Community Geology, Environment and Sustainability Hofstra College of Liberal Arts and Sciences National Center for Suburban Studies School of Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Examining LI’s Agriculture

The future of sustainable food production on Long Island will be addressed in the conference “The State of Long Island’s Suburban Agriculture – Where Do We Grow From Here?” at Hofstra University. The event, sponsored by Hofstra’s National Center for Suburban Studies, the Long Island Food Coalition and the North Shore Land Alliance, will take place Thursday, April 19, from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Food activist, writer and trainer Mark Winne is the keynote speaker.

This conference brings together local experts in the fields of sustainable food production and distribution representing current practices in both agriculture and aquaculture. There will be opportunities to discuss obstacles in the local food system that are impeding sustainable progress.

According to the event organizer, Annetta Centrella-Vitale, Hofstra Adjunct Instructor of Sustainability Studies, ”The desired outcome from this gathering of experts is to lay down the pathway for a vibrant local food system, one that supports growers committed to providing the community access to high quality products.”

Panel Discussions:

Panel 1: Existing Framework Related to our Local Food System

Moderator: Bhavani Jaroff, iEat Green

Speakers: Rob Carpenter, New York Farm Bureau; Ehle Shachter, New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets; August Ruckdeschel, East End Projects Coordinator, Suffolk County Department of Economic Development & Planning; and Stephen Naham, Town of Hempstead Department of Conservation and Waterways


Panel 2: Topic: Present Local Food Systems – Are they Sustainable?

Moderator: Sandra Garren, PhD, Director of Sustainability Studies, Hofstra University

Speakers: Caroline Fanning, Restoration Farm, Old Bethpage Village Restoration; Bernadette Martin, LI Greenmarket, Inc.; and Paul Dlugokencky, Blind Bat Brewery


Panel 3: Topic: Importance of Local Agriculture to Health and Education

Moderator: Sharryn M. Kasmir, PhD, Chair of Anthropology and Director of the Minor in Food Studies, Hofstra University

Speakers: Alethea Vasilas, Orkestai Farm; Aiyana Smith, Licensed Master Social Worker, Blossom, Sustainable Development; and Jeannine Davis, horticulture and gardening teacher, The Waldorf School


Panel 4: Suburban Agriculture Forming Communities

Moderator:  Iman Marghoob, Long Island Community Gardens Association

Speakers: Mary Callanan, Three Castles Garden; Donna Lanzetta, Manna Fish Farms; and Greg Sandor, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Nassau County


This event is free and open to the public, but advance registration is required. Seating is limited. All events take place at the Student Center Theater, located at the Sondra and David S. Mack Student Center, North Campus.

For more information, send an email to Annetta Centrella-Vitale.

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Ginny Greenberg

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