2014 KRC Conference Set for November 7-8 in Manhattan, Kansas: Sustainable Agriculture: A Once and Future Vision
KRC invites farmers, ranchers, food enthusiasts, community advocates and more to attend its 2014 Farm & Food Conference and 35th Anniversary Celebration, Nov. 7 and 8, at the Four Points Sheraton, 530 Richards Drive (just off Ft. Riley Blvd) Manhattan, Kansas. The conference, “Sustainable Agriculture: A Once and Future Vision,” will also celebrate KRC’s 35th Anniversary Friday evening Nov. 7 with a special dinner and activities. The conference program will focus on the future of agriculture, food, and community in Kansas and our region.
Conference keynote speakers include:
Fred Kirschenmann, Distinguished Fellow at Iowa’s Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture and President of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in New York, who will speak on Friday about alter- native paradigms for the future of agriculture. Dr. Kirschenmann is a theologian, philosopher, farmer and leading voice in the dialogue about the challenges of modern agriculture and the pursuit of sustainable agriculture. He also manages his family’s 1,800-acre certified organic farm in south central North Dakota.
Ricardo Salvador, Senior Scientist for the Union of Concerned Scientists and Director of its Food & Environment Programs, will address the impact of global realities on the future of food on Saturday. Dr. Salvador works with citizens, scientists, economists, and politicians to transition our current food system into one that grows healthy foods while employing sustainable practices. Dr. Salvador also taught the first course on sustainable agriculture at a land grant university, and chaired the nation’s first graduate program in sustainable agriculture.
Other conference speakers include Bob Dixson, Mayor of Greensburg, Kansas, who will explore perspectives on the development of healthy, sustainable communities, especially regarding the inclusion of sustainable farming and food. After a tornado devastated their community in 2007, Dixon and others led Greensburg to become a nationally recognized sustainable community. Dixon planted and tends the so-called “vacant lot vineyard” in Greensburg, and consults with communities around the country in times of crisis after natural disasters.
Hattie Mitchell, CPA and Treasurer of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, will share perspectives on the future of sustainable community food solutions and health within the Potawatomi Nation. Mitchell was a 2013 40 Under 40 recipient, an honor given to emerging American Indian leaders in Indian Country by the National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development (NCAIED) organization.
Julie Mettenburg, Executive Director of KRC, will address the question of who will farm in the future, and land stewardship in a time of transition. Mettenburg is involved in the transition of her family farm in Eastern Kansas from the third to fourth generation, and has been instrumental in moving the farm to grass-finishing and direct-marketing of meats.
Workshops. The conference will also feature over a dozen workshops each day providing inspiring ideas, helpful information and valuable connections for attendees, ranging from practical farm management, diversification and transition strategies, to community and food advocacy training.
Social Hour /Reception and KRC Anniversary Dinner. KRC will also host a cocktail reception and 35th Anniversary Dinner Celebration on Friday evening November 7.
Bryan Welch, Editor and Publisher, Mother Earth News, will keynote the dinner. Welch, who raises cattle, sheep, goats and chickens on a 50-acre farm near Lawrence, will provide a vision for the future of the sustainability movement. Welch is the author of Beautiful and Abundant: Building the World We Want, and will sign copies of his book to benefit KRC during a pre-dinner cocktail reception.
The celebration will feature live music, locally sourced food and beverages, and a silent auction featuring Kansas artisans, goods and service. The night will also include a book-signing to benefit KRC, featuring authors Bryan Welch, Hank Will, Jane Marshall of KSU, Joy Lominska of KRC, and more.
KRC welcomes sponsors and exhibitors for the conference, as well as local food and beverage donations and auction items. Contact Natalie Fullerton at firstname.lastname@example.org about displays or booths and sponsorships. Proceeds will benefit KRC’s future work in growing a sustainable farming and food system in Kansas.
Information on all of these opportunities can be found at kansasruralcenter.org/calendar/conference-2014.
From September-October 2014 Rural Papers