Food Symposium to highlight access to local food


WILMINGTON, Ohio — Kathleen Merrigan will speak on food safety as the keynote speaker March 31 at Wilmington College‘s second annual Food Symposium. The daylong event will feature the theme Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food: Improving Access to Safe and Healthy Food.


Merrigan is deputy secretary of the U.S.D.A. She helped develop the USDA’s organic labeling rules while head of the Agricultural Marketing Service from 1999 to 2001. She has a Ph.D. in environmental planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and worked at Tufts University as its director of the Agriculture, Food and Environment Program.

Merrigan, whose presentation title is Food Safety and the Critical Connection between Farmer and Consumer, will speak at 7:30 p.m.


The day’s activities will start at 1:30 p.m. with a presentation on Redesigning Our Food System: The Benefits and Challenges of Creating a Local Food Economy by Ken Meter, president of Cross Roads Resource Center.

At 3 p.m., a panel will discuss the topic The Reality of Creating a Sustainable and Viable Local Food Economy: Views from the Home Front. Rebecca Singer, vice president and director of agricultural programs with the Center for Innovative Food Technologies, will serve as moderator of a panel comprised of a local food producer, a local food distributor and a chef from a local restaurant.

All programs will be in Hugh G. Heiland Theatre, located in the Oscar Boyd Cultural Arts Center. Exhibits by the Center for Innovative Food Technologies and WC’s Grow Food, Grow Hope are planned to complement the programs.


Also, WC faculty members Corey Cockerill, assistant professor of communications, and Cathy Pitzer, assistant professor of social and political studies, will present a display highlighting their courses in environmental sociology and rural sociology as part of the College’s academic offerings in sustainable agriculture.


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