Farmer Listening Sessions

Local Environmental Agriculture Project (LEAP), in partnership with Virginia Cooperative Extension (VCE), is hosting a series of three Farmer Listening Sessions to foster conversations about farming and food production in the region. The sessions are designed as a platform for farmers to network and communicate, to discuss shared challenges, and to think through possible solutions. Input from the Farmer Listening Sessions will be shared with stakeholders and will guide efforts to support local farmers.

Sessions will be facilitated by county Virginia Cooperative Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources agents. All food producers and food system stakeholders are welcome, but farmers’ voices will be prioritized. Those farmers who cannot attend in person can still participate online; the first session on February 21 will be live streamed from the LEAP for Local Food Facebook page (online input will be noted for later use, not incorporated into the conversation in real time). See the Facebook event pages (links below) for more information. Those interested in attending are encouraged to register at the EventBrite pages corresponding to each event (also linked below).

The schedule for the three sessions is:

Tuesday, February 21, 6:00 – 8:00pm
Blue Ridge Library
28 Avery Row
Roanoke, VA 24012 (Bonsack)
Facilitator: Scott Baker
Unit Coordinator and Extension Agent, Agriculture and Natural Resources
Virginia Cooperative Extension, Bedford County office
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/farmer-listening-session-bonsack-tickets-31930718639
https://www.facebook.com/events/226846881107746/

Monday, February 27, 6:00 – 8:00pm
The Franklin Center
50 Claiborne Ave.
Rocky Mount, VA 24151
Facilitator: Kevin Camm
Unit Coordinator and Extension Agent, Agriculture and Natural Resources
Virginia Cooperative Extension, City of Lynchburg office
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/farmer-listening-session-rocky-mount-tickets-31931314421
https://www.facebook.com/events/1777414349250225/

Monday, March 6, 6:00 – 8:00pm
Montgomery County Government Center
755 Roanoke Street
Christiansburg, VA 24073
Facilitator: Kelli Scott
Extension Agent, Agriculture and Natural Resources
Virginia Cooperative Extension, Montgomery County office
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/farmer-listening-session-christiansburg-tickets-31931494961
https://www.facebook.com/events/1782133108716603/

About LEAP: Local Environmental Agriculture Project (LEAP) is a Roanoke-based 501c3 non-profit. Founded in 2009, LEAP’s mission is to nurture healthy communities and resilient local food systems. We work closely with local farmers, businesses, partner organizations and the broader community to meet this mission. LEAP aims to help create healthy communities that can respond and adapt to meet community needs. LEAP programs include LEAP Community Markets (West End and Grandin Village), LEAP Mobile Market, Healthy Food Incentive Programs (SNAP Double Value, Fresh Foods Rx) and The Kitchen.