Bio: Eric Scott Bendfeldt is the associate director of Virginia Tech’s Center for Food Systems and Community Transformation. Eric is a faculty member in the School of Plant and Environmental Sciences and an extension specialist for community viability with Virginia Cooperative Extension. Eric also serves as co-state coordinator of Virginia’s Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) Professional Development Program. Eric recently completed his doctoral degree and his dissertation is titled The Ecotonal Nature of Community Food Work: A Case Study of Trauma-Informed Care and Agential Change Space. Eric and his wife, Mary, worked as community and agricultural development coordinators with Mennonite Central Committee in Tanzania, East Africa from 1988 to 1995. Eric is fluent in Swahili. Eric and Mary live in the Shenandoah Valley and enjoy spending time with family and friends, hiking, biking, cooking, gardening, reading, learning, and walking their dog Feebe.
Areas of emphasis and educational programming: agricultural ecological community development, soil health and its impacts on human and environmental well-being, the dilemma of the Agriculture of the Middle (AOTM), regional food system development and value chain coordination, and narrative inquiry-based research.
Ph.D. Agricultural, Leadership, & Community Education, Virginia Tech
M.S. Forestry, Virginia Tech
B.S. Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, Virginia Tech
B.A. History, James Madison University