on Wednesday, December 3 at Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave, VA. The second, repeat training, will be held on the campus of Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia on Thursday, December 4th, 2014.


Dr. Elaine Ingham is a globally-recognized soil microbiologist and soil management educator. For over 30 years, Dr. Ingham has focused on the science of rebuilding soil biology and soil health in order to grow better crops, while reducing reliance on external inputs. She is the founder and President of Soil Foodweb Inc., an international laboratory system that assesses the balance of organisms in soils and other materials. Dr. Ingham earned her PhD in Microbiology from Colorado State in 1981. She conducted post-doctoral research at both Colorado State and University of Georgia. She was on the faculty of Oregon State University in both Forest Science and Botany and Plant Pathology from 1986 to 2001. Dr. Ingham is an Affiliate Professor of Graduate Research at Southern Cross University in Lismore, NSW, Australia, and an Affiliate Professor of Sustainable Living at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, IA. She served as Chief Scientist at Rodale Institute and as Program Chair for the Ecological Society of America. She was primary author of the Soil Biology Primer, a highly readable introduction to soil biology published by the Soil & Water Conservation Society and USDA-NRCS.

Please click the button below for more information and registration details!

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Confirmed Speakers & Panelists

The theme for this year’s Virginia Farm-to-Table Conference is ‘Nutrition, Health and Sustainability from the Ground Up!’. The conference will continue to encourage collaboration, conservation, and community. Day 1 will focus on soil and community health and Day 2 will focus on scale, ethics, and markets. The in-depth soil biology training will be concurrent with the conference track on scale, ethics, and markets.

Presently, confirmed speakers and panelists include:

Panel topics include:

  • Practical Applications of Soil Health
  • Opportunities and Challenges of Value-Added Grain, Feed and Flour Production
  • Labor Issues for Beginning and Start-up Farmers
  • Nutrition and Health from the Ground Up
  • Interacting with Institutions from Schools on Up
  • Season Extension and Optimizing Markets
  • Making Sure the Numbers Work For You
  • Veteran Farmers in Our Community
  • Gathering of Local, Regional, and State food system councils