Nutrition, Health, and Sustainability From the Ground Up is the theme for the 2014 Virginia Farm to Table conference being held Dec. 2 through 4, 2014. 

The conference, hosted by Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Soil Health Coalition, and the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service, will be held Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 2 and 3, at Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave, Virginia. 

Day 3 will take place Thursday, Dec. 4, at Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia.

Those who are interested in boosting local economies, promoting soil health and human nutrition, working to grow and develop community enterprises, and supporting local agriculture and conservation of natural resources are encouraged to attend.

The conference will offer many opportunities for discussion, learning, and networking.

On Tuesday, Dec. 2, the emphasis will be on soil and community health. Featured speakers include microbiologist Elaine Ingham of Soil Foodweb Inc.; Dr. Amy Tucker, preventive cardiologist at the University of Virginia Health System; and Elizabeth Dyck, founder of the Organic Growers’ Research and Information-Sharing Network. 

A producer-buyer networking event and a presentation by Amish farmer, naturalist, and author David Kline will round out the evening.

“David Kline has authored a series of books that focus on his observations on and around his organic dairy farm in Ohio. We look forward to a conversation regarding his practices and their possible applications for our community,” said Eric Bendfeldt, conference co-chair and community viability Extension specialist.

Wednesday, Dec. 3, will be split into two separate, day-long tracks. The first track will revolve around scale, ethics, and markets, and it will feature Ann Karlen, founding director of Fair Food in Philadelphia, David Kline, and others. The second track is an in-depth training on soil health presented by Elaine Ingham.

This year the conference will include a repeat of Day 2's soil health training with Elaine Ingham, to be held Thursday, Dec. 4, at Virginia State University.

For more information or to register, visit the Farm to Table Conference website or call 540-432-6029, ext. 106 or 117.

Directions to Blue Ridge Community College's Plecker Workforce Center

From I-81, take Exit 235. Turn west onto Rt. 256 at the top of the exit ramp. In a very short distance, Rte. 256 ends at a junction with Rte. 11. Turn left at the stoplight onto Rte. 11 South. BRCC is about 0.5 mile on the left. Parking for the Plecker Workforce Center can be accessed using the south entrance beside the Criminal Justice Training Academy.

Directions to Virginia State University Wilder Building

From I-95, take Exit 54 (Temple Avenue). Turn left at the traffic light at the end of the exit ramp. Turn left at the second traffic light onto Route 301 (The Boulevard). Continue to the fourth light and turn right onto Dupuy Road (Wawa gas station on right-hand corner). Travel approximately 0.5 mile; Virginia State University will be on the left. Enter at Matthew-Jefferson Drive and turn left into the first parking lot entrance. The Cooperative Extension Building/L. Douglas Wilder Building is the first brick building on the left. Park in lot 27 or 28.



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