June 14 - Washington, DC
June 28 - Colorado
July 16 - Arizona
July 27 - Vermont
A forum is planned for Chicago on October 3rd.
The overall theme of these forums is: How do we feed the world's growing population? Washington Post Live came to Vermont because of all the interesting things going on in Vermont agriculture. They wanted to know what the rest of the country could learn from Vermont.
Pulitzer Prize winning editor Mary Jordan moderated two panel discussions at the Burlington Sheraton:
Panel I: Building a Resilient and Secure Food System
Chuck Ross, Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Agriculture
Will Raap, Founder and Chairman of Gardener's Supply
Marie Audet, Owner of Blue Spruce Farm
Panel II: Preserving Local Farming and Increasing Sustainability
Rob Michalak, Global Director of Social Mission at Ben and Jerry's
Ellen Kahler, Executive Director of the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund
Katherine Sims, Founder and Executive Director of Green Mountain Farm to School
There certainly are many exciting things going on in Vermont agriculture. Here are just a few of the things these panelists have been doing:
- Will Raap founded not only Gardener's Supply but also the Intervale Center in Burlington.
- Among other innovations, Blue Spruce Farm generates electricity from methane produced from cow manure. They were the first farm to participate in the Cow Power program developed by Central Vermont Public Service. Earlier this year Blue Spruce Farm was one of three farms in the country honored with the Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability Award from the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.
- Ben and Jerry's worked with the St. Albans Cooperative Creamery to develop the Caring Dairy program. Ben and Jerry's took the pilot program developed in Vermont (at the time it was called the Dairy Stewardship Alliance) and rolled it out worldwide as Caring Dairy.
- The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund is the lead organization behind the Farm to Plate program in Vermont.
- Green Mountain Farm to School works with 24 schools in northern Vermont to provide hands-on education about nutrition and agriculture with the goal of helping students acquire the knowledge and skills needed to make healthy food choices.
Washington Post Live hosts forums and conferences around the country on a variety of topics. All events are streamed live and archived online by the Washington Post. The Future of Food Forum in Vermont was sponsored by the New England Dairy and Food Council and the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy. Yankee Farm Credit Director Bryan Davis and President George Putnam attended this event.