- I was incredibly fortunate to have been one of the 28 individuals to participate in the inaugural Breakthrough Leaders Program at the University of Vermont this week. I'll be sharing more about that experience at my blog, The Ben Franklin Follies. For now, it is enough to say that the experience was both life-changing and life-affirming.On Thursday, June 28, 2012 the Breakthrough Leaders participants attended the separate--but related--2012 Food Systems Summit Public Conference hosted by The University of Vermont.I have compiled this Storify representation of the 2012 Food Systems Summit Public Conference to help all who care about people, food, communities and the world in which live. It's long but it's also a complete curation of public tweets, my photos (ReeSnaps on Flickr) and a few links to related web content.Presenters came from across the food systems spectrum and included: Scientists, agronomists, Ag extension specialists, farmers, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and social activists. Most speakers have multiple levels of experience and perspectives.
- The conference began with a brief welcome from Dr. Cynthia Belleiveau, Dean of University of Vermont Continuing Education, and a faculty member in UVM's Department of Nutrition and Food Science. Dean Belleiveau introduced Dr. John Bramley, UVM president.
Welcome & Opening Remarks from Dr. John Bramley & Chuck Ross
- Dr. John Bramley, interim president at the University of Vermont, opened the UVM Public Conference: "Leading the Necessary [R]Evolution for Sustainable Food Systems: Amplified" on Thursday, June 28, 2012. Dr. Bramley has an extensive CV in agricultural-related science that includes authorship of 150 research papers, review articles and book chapters. Dr. Bramley led a research team that successfully cloned a gene that led to the world's first mastitis-resistant animals. As a faculty member (now Emeritus), he held the rank of professor in Animal Sciences and in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics.
- Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Ross spoke next and described the vision and framework for sustainable agriculture and sustainable communities in Vermont.
- Ross reminded the audience that the "smart phone is a tool of change that is empowering consumers" and citizens in ways we've never before considered.Ross also pointed out that agriculture in Vermont is diversified and the state is removing socio-economic barriers to food and farming.Dairy production and processing is an example of how farms are using diversified production streams to strengthen economic viability. There has been "record growth in on-farm dairy processing," Ross said.
Andrea Asch: Ben & Jerry's
- We also heard brief opening remarks from Andrea Asch, manager of natural resources for Ben & Jerry's--one of the sponsor's of the Food Summit & Breakthrough Leaders Program.Andrea described Ben & Jerry's 3-part mission built around Linked Prosperity.
- Andrea asked: "Who does the global economy benefit?" Think globally but act locally.