The Utah Intergovernmental Roundtable hosted the 2011 Food for Thought Summit. This year’s summit brought together those who have an interest in the future of the state’s agriculture industry – ranchers, farmers, agriculture officials from the state Department of Agriculture and the US Department of Agriculture, planners, and local governments.
Leading experts, from across the nation, address topics such as economic development, the future of agriculture in rural areas, urban farming, planning, and food security and safety. The summit created an open dialogue on the complex topic of what the future of agriculture will be in our state, discussing questions such as:
- What are the trends for the industry?
- How are consumer preferences in Utah changing and what impact will this have on the industry?
- What should we be considering to ensure a healthy agricultural industry for the state?
- What are the primary concerns we need to be addressing to ensure the state has a safe and adequate food supply?
The keynote speaker, Anthony Flaccavento, an organic farmer from Virginia, addressed the topics of sustainable development, ecology and economics, food systems. Mr. Flaccavento has been working on community environmental and economic development in central Appalachia for the past 25 years. In 1995, he founded Appalachian Sustainable Development, which became a regional and national leader in sustainable economic development. Anthony left ASD in December, 2009 to found SCALE, Inc, a private consulting business dedicated to catalyzing and supporting ecologically healthy regional economies and food systems. You can listen to Anthony’s interview with KCPW radio here: kcpw.org/blog/local-news/2011-10-27/farmers-community-leaders-gather-to-discuss-future-of-agriculture-in-utah/
Dr. Burden, Homeland Security Specialist for the Univ of TN addressed on often overlooked issue – food security. Mr. Burden is nationally-known expert in the area – working with local, state and national agencies on agricultural emergency response and agrosecurity. He has served as the agricultural representative for Tennessee’s Homeland Security District III, District Disaster Animal Response Team Leader, and the co-chair for the FEMA NIMS Animal Emergency Response Working Group. In addition, Ray has worked closely with the Tennessee Office of Homeland Security and the TN Fusion Center to establish a pilot program for agrosecurity liaisons (Agricultural Homeland Security Liaison Officers). He also holds numerous positions on state and national committees and working groups focusing on agriculture and food protection and emergency preparedness. Dr. Burden’s presentation is available at: www.cppa.utah.edu/uir/summit/2011/presentations.html
For more information on this year’s summit, please visit: www.cppa.utah.edu/uir/annual_summit.html
The Utah Intergovernmental Roundtable thanks the Summit sponsors:
The Utah Intergovernmental Roundtable
The Center for Public Policy and Administration at the University of Utah
Utah Department of Public Safety
The Utah League of Cities and Towns
Utah State University’s College of Agriculture and the Agricultural Experiment Station
The US Department of Agriculture
Utah Department of Agriculture
The Quality Growth Commission