University of Vermont

Third Annual Food Symposium to Be Held Oct. 31

The University of Vermont will hold its third annual Food Systems Symposium Wednesday, Oct. 31 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Silver Maple Ballroom in the Davis Center.

The goal of the symposium, said Doug Lantagne, UVM Extension dean and Food Systems director, “is to highlight the importance of partnerships between academic disciples at the university and the experiential knowledge in the Vermont community. 

“These partnerships are essential to increasing the breadth of innovative research opportunities and the success in winning funds to address complex community needs,” he said.

The schedule for the symposium is as follows:

9 a.m. – Welcome

9:15 a.m.Keynote: Partnerships Beyond the U.S.

"Aspects of African Food Security" – Wouter van Hoven

Traveling all the way from Africa, van Hoven will share his experience in putting together a transdisciplinary team to address a complex and unique food system problem in African communities. His work engages the harsh realities of food insecurity in Africa in the face of attempts to preserve native wildlife.

Van Hoven worked closely with the Manavella Community in Limpopo, South Africa and the Magano Mountain Community bordering the Dinder National park in Sudan to ensure that the food supply becomes secure, directly due to alternatives to unsustainable harvesting of natural resources in protected areas and indirectly due to marketing of wildlife experiences and products.

Partnership Presentations

10 a.m. – Partnerships Regionally

"Enhancing Food Access Across the Northeast Through a Regional Partnership" –Linda Berlin

Representing a team of researchers from across the Northeast, Berlin will discuss their project that addresses the issue of food security in underserved populations in the Northeast through sustainable regional food systems. As a project partner, Ron Prohaska, owner of Ted's Market in Island Pond, Vt., has agreed to have his store be one of the 18 stores across the Northeast that is a focus of our current research efforts, along with the communities in which they are located.

11 a.m. – Partnerships Within the University

"Food Safety from Milking to Marketing for Vermont’s Artisanal Cheese Makers" –  John Barlow, Londa Nwadike

Barlow and his team will discuss their new transdisciplinary project on campus that addresses artisanal cheese producers' ability to minimize food safety risks and understand their consumers' needs. Extension efforts will help artisanal cheese producers apply the resulting technology and information.

11:45 a.m. – Partnerships Beyond the Individual Projects

"The Ethics of Eating: Why Transdisciplinarity is Important" — Tyler Doggett

In this presentation, Doggett. from the UVM philosophy department, will help us think broadly about food, from Africa to Vermont. He will challenge us to examine the bigger picture and to think more transdisciplinary about feeding our communities verses feeding the world.

12:30 p.m. – Brown Bag Lunch

1:30 p.m. – Opportunities Panel

This panel will bring together representatives from organizations looking to do collaborative, transdisciplinary food systems research with other universities and with Vermont community organizations. The panelists will discuss currently available opportunities for collaboration. Moderated by Jane Kolodinsky, chair, Food Systems Spire Steering Committee, 2010-2012. The participating organizations include Green Mountain College, Vermont Technical College, and Vermont Law School.

2:30 p.m. – Presentation of Food Systems Master’s Faculty

Food Systems Program Faculty - Curious about the new Food Systems Masters Program? Here is your opportunity to hear from faculty about their food systems research, teaching and collaborations! Moderated by Amy Trubek, faculty director of the master of science in food systems program.

3:30 p.m. – Closing Remarks