UNH Office of Sustainability Programs

UNH to Host the Second Annual Northeast Regional "Soul of Agriculture" Conference Nov. 17-19

By Sharon Keeler
UNH News Bureau
(603) 862-1566

November 5, 2002

DURHAM, N.H. -- The University of New Hampshire hosts the second annual northeast regional "The Soul of Agriculture: New Movements in New England Food and Farming" conference Nov. 17-19, 2002. This is a collaborative program of the UNH Office of Sustainability Programs: Food and Society Initiative and its partners.

Join farmers and agricultural organizations, faith communities and non-governmental organizations, educators and policy makers, natural food stores and restaurants, and school and university food services to learn how farming and food systems can be transformed to support local, sustainable food production and public health.

The Soul of Agriculture held its first regional conference at UNH last year. This yearıs event explores the New England food system to gain a better understanding of the common values, problems and solutions of food production in the northeast.

The conference opens Sunday, Nov. 17, at 4 p.m. with a welcoming ceremony and dinner banquet. Special guest will be New Hampshire Poet Laureate Marie Harris, who will read her poem, entitled "San Ysidro," that was commissioned for the conference by the UNH Office of Sustainability Programs.

Keynote speakers at the conference are Marty Strange, founder and director of The Center for Rural Affairs in Walthill, Neb., and author of Family Farming: A New Economic Vision; and Elizabeth Henderson, founder of Peacework Organic Farm in Newark, N.Y. and co-author of Real Dirt and Sharing the Harvest.

Other speakers include Brother David Andrews, executive director of the National Catholic Rural Life Conference; Traugher Groh, author and founder of the nation's first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project; Deb Soule, author and founder of Avena Botanicals in Rockport, Maine; and Ben Watson, editor of Slow Food: Collected Thoughts on Taste, Tradition, and the Honest Pleasures of Food and senior editor at Chelsea Green Publishing.

Panel sessions and workshops will be held to stimulate new ideas and collaborations, as well as strengthen existing networks and coalitions.

Steve Taylor, New Hampshire commissioner of agriculture, will facilitate a panel exploring "New Movements in New England Community Food Systems." Other sessions include "Eating as Action" and "Farm Animal Welfare."

Workshop topics range from building relationships across the food system to sustainable farming practices.

The conference is sponsored by the UNH Office of Sustainability Programs: Food and Society Initiative, The Center for Respect of Life and Environment, The Humane Society of the United States, The Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, The New England Small Farm Institute and The Great Bay Food Co-op.

Registration is required. For more information, contact El Farrell at (603) 862-4088 or El.Farrell@cisunix.unh.edu or visit http://www.sustainableunh.unh.edu/fas.

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