Category Archives: Conference

Virginia Farm to Table Conference 2012:
“Food and Farming at a Profitable and Sustainable Scale”
Wednesday, December 5 and Thursday, December 6, 2012
Blue Ridge Community College- Plecker Workforce Center

2018 Virginia Farm to Table Conference set for December 5 and 6

We hope you have your calendars marked and plan to attend the 2018 Virginia Farm to Table Conference. 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.

Learn more and register at https://tinyurl.com/VAFT2018

Speakers and panelists will address and share their experiences about the microbial roots of life and health, agricultural behavioral health, food security, food and farm 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 Growing A 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 Newcombe, 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
  • 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

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 Growing A 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!

Farming and Community: A conversation with David Kline

“The true test of a sustainable agriculture will be whether we can romance our children into farming. In order for that to occur three things are crucial: 1. Our farms must be profitable; 2. We cannot be overwhelmed by work all the time, and; 3. It must be fun.” ~ David Kline, Letters from Larksong: An Amish Naturalist Explores His Organic Farm

Virginia Cooperative Extension, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, and community partners have planned a conversation with David Kline for those interested in farming and community for Tuesday, December 2, 2014 from 6:30 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at Blue Ridge Community College’s Plecker Workforce Center in Weyers Cave, Virginia as part of this year’s Virginia Farm to Table Conference. David Kline will discuss organic dairy farming, community, nature, place, and care of the earth.

If you are unable to attend Tuesday evening, David Kline will also be a featured speaker Wednesday morning as part of the full 2014 Virginia Farm to Table Conference.

1891133_10204567046563773_8801974184919159611_nDavid Kline is an organic dairy farmer, naturalist and author. He and his family live on a 120-acre farm in Holmes County, Ohio. He 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. Kline is also editor of Farming Magazine: People, Land Community.

We kindly request that you register by calling the Virginia Cooperative Extension, Northern District Office at (540) 432-6029 Ext. 106/117 before November 28. The cost of this community event is $15.

More details about the evening conversation and the 2014 Virginia Farm to Table Conference can be found at http://conference.virginiafarmtotable.org/

Directions to Blue Ridge Community College Plecker Workforce Center: From I-81, take Exit 235. Turn to go west at the top of the exit ramp (Rte. 256). In a very short distance, Rte. 256 ends onto Rte. 11. Turn left at the stoplight, Rte. 11 South. BRCC is about a half-mile on the left. Parking for the Plecker Workforce Center may be accessed by using the south entrance, beside the Criminal Justice Training Academy.

Save the Date! 2014 Virginia Farm-to-Table Conference

Please save the date and spread the word about the upcoming 2014 Virginia Farm-to-Table Conference and In-Depth Soil Biology Training with Dr. Elaine Ingham scheduled for Tuesday, December 2 and Wednesday, December 3, 2014, at Blue Ridge Community College’s Plecker Workforce Center in Weyers Cave, Virginia, and Thursday, December 4, 2014 at Virginia State University’s Douglas Wilder Building in Petersburg, Virginia.  The conference theme is ‘Nutrition, Health and Sustainability from the Ground Up’ and will be featuring an in-depth soil biology training for two days in two locations.

A fresh heirloom tomato.

A fresh heirloom tomato.

The in-depth soil biology training will be led by Dr. Elaine Ingham of the Soil Food Web and coordinated by Chris Lawrence of USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service.

The conference will be of interest to producers, buyers, school and university officials, community and agricultural development officers, legislators, administrators, and other key food system stakeholders. The conference will encourage collaboration, conservation and community in strengthening community, local and regional food systems.

On Tuesday afternoon and evening, there will be a Buy Fresh Buy Local Producer/Buyer Meet-n-Greet as a networking time. The Meet-n-Greet will be from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. and encourage business conversation and networking among Virginia producers and buyers, and will celebrate locally-grown Virginia foods.

Mr. David Kline will speak after the networking time on the topic of ‘Farming, Community, Nature, Place and Care for the Earth.’

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Dr. Elaine Ingham – Soil Food Web and the The Rodale Institute
  • Ms. Ann Karlen – Executive Director of Fair Food Farmstand
  • Dr. Amy Tucker – Preventative Cardiologist, University of Virginia Health System
  • David Kline – Author, naturalist and organic dairy farmer
  • Dr. Elizabeth Dyck – Founder, Organic Grower’s Research and Information Sharing Network
  • Mr. Jack Bricker – State Conservationist, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Dr. Brian Calhoun – Associate Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension
  • Dr. Allen Straw – Area Specialist, Horticulture, Small Fruit, & Specialty Crops, Virginia Tech
  • Mr. Clif Slade – Virginia State University’s 43,560 Project and VSU Small Farm Outreach Program
  • Mr. Chris Lawrence – Cropland Agronomist, USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service
  • Mr. Chris Mullins – Extension Specialist, Greenhouse and Specialty Crops, VSU
  • Mr. Danny Boyer – Owner, Four Winds Farm
  • Mr. Eric Walter – Owner, Black Bear Composting
  • Ms. Andrea Early – School Nutrition Director, Harrisonburg City Public Schools
  • Mr. Rick Felker – Owner, Mattawoman Creek Farms
  • Ms. Amy Hicks – Owner, Amy’s Garden
  • And others.

For more information about the 2014 Virginia Farm-to-Table Conference and Buy Fresh Buy Local Meet-n-Greet, you can contact Eric Bendfeldt or Lauren Arbogast of Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Northern District Office at 540.432.6029 Ext. 106/117 or Kathy Holm of USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service at 540.434.1404.

More conference and registration information is available at 2014 Virginia Farm to Table Conference.