Virginia Farm to Table Conference


Nourishing Farming, Community, and Hope”


You are invited to the 2018 Virginia Farm to Table Conference scheduled for December 5 - 6, 2018.


Learn. Network. Build community. Be Inspired.

· Do you or someone you live and work around struggle with anxiety over the unpredictability of farming? Dr. Mike Rosmann and a panel of experts advise us on handling stress and coping with farm life.
· Mark Dempsey and Patryk Battle provide a lively discussion on soil health and cover cropping and share innovative approaches and highly successful results.
· Virginia 3rd Generation Meat and Grain Farmer, CJ Isbell, wants his farm to be part of the com­munity and the community be part of the farm; learn how he reaches the consumer through di­rect marketing. Also, learn from VCE agents about grazing cattle for 300 days and reducing feed costs!
· Are you interested in a more productive wooded area? Virginia and Cornell Cooperative Exten­sion specialists will share on agroforestry, silvopasture and community forests.
· We welcome Rev. Dr. Heber Brown III who established the “soil to sanctuary” community mar­ket. He sets up community gardens on church lands and connects producers to local congrega­tions to move food into food insecure communities. Slow Money Central Virginia supports finan­cial needs of urban ag producers—Michael Reilly shares the goals of this group with us.
· Dave Montgomery and Ann Bikle, renowned authors, share the importance of microbial soil health and its relationship to the human gut. You won’t want to miss this lesson on building soil and being healthy!
· Taking high tunnels to the next level: learn from Penn State specialists about managing soil and pests.
· How does a farm hold its land in urban sprawl? Hana Newcomb’s family farm is standing strong after 50 years in the DC suburbs. Come hear the story of Potomac Vegetable Farms.
· Join Rachel Armistead of Sweet Farm to learn how fermentation may add value to your product! VA Food Works, VSU and VT specialists share more about increasing the value of your prod­ucts!

Participants: A cross-section of people and organizations who are working to nourish farming, community, and hope from farm-to-table across Virginia and beyond.


When: Wednesday, December 5 and Thursday, December 6, 2018 from 8:00 a.m. each day, with a FREE Public Lecture and Networking time Wednesday evening.


Where: Blue Ridge Community College’s Plecker Workforce Development Center, One College Lane, Weyers Cave, VA 24486


What to expect at the conference:
· Enjoy networking and peer-to-peer learning with producers and practitioners.
· Celebrate locally-grown foods as part of lunch, a networking event, and reception.
· Be inspired and motivated to take your farm and food business and systems to the next level!
For conference registration, please visit
Hosts and Supporters of the Conference To Date:
· Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Community, Local and Regional Food System (CLRFS) Team
· USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service
· Agua Fund
· VA SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education)
· Virginia Foundation for Agricultural Innovation and Rural Sustainability (VAFAIRS)
· Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS)
· Virginia Division of Energy
· Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition
· Blue Ridge Community College
Options for Lodging:
· The Village Inn, 4979 South Valley Pike, Harrisonburg, VA 22801 Phone: 540.434.7355
· Holiday Inn Express, 3325 S. Main St., Harrisonburg, VA 22801 Phone: 540.433.9999
· Holiday Inn Express, 152 Fairway Ln, Staunton, VA 24401 Phone: 540.248.6020
Planning Committee: Eric Bendfeldt, Kathy Holm, Cyndi Marston, Marie Paulson, Steve Cooke, Kenner Love, Alyssa Mark, Kim Niewolny, Kim Morgan, Molly Harris, Chris Lawrence, J.B. Daniel, Robin Jones, Jonathan McRay, Krystal Moyers, Caitlin Miller, Emily Fugate, Bill Cox, Joyce Latimer, Kelli Scott, and Livvy Call.
If you have questions or would like clarification about the conference, please call or email me (Eric Bendfeldt) at 540.432.6029 Ext. 106 or
Virginia Cooperative Extension programs and employment are open to all, regardless of age, color, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, national origin, political affiliation, race, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, veteran status, or any other basis protected by law. An equal opportunity/affirmative action employ­er. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Virginia State University, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture cooperating. Edwin J. Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg; M. Ray McKinnie, Administrator, 1890 Extension Program, Virginia State University, Petersburg.

Blue Ridge Community College’s Plecker Workforce Development Center, One College Lane, Weyers Cave, VA 24486

12/5/2018 8:00 AM - 12/6/2018 5:00 PM

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