Virginia Urban Agriculture Summit

The Virginia Urban Agriculture Summit (April 15-16, 2014) delivered a broad spectrum of discussion from urban agriculture stakeholders including, EPA, Virginia DEQ, non-profits, health insititutions and organizations, the Virginia Tourism Council, Food Banks, Urban Gardeners, VSU, VCE and city government officials. Urban agriculture is gaining interest due to its social, health, economic and aesthetic benefits and city planners are learning to incorporate urban gardening into their planning process and redevelopment strategies. These presentations discuss those benefits and the challenges of turning vacant space into productive land, ranging from access to water – to sources of capital – to prohibitive zoning ordinances.

Day 1

Agriculture in America’s Cities & Towns

Gary Matteson, Farm Credit Council of America

Fostering Urban Agriculture through Brownfield Redevelopment: EPA and VDEQ
Ann Carroll, Environmental Protection Agency
Meade Anderson, Virginia Dept of Environmental Quality

The Story of Lynchburg Grows

Michael van Ness, CEO Lynchburg Grows

Day 2

Food Deserts & Food Access – 
Turning Challenges into Opportunities
Fresh Food in Virginia’s Food Banks

Jewel Hairston, Dean, School of Agriculture, Virginia State University
Leslie van Horn, Executive Director, Federation of Virginia Food Banks

Panel I – Urban Agriculture and City Government in the Year 2014
Abby Cocke, Baltimore City Department, Office of Sustainability
Anne Darby, Richmond Regional Planning District Commission

Erik Curren, Staunton City Council

Panel II – Urban Food Systems and Opportunities for Economic Development
Janell Walker, DC Central Kitchen
Sandra Tanner, Virginia Tourism

Panel III – Health, Nutritional and Social Aspects of Urban Agriculture
Heidi Hertz, Virginia Foundation for Health Youth
Wren Roberts, Centra Healthcare Local Food Program

Luncheon Speaker – Robin Emmons – SowMuchGood, Charlotte, NC