VA Food Security Summit

The second Virginia Food Security Summit was a success!  In total, over three hundred people from across the state came to Charlottesville for the Monday evening roundtable and Tuesday all day workshop and flash presentations.  Events like this always do a great job of re-energizing attendees in their continued efforts to increase availability and access of local food to Virginians, and the Summit was no exception.

Attendees gather at the Jefferson Scholars Foundation Hall on Monday evening for a 'crystal ball' roundtable event on the state and future of food security in Virginia.

USDA's Kathleen Merrigan gives her inspiring remarks.

Tanya Denckla Cobb moderates the roundtable with some big names in the sustainable food and ag realm (Fred Kirschenmann, Ken Meter, etc)

The Catering set-up for the post-roundtable reception

Virginia oysters

The reception menu - I heard great things about the delicata squash and pear soup!

All the sponsors who made this event possible (including UVa Dining)

The breakfast spread

Tanya kicks things off with an overview of what the VA Food System Council hopes to accomplish at the Summit (namely, getting input on their recently drafted Virginia Farm-to-Table plan so that they can officially present it to the folks in Richmond)

Attendees self-identifying as producers/distributors/eaters/etc

Discussing regulatory barriers to local meat processing in one of our breakout sessions

The Virginia Farm-to-Table plan

Breaking for lunch

Spencer Neale represents the Farm Bureau at the post-lunch panel
Thanks to the conference organizers and to everyone that came out and added such enthusiasm to the entire experience!  I'm excited to see the Virginia Farm-to-Table plan making its journey from draft to implementation.

Also a shout out goes to Bernice O'Brien, who was our student scholarship recipient and attended the Monday evening and Tuesday summit in its entirety.  I can't wait to hear her thoughts on the take aways from the event, and how we can continue to make progress in local food procurement here on Grounds.  Stay tuned for details about our first Green Dining meeting of the spring semester where you'll catch a more detailed and introspective recap!

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