Events and Speakers
Below is a list of upcoming and recent events that are either directly or indirectly related to the work being done by the Center for Food Systems and Community Transformation.
If you would like to share related events, please send an email including the event title; dates; a short summary; and any flyers, attachments, or hotlinks to Katie Trozzo.
Article ItemPandapas Pond Foraging Walk , article
The Friends of the Indigenous Friendship Garden, the VT Center for Food Systems and Community Transformation, and VT Food Studies invite you to celebrate the return of our beautiful skunk cabbage and our beaver neighbors. We will discuss how beavers are models of community vision and transformation as well as stewards of clean water and environmental diversity. We will also forage gifts from the Land that support winter wellness in preparation for an upcoming community cooking demonstration.
Article ItemDr. Maria Elisa Christie presents Kitchenspace: Participatory approaches to food and gendered spaces of everyday life in Mexico, Uganda, and Ethiopia , article
In this presentation, Dr. Christie will share how an approach she developed as a PhD student of geography to explore everyday life and nature/society relations in central Mexico has been useful in work with small-holder farmers in Uganda and Ethiopia. She draws on feminist political ecology as a framework, using ethnographic and participatory research methods including hand-drawn mapping, journaling, and a milk allocation game. Focusing on food and kitchenspace has served to explore issues as diverse as aflatoxins and food safety in Uganda and invasive weeds and integrated pest management in Ethiopia. In this presentation she will share her research from the three countries, including reflections on the process, and key findings that emerge such as cultural resistance and adaptation to climate change literally in women’s hands and the importance of food for building and maintaining community social networks.
Article ItemCenter Fellow Speaker Series Winter/Spring 2023 Lineup , article
Details and registration links for our Winter/Spring 2023 Center Fellows Speaker Series
Article ItemMary Sketch Bryant presents The Power of Network Weaving: Catalyzing Impact from the Soil Up , article
In this session, Director of the Virginia Soil Health Coalition, Mary Sketch Bryant, will discuss the role of formal and informal networks in fostering innovation and sparking progress. The presentation will highlight the past, present, and future work and aspirations of the Virginia Soil Health Coalition, a broad, collaborative network that improves and expands soil health across all of Virginia’s landscapes. You will learn about how diverse stakeholders are working together across the state to enhance soil health for environmental, economic, and community wellbeing. There will be ample time for questions and interactive discussion.
Article ItemRoanoke Foodshed Network Virtual Learning Exchange Series , article
Join us for the Fall Virtual Learning Exchange Series, featuring food systems leaders in the Roanoke Foodshed Network. The Roanoke Foodshed Network was formed as a way to build community and capacity between diverse partners working to address food systems change in the Roanoke region. The goals of this network are to collectively learn about and address the needs of sustainable farm development, local food distribution, and equitable food access. We aspire to develop a comprehensive approach to create a more resilient, socially just, and economically viable food system in the Roanoke region.
Article Item(Re)imagining Collective Food Futures: A Panel Presentation with Graduate Student Fellows , article
In this panel, Virginia Tech graduate student fellows will draw upon their research and praxis interests to discuss food as a site of encounter and possibility within broader socio-ecological systems through critical food systems mapping, the Black Radical Imagination and seed keeping traditions, and an exploration of collective agency for food sovereignty. This interactive discussion will focus on ideas, theories, and methodologies that are central to imagining practices of collective care, resistance, and stewardship to foster more equitable food futures.
Article ItemA Harvest Celebration for American Indian Heritage Month: Grits, Greens, & Roasted Pumpkins , article
Featuring three sisters-based dishes from the VT Indigenous Friendship Garden created by Mohawk chef Dave Smoke-McCluskey, Dr. Mae Hey, and the rest of the garden family.
Article ItemFellows Panel Discussion: Defining Meat , article
An interdisciplinary conversation on the technical, socio-political, and policy tensions of cellular, animal, and plant-based proteins
Article ItemCelebrating Hispanic Heritage Month: Food from the Indigenous Friendship Garden , article
Join Mowhawk Chef Dave Smoke-McCluskey, Peruvian Chef Krysia Lycette Villon, Indigenous Friendship Garden Pitmaster Nino Ripepi, Garden Caretaker Mae Hey, and the rest of the community in celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and Indigenous Cultures across the Americas. Join for food, music, and open discussion.
Article ItemDr. Danille Christensen presents Contextualizing Food, Art, and Labor: The Aims and Crimes of Artisanal , article
What cultural work does the label artisanal do? What people, sites, and processes does it "elevate" or ignore, and with what consequences? Taking processed meats and home canning as examples, this presentation explores how the appellations craft and artisanal can bolster hierarchies framed in terms of gender, class, and race. Attending to a wider range of production contexts compels us to consider intersections of tacit knowledge, physical dexterity, social savvy, and sensory power that occur outside the abattoir or atelier.
Article ItemBlack Farmer Livelihood Strategies to Mediate Financial and Emotional Stress , article
Dr. Andrew Smolski and Dr. Michael Schulman from North Carolina State University share their research findings about factors that contribute to black farmer sustainable livelihoods.
Article ItemOriginal People's Forest Visit , article
Tyson Sampson, a tribally enrolled member of the EBCI (ᎠᏳᏫᏯ ᎨᏯᏔᎯᎤᏁᏉᎳᏗᏍᎩ), will be joining us at the Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center to lead an Original People’s forest visit. Tyson has been co-researching/collaborating/sharing/educating about harvesting and processing regional flora for 21 years and will introduce you to Original People’s woodland edible and medicinal species, both wild-grown and propagated in a forest farming setting. They will share useful nomenclature of the species we encounter along with lived experience, correlating uses, and approaches to stewardship and cultivation.
Article ItemDr. Brianna Posadas presents Using Agriculture to Introduce Programming and Data Science to Students , article
In an increasingly technical world, it is important that students learn the basics of computer science and data science. And while this need has increased, the resources to teach these skills are not equally dispersed in the United States. Furthermore, in many of the CS and data science curriculum, important cultural context is missing that may improve students ability to relate to the material and retain it. In this presentation, Dr. Posadas will discuss different programs that aim to bridge this gap including the Data Science for Public Good, which invites underrepresented minorities to Virginia Tech for the summer to work on agricultural related data science projects and the non-profit Katabasis who co-design programming games using an agricultural context to introduce young students in rural North Carolina to computer science basics.
Article ItemUniversity of Kentucky's Food Connection, August 8, 2022 , article
The University of Kentucky Food Connection is an applied food systems center that serves farmers, food producers, students, and community members by supporting the development of vibrant and sustainable food systems on the UK campus and across Kentucky. Rooted in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment at UK, the Food Connection supports their land-grant mission through transdisciplinary education, high-impact service and outreach, and grounded research on regional and regenerative farming and food systems. Please join us for an engaging overview and discussion about their areas of work and community partnerships that are central in cultivating sustainable food possibilities from farmgate to kitchenplate.
Article ItemDr. John Bovay presents Food Safety, Reputation, and Regulation: An Economic Perspective , article
Dr. Bovay reviews the empirical economic literature on food safety, reputation, and regulation.
Article ItemBuilding Beyond Nice Racism: Catalyzing Institutional Change in the Food System , article
A five-part series running January to May 2022. Registration is now closed.
Article ItemPreserved, Foraged, and Fished , article
A cooking demonstration featuring preserved, foraged, and fished foods, as well as demos on fishing pole and traditional net making with Rick Rudd and Victoria Ferguson.
Article ItemDr. Lia Kelinsky-Jones presents The Social Science of Agroecology: Policy and Praxis Implications , article
Dr. Kelinsky-Jones discusses the social science of agroecology by focusing on both policy for agroecology and agroecology for policy
Article ItemDr. Jacob Lahne presents on Food and the Senses: Relating Sensory Science to the Food System , article
Come hear from Center Fellow Dr. Jacob Lahne about using sensory-science methodologies to understand the sensory attributes of foods produced in Virginia and beyond.
Article ItemA Cooking Demo with Mohawk Chef Dave Smoke-McCluskey , article
Chef Dave prepares both sweet and savory tómales from the three sisters to show how they are versatile vehicles for flavor, as well as pastured duck.
Article Item4 the Soil: Message, Metaphor, Movement , article
Come hear from Center Fellows, Eric Bendfeldt and Mary Sketch Bryant, sharing about the 4 The Soil Awareness Initiative as a message, metaphor, and movement to find common ground, share stories, and broaden ecological and human health conversations.
Article ItemIndigenous Cooking Demo with Chef Dave Smoke-McCluskey , article
Chef Dave demonstrates the process of preparing Mohawk baked beans as well as Mohawk/Dutch corn poffertjes and will discuss the historical influence of European contact on Native recipes.
Article ItemThe Poetry Cafe: Planting the Seed , article
Experience the cultural artform of social transformation through creative expression and community weaving. A podcast about the event with event host Josephus Thompson III, along with friend and colleague Michael Carter Jr. is available here.
Article ItemAgroforestry and Regenerative Agriculture at the Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center , article
Dr. John Munsell and Adam Taylor share how the principles and practices of agroforestry and regenerative agriculture are incorporated on the land at the Virginia Tech Catawba Sustainability Center.