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 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
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.