Come to the Table: Conference on Hunger and Agriculture Returns to Sylva, NCPittsboro, NC–-The Come to the Table project presents the third conference in the 2015 series “Head, Heart, and Hands.” The event will take place on Thursday, March 19th in Sylva, NC, bringing together people of faith, local food and hunger relief advocates. The day will begin at 8:00 am with a light breakfast. The conference agenda features ten workshops on a variety of topics including community gardens, SNAP/EBT at farmers markets, food access and public policy issues. Conference participants will enjoy meals featuring local meats and produce prepared by Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe. RAFI and the NC Council of Churches have been convening Come to the Table with support from the Duke Endowment at regional gatherings since 2007. These events grew out of a desire to repair the disconnect between hunger relief efforts and the local food movement, grounded in a deep commitment to finding mutually beneficial solutions for farmers and food insecure people. A diversity of solutions and local leaders are highlighted at each event. Historically, event locations have changed with each conference season, in order to connect with new groups and individuals in each region. However, for the 2015 Western NC event the steering committee chose to return to Jackson County. “We were very moved in 2013 by the level of interest and engagement of participants at our Sylva event,” notes Francesca Hyatt, director of RAFI’s Beyond Hunger Relief program. “Folks in this area are ready to go when it comes to taking action to create stronger communities and improve food access. We’re excited to be returning to Sylva for our 2015 event.” “This year’s event will be the best yet!” says Emily Edmonds, of the Western NC Food Policy Council.”The Come to the Table conferences have been a wonderful way for food system advocates of all kinds to join for a day of fellowship and learning. Our members enjoy the chance to hear from other people around the region and learn new approaches to the serious problem of food insecurity.” The Come to the Table Conference will take place on Thursday, March 19th from 8am to 4pm at Southwestern Community College, 447 College Dr, Sylva, NC. To register for the conference: rafiusa.org/cttt/conferences/
Reverend Eddie McNair, of New Life Agribusiness Center, points out future pastureland for chicken, hogs, and sheep.It’s not too common that someone moves back to northeastern North Carolina to farm. And it’s even more unusual when instead of growing the region’s big crops of cotton, peanuts, soybeans, wheat, and tobacco, he or she starts to grow produce with their congregation for a retail market.
There is a lot of great help out there these days for innovative farmers. Are you taking advantage of it? This hands-on, interactive workshop and clinic taps you into the tools and resources to help you take your farm enterprise to the next level. You will walk away with new information and new ideas targeted to your individual farm circumstances.
On Sunday, the New York Times ran a column by Nicholas Kristof that featured two poultry farmers that our staff has gotten to know well, Mike Weaver and Eric Hedrick. Both farmers appear in a documentary about the poultry industry RAFI is producing this year, Under Contract.