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Resources and Partners

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Our resources and partners page coonsists of our library of resources including our news archive and a list of literature that guides our work. We also list our partners on campus, in the community, and from Virginia Cooperative Extension. Our team has also compiled curricular resources for those interested in what's happening with food systems education  on the Virginia Tech campus. Last we provide a samling of resources such as academic and professional organizations we participate in as well as a list of frontline organizations working at the intersection of food systems and justice and equity.

Library

Our library includes an archive of news articles and publications we have found interesting as well as a trove of the academic literature that guides our work as the Center. The news archive began in April of 2020 and is updated weekly with articles shared to our listserv on Fridays in our weekly digest 'Five Articles Worth Reading.' Click here for information on joining  our listserv. Our literature library is more static and is comprised of  books and articles we find ourselves citing with some regularity. Please reach out to Center Associate Garland Mason (garlandm@vt.edu) to contribute an article or suggest a book for consideration. 

Partners

Virginia Tech College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Agricultural, leadership, and community education

The Department of Agricultural, Leadership, and Community Education is dedicated to advancing the institutional priorities related to community viability by engaging in critical and evaluative social science processes and teaching that address local and global challenges.

Office of Diversity and Inclusion

The Virginia Tech Equity and Social Disparity for the Human Condition team focuses on equity in the human condition, maximizing, wherever possible, the equitable distribution and availability of physical safety and well-being, psychological well-being, and access to crucial material, social, and moral resources.

Community Change Collaborative

The Community Change Collaborative is an interdisciplinary group of students and faculty hosted by the Institute for Policy and Governance (IPG) on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg.  

Center for Public Health Practice and Research Logo

The Center for Public Health Practice and Research (CPHPR) at Virginia Tech partners with an interdisciplinary group of faculty, staff and students at Virginia Tech and community organizations to enhance public health practice and research in the region. 

CAFS Logo

The Virginia Tech Civic Agriculture and Food Systems Pathways minor embodies a commitment to developing and strengthening an economically, environmentally, and socially sustainable agriculture and food systems.

LSCRC Logo

The Leadership and Social Change Residential College (LSCRC) at Virginia Tech aims to offer students a theoretical foundation combined with the practical knowledge and skills necessary to lead in a complex global environment. 

Homefield Farm's Logo

Homefield Farm is a partnership between Dining Services and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and the only certified organic operation owned by a university in Virginia. The six-acre, student-run farm is located eight miles west of the Blacksburg campus and provides about 50,000 pounds of fresh produce to dining centers and Homefield’s farm stand on campus. 

The Catawba Sustainability Center

Virginia Tech’s Catawba Sustainability Center is a 377 acre farm property situated in the beautiful Catawba Valley of Virginia and serves as a living laboratory to advance environmental stewardship and community engagement to provide a learning environment for the research, teaching, and demonstration of sustainable practices in agriculture, forestry, and land management.

HARVEST logo

HARVEST (Helping Agriculture Remain Vital through Engineering Science and Technology) is a Research Coordination Network that brings together scientists from various research disciplines to enhance the productivity and viability of small- and mid-level farms. 

Virginia Cooperative Extension

Virginia Cooperative Extension - Community, Local, and Regional Food Systems team was formed by Virginia Cooperative Extension agents and specialists seeking to facilitate innovative and interdisciplinary approaches and collaborations that span the agricultural and food systems landscape in Virginia and beyond. 

Small Farm Outreach Program Logo

The Small Farm Outreach Program (SFOP), a part of Cooperative Extension at Virginia State University, educates and empowers small, limited-resource, socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers.

Virginia Beginning Farmer and Rancher Coalition Logo

The Virginia Beginning Farmer & Rancher Coalition (VBFRC) is a state-wide coalition of agricultural organizations and farm businesses. Their long-term goal is to improve opportunities for beginning farmers and ranchers. 

AgrAbility Logo

AgrAbility (and AgrAbility Virginia) aims to enhance quality of life for farmers, ranchers, and other agricultural workers with disabilities, so that they, their families, and their communities continue to succeed in rural America.

City Schoolyard Garden logo

City Schoolyard Garden cultivates health, academic exploration, environmental stewardship, equity and community through garden-based, experiential learning and leadership development for Charlottesville youth.

Cultivate Charlottesville's Logo

Cultivate Charlottesville engages with youth and community to build a healthy and just food system. We believe that working together to grow gardens, share food and power, and advocate for just systems – cultivates a healthy community for all. Food is a human right and we aim to create food equity – personally, in community, and across systems and structures. Together we are growing, sharing, and advocating for food equity.

Hale Community Garden Logo

The Hale Community Garden is a five-acre site in Blacksburg, VA that includes 70 community garden plots, a solar greenhouse, beehives, food forest project, small apple orchard, asparagus patch, herb garden, and flowers. 

LEAP Logo

LEAP, The Local Environmental Agriculture Project, is a Roanoke-based 501(c)3 non-profit organization.  Their mission is to nurture healthy communities and resilient local food systems. They do this by connecting local farmers, food producers, culinary entrepreneurs and community members to create a relished experience by all.

The Millstone Kitchen

The Millstone Kitchen is a commercial kitchen facility in the newly renovated Old School at Prices Fork. Their name honors the history of millstone manufacturing in the Prices Fork community. Their mission is to empower and support food entrepreneurs in launching their dream businesses.

Shalom Farms Logo

Shalom Farms is a regional food access and community development project started in 2008 by United Methodist Urban Ministries of Richmond (UMUMR). 

Virginia Food System Council's Logo

The mission of the Virginia Food System Council is to advance a nutrient-rich, safe, and environmentally sustainable food system for Virginians at all income levels, with an emphasis on access to local food, successful linkages between food producers and consumers, and a healthy, viable future for Virginia’s farmers and farmland.

Food Systems Curriculum at Virginia Tech

We invite you to check out our new resource where we share about food systems curriculum offerings at Virginia Tech. We have compiled a compendium of food system courses, share about food systems minors, and spotlight students and professors involved in food systems minors and courses at Virginia Tech. 

Professional Societies

The Agriculture, Food, & Human Values Society (AFHVS) is a prominent professional organization which provides an international forum to engage in the cross-disciplinary study of food, agriculture, and health, as well as an opportunity for examining the values that underlie various visions of food and agricultural systems. From a base of philosophers, sociologists, and anthropologists, AFHVS has grown to include scientists, scholars, and practitioners in areas ranging from agricultural production and social science to nutrition policy and the humanities. AFHVS encourages participation by the growing community of researchers and professionals exploring alternative visions of the food system from numerous perspectives and approaches, including local and regional food systems; alternative food movements; agricultural and food policies, agricultural sustainability, food justice, issues of local and global food security, and food sovereignty.

The American Association of Geographers (AAG) is a nonprofit scientific and educational society founded in 1904. For more than 100 years the AAG has contributed to the advancement of geography. Its members from nearly 100 countries share interests in the theory, methods, and practice of geography, which they cultivate through the AAG's Annual Meeting, scholarly journals (Annals of the American Association of GeographersThe Professional Geographer, the AAG Review of Books and GeoHumanities), and the online AAG Newsletter.

 

The ASFS was founded in 1985, with the goal of promoting the interdisciplinary study of food and society. It has continued that mission by holding annual meetings; the first was in 1987 and since 1992, the meetings have been held jointly with the organization: Agriculture, Food & Human Values."

The Dimensions of Political Ecology Conference—or DOPE—is organized and hosted by the Political Ecology Working Group (PEWG). PEWG is an interdisciplinary group of graduate students at the University of Kentucky. Since its inception in 2010, this student-organized conference has become one of the largest, most highly regarded international forums for critical discussions at the intersection of ecology, political economy, and science studies. DOPE 2018 welcomed to Lexington more than 300 scholars, environmental professionals, and activists from over 100 institutions. The DOPE Conference has offered a platform for both established and emerging scholars, featuring invited speakers such as Paul Robbins, Sandra Harding, Rebecca Lave, Erik Swyngedouw, Vandana Shiva, Julie Guthman, Laura Pulido, and Kim TallBear.

The Sustainable Agriculture Education Association (SAEA) promotes and supports the development, application, research, and exchange of best teaching and learning practices in sustainable agriculture education and curricula through communication, training, development, and collaborative activities for teachers and learners. 

The SAEA exists to serve and connect educators, teachers, students, staff, and administrators who focus on the teaching and learning of sustainable agriculture at the adult level.

Food Equity and Justice Organizations

We have compiled here a selection of frontline organizations and community organizers who support the work of equity and justice within our food system. We've divided them into four categories to highlight groups working in Virginia, regionally, nationally, and globally. Please email Garland Mason at garlandm@vt.edu to suggest an organization to be added to this list.

Cambium Collective 
Cambium Collective helps to grow a just and equitable world through personal, organizational, and community transformation. They offer services for equitable community planning, liberating organizational development, and facilitation, training, coaching and conflict transformation. 

Cultivate Charlottesville, Food Justice Network
Cultivate Charlottesville’s Food Justice Network builds racial equity in the Charlottesville food system through education, organizing, and advocacy. Their goal is to build a healthy and just food system for all Charlottesville citizens, no matter an individuals’ race, ethnicity, religion, nationality, age, economic background, or neighborhood location. The Charlottesville Food Justice Network hosts dialogues and events to support this goal.

Happily Natural Day
Happily Natural Day is a powerful summer festival dedicated to holistic health, cultural awareness and social change. Accept no substitutes; Happily Natural Day is about substance over image, loving ourselves as African people, and changing our community as a result of that love. Happily Natural Day is an African centered business expo, a cultural arts and craft trade show, an all-day lecture & workshop seminar, a conscious hip hop, soul and spoken word showcase, a fashion and natural hair exhibition and holistic health fair all rolled in one.

This three day event has taken place for the past twelve years in Richmond Virginia and for seven in Atlanta Georgia. Happily Natural Day has a solid attendee base from all across the country and internationally.

Project Grows
Project GROWS is an educational, nonprofit organization with a mission to improve the health of children and youth in Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta County, Virginia through garden-based education and access to healthy food.

Richmond Food Justice Alliance
The Richmond Food Justice Alliance is a resident-led movement to increase access to healthy food in neighborhoods across the City.

Virginia Organizing
Virginia Organizing is a non-partisan statewide grassroots organization dedicated to challenging injustice by empowering people in local communities to address issues that affect the quality of their lives. Virginia Organizing especially encourages the participation of those who have traditionally had little or no voice in our society. By building relationships with individuals and groups throughout the state, Virginia Organizing strives to get them to work together, democratically and non-violently, for change. 

Virginia Tech Office of Inclusion and Diversity
Serving as a catalyst for capacity building across Virginia Tech, the Office of Inclusion and Diversity promotes sustainable institutional transformation and accountability; representational diversity; an inclusive, welcoming, affirming, and accessible safe campus climate; and the integration of issues of equity and identity into the academic mission. Blane Harding, the Director of Diversity Engagement is available to provide trainings across campus and with VT affiliated organizations such as Virginia Cooperative Extension.

Black Church Food Security Network
The Black Church Food Security Network utilizes an asset-based approach in organizing and linking the vast resources of historically African American congregations in rural and urban communities to advance food and land sovereignty.

Black Family Land Trust, Inc.
The Black Family Land Trust, Inc. (BFLT) incorporated in 2004 and based in North Carolina, is one of the nation’s only conservation land trust dedicated to the preservation and protection of African-American and other historically underserved landowners assets. The BFLT utilizes the core principles of land conservation and land-based community economic development to achieve our goals. They measurably improve the quality of life for landowners, by providing families with the tools necessary to make informed, proactive decisions regarding their land and its use. The BFLT works primarily in the Southeastern United States, our programs are intergenerational in their design. We honor the legacy of those stewards of the land that came before us and have faith in those stewards of the land that will come after us.

Black Farmer Fund
Black Farmer Fund (BFF) is an emerging community investment fund that invests in black food systems entrepreneurs in New York State. The mission of Black Farmer Fund is to create a thriving, resilient, and equitable food system by investing in black food systems entrepreneurs and communities in New York. The Black Farmer Fund will also serve as a bridge for black communities to participate in creating a food system that benefits those within and outside of black communities. 

CATA - The Farmworkers Support Committee
CATA - The Farmworkers Support Committee is a non-profit organization founded by migrant farmworkers in New Jersey in 1979. CATA is a grassroots, membership-based organization working with farmworkers and the Latino immigrant community in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland.  CATA’s work focuses on workers’ rights, health and safety in the workplace, immigrant's rights, and food justice.

The Federation Of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund
The Federation is a non-profit cooperative association of black farmers, landowners, and cooperatives.  We are organized by state associations with field offices serving a primary membership base in the Southern States. The majority of their farmers, landowners, cooperatives, and credit unions are in Georgia, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and  Louisiana.  Their largest individual membership base is in South Carolina. Their largest co-op membership base is in the state of  Mississippi.

Land Loss Prevention Project
The Land Loss Prevention Project (LLPP) was founded in 1982 by the North Carolina Association of Black Lawyers to curtail epidemic losses of Black owned land in North Carolina.  LLPP was incorporated in the state of North Carolina in 1983.  The organization broadened its mission in 1993 to provide legal support and assistance to all financially distressed and limited resource farmers and landowners in North Carolina. LLPP's advocacy for financially distressed and limited resource farmers involves action in three separate arenas:  litigation, public policy, and promoting sustainable agriculture and environment.

The Mississippi Center for Cultural Production
The Mississippi Center for Cultural Production (Sipp Culture) is honoring the history and building the future of Utica, MS. Their work weaves together research, development, local agricultural, with contemporary media & storytelling to promote the legacy and vision of our hometown. Their place-based model program will promote economic empowerment and self-sufficiency of low- and moderate-income people through education, technical assistance, training, and mentoring in agribusiness. Additionally, it will work with the community to create an advocacy base to lobby and establish increased broadband access in this rural community – a key to sustainable community development in the 21st century.

Southeastern African American Farmers’ Organic Network
Southeastern African American Farmers’ Organic Network (SAAFON) is a nonprofit based in Atlanta, GA. They are a network of Black farmers in the Southeastern United States who are committed to culturally relevant, ancestrally guided, and ecologically sustainable agricultural-based. SAAFON works to strengthen Black farmers’ collective power to build an alternative food system rooted in progressive values.

Agricultural Justice Project
The Agricultural Justice Project raises awareness of the need for transforming the food system and offers certification and technical assistance tools bring this vision to reality. They support and partner with third-party certifiers and worker organizations to carry our certification and inspections for their Food Justice Certification standard.

Black Urban Growers
Black Urban Growers (BUGS) is an organization committed to building networks and community support for growers in both urban and rural settings. Through education and advocacy around food and farm issues, they nurture collective Black leadership to ensure Black people have a seat at the table.

Coalition of Immokalee Workers
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) is a worker-based human rights organization internationally recognized for its achievements in fighting human trafficking and gender-based violence at work.  The CIW is also recognized for pioneering the design and development of the Worker-driven Social Responsibility paradigm, a worker-led, market-enforced approach to the protection of human rights in corporate supply chains.

Food First
Food First envisions a world in which all people have access to healthy, ecologically produced, and culturally appropriate food. As a “people’s think tank”, Food First is dedicated to ending the injustices that cause hunger and helping communities to take back control of their food systems. Food First advances this mission through three interrelated work areas: research, education and action. These work areas are designed to promote informed citizen engagement with the institutions and policies that control our food and to integrate local, national and global efforts. Informed by a vast network of activist-researchers, Food First’s analysis and educational resources support communities and social movements at the forefront of change in the food system. This work both informs and amplifies the voices, strategies, and solutions of social movements fighting for food justice and food sovereignty. 

HEAL Food Alliance
HEAL is a national multi-sector, multi-racial coalition of 55 organizations led by their members, who represent over 2 million rural and urban farmers, ranchers, fishers, farm and food chain workers, indigenous groups, scientists, public health advocates, policy experts, community organizers, and activists. Together, these groups are building a movement to transform our food and farm systems from the current extractive economic model towards community control, care for the land, local economies, meaningful labor, and healthful communities nationwide, while supporting the sovereignty of all living beings. 

National Black Farmers Association (NBFA)
The National Black Farmers Association (NBFA) is a non-profit organization representing African American farmers and their families in the United States. As an association, it serves tens of thousands of members nationwide. NBFA's education and advocacy efforts have been focused on civil rights, land retention, access to public and private loans, education and agricultural training, and rural economic development for black and other small farmers. 

National Black Food and Justice Alliance (NBFJA) 
National Black Food and Justice Alliance (NBFJA) is a coalition of Black-led organizations aimed at developing Black leadership, supporting Black communities, organizing Black self-determination, and building institutions for Black food sovereignty & liberation.  The Alliance seeks to achieve this by engaging in broad based coalition organizing for black food and land, increasing visibility of Black led narratives and work, advancing Black led visions for just and sustainable communities, and building capacity for self-determination within our local, national, and international food systems and land rights work.

They focus our work on black food sovereignty, self-determining food economies, and land. They approach food sovereignty, land and self-determining food economies through the lens of healing, organizing & resistance against anti-Blackness.  

Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance
The Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance is an organization dedicated to restoring the food systems that support Indigenous self-determination, wellness, cultures, values, communities, economies, languages, and families while rebuilding relationships with the land, water, plants, and animals that sustain us. Through their efforts and programs, they bring stakeholders and communities together to advocate and support best practices and policies that enhance dynamic Native food systems, sustainable economic development, education, trade routes, stewardship, and multi-generational empowerment. They work to put the farmers, wild-crafters, fishers, hunters, ranchers, and eaters at the center of decision-making on policies, strategies and natural resource management.

Rural Coalition/Coalición Rural
An alliance of farmers, farm workers, indigenous, migrant, and working people from the United States, Mexico, Canada, and beyond, working together toward a new society that values unity, hope, people, and the land. Rural Coalition/ Coalición Rural has served as a voice of African-American, American Indian, Asian-American, Euro-American and Latino farmers, farmworkers, and rural communities in the US, as well as indigenous and campesino groups in Mexico and beyond for 40 years.

Soul Fire Farm
Soul Fire Farm is a BIPOC*-centered community farm committed to ending racism and injustice in the food system. Along with their on farm and community programs and activities that aim to end food apartheid, they provide a training titled “Uprooting Racism in the Food System” that is a theory and action training for farming and food justice leaders to uproot systemic racism in our organizations and society.

The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond
The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB), is a national and international collective of anti-racist, multicultural community organizers and educators dedicated to building an effective movement for social transformation.

The Wallace Center
The Wallace Center has been a leader in the development of healthy regional farming and food systems since 1983. We serve the growing community of organizations, businesses, and public agencies involved in building a good farming and food system in the United States. Their program work focuses on advancing collaborative, regional efforts to grow and move good food – food that is healthy, regeneratively produced, and recognizes and builds value across the entire supply chain, from producers to farm workers, aggregators, processors, distributors, buyers, and the community based organizations supporting the food ecosystem.

Slow Food USA
Seeking to create dramatic and lasting change in the food system, Slow Food USA reconnects Americans with the people, traditions, plants, animals, fertile soils and waters that produce our food. Slow Food USA inspires individuals and communities to change the world through food that is good, clean and fair for all.

Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement, Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST)
Brazil’s Landless Workers Movement, Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST) in Portuguese, is a mass social movement, formed by rural workers and by all those who want to fight for land reform and against injustice and social inequality in rural areas.

Slow Food International
Slow Food is a global, grassroots organization, founded in 1989 to prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, counteract the rise of fast life and combat people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from and how our food choices affect the world around us.

Via Campesina
La Vía Campesina advocates for family-farm-based sustainable agriculture, and was the group that coined the term "food sovereignty". La Vía Campesina carries out campaigns to defend farmer's right to seeds, to stop violence against women, for agrarian reform, and generally for the recognition of the rights of peasants.