Mark Your Calendars: Community Forum on Value of Local Food System

We are excited to share with you this press release from Big Sandy Community and Technical College about a great upcoming event.

PRESTONSBURG – Big Sandy Community and Technical College’s (BSCTC) Human Services program will host forum, entitled “The Value of a Local Food System in Eastern Kentucky,” on Thursday, Nov. 8, at 7 p.m., in the Gearheart Auditorium on the Prestonsburg campus.

The forum comes as Americans are increasingly moving towards “local food” movements, including the support of food co-ops, farmers’ markets, and locally-grown, chemical-free foods.

“The support of local farmers and our local food system as a whole is not only healthier to our bodies, but also provides sustainable jobs and the potential for larger economic development opportunities,” said BSCTC Professor Tammy Ball, LCSW, coordinator of the Human Services program and event organizer. “Placing much-needed attention on local foods and the potential movement in our area is also vital to elevating our quality of life.”

This summer, Ball’s students, along with other groups on the BSCTC campus, planted raised-bed gardens and used the harvest to distribute to a local food pantry.

“Our students experienced the value of planting and harvesting firsthand, and we believe that our youth fully embraces the farm to table movement,” she added.

Panelists for the event include Joyce Pinson, who has gained statewide attention for her acclaimed Web site www.friendsdriftinn.com. A Farm-to table syndicated columnist and master gardener, Pinson hosts her own television show “Friends Drift Inn with Joyce Pinson” on Pike-TV in Pike County.

Other panelists include: Todd Howard, Floyd County Extension Agent and local farmer; Kathy Curtis of Appalachian Roots; Maggie Ashmore, Sustainability Coordinator for the Pine Mountain Settlement School; Will Bowling, owner of Old Homeplace Farm in Clay County; and Alexa Arnold, organizer of the Community Farm Alliance.

The public is invited to attend the free event. Refreshments will be served.

“We hope to shed a greater light on the farm-to-table movement in Eastern Kentucky,” Ball continued, “and also show what we are doing at BSCTC to support the Kentucky Community and Technical College System’s Green+ Initiative.”