The premiere Virginia Farm to Table Conference, the first public event since the state’s Farm to Table plan was launched in December, starts Wednesday.
More than 200 people signed up for the two-day conference, which will feature a lineup of local and nationally-renowned farmers, authors and other leaders in the ag field.
Michael Shuman, author of “Local Dollars, Local Sense”; Elizabeth Ü, executive director of Finance for Food; Virginia ag commissioner Matt Lohr, and various extension agents are among the speakers.
Organized by a collaborative team, including the Virginia Cooperative Extension and Virginia Food System Council, the event wraps up Thursday evening at the Plecker Workforce Center on Blue Ridge Community College’s Weyers Cave campus.
In addition to the quality of the facility, Eric Bendfeldt, extension specialist for community viability, says Rockingham County was chosen as this year’s convention location for a couple reasons.
“The Shenandoah Valley has often been considered sort of the bread-basket for the state ... it’s a very important agricultural area,” he said.
Event coordinators have nailed down 38 issues to address with the state Farm to Table plan, an initiative to help develop and promote healthy farms in the commonwealth and strengthen the consumer connection.
This conference will tackle five of those goals:
1. Develop young and beginning farmers
2. Help farmers gain access to capital
3. Explore value-added processing opportunities
4. Get community members more involved in local food, and
5. Investigate possible cooperative models.
Bendfeldt said unregistered guests will be welcome Wednesday or Thursday.
Tickets range from $15 to $80, depending on how much of the two-day conference you wish to attend.
For more information, visit www.conference.virginiafarmtotable.org or call 432-6029 ext. 106 or ext. 107.
Contact Candace Sipos at 574-6275 or firstname.lastname@example.org.