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Spannocchia Symposium II – Connecting People to Farming

Shelburne Farms Discussion Sessions
  1. Topic: Engaging Communities through Outreach & Education
    Tuesday, 10/26 8:30 – 10:30amGuiding Questions:

    1. Which programs/initiatives on both sides are working to successfully increase engagement in eating local foods and supporting farm viability?
    2. What examples of community outreach and education will the Tuscans be exposed to during the study tour and are these efforts replicable in Italy?
    3. What resources are available for further investigation of methods for successful outreach & education?
  2. Topic: Strategies & Innovations around Marketing & Product Branding
    Tuesday, 10/26 11:00am – 12:00pmGuiding Questions:
    1. What strategies are New England farmers and producers using to optimize the local food “brand” and successfully market their products?
    2. What’s new? What innovations for marketing and branding have emerged on both sides since the 2009 symposium?
    3. What will we observe during the study tour that will enable participants to link the dialogue to the experience?
  3. Topic: Role of Women in Farming
    Tuesday, 10/26 8:30 – 10:00pmGuiding Questions:
    1. How are women creating a new tradition of farming?
    2. What are the obstacles/opportunities facing women farmers?
    3. How are traditional recipes/practices being preserved or highlighted in these efforts?
  4. Topic: Trends in Grassroots and Youth Movements to Increase Access to Local Food
    Wednesday, 10/27 8:30 – 10:30amGuiding Questions:
    1. How have Slow Food, Cultivating Community and other grassroots efforts evolved to become more or less influential on local farming and foodways?
    2. What new grassroots movements are underway and how are they meeting the needs of diverse communities?
    3. What are the specific ways in which NE youth are engaging new immigrant and low-income populations in the growing, eating and selling of local products?
  5. Topic: Farmers’ Markets
    Wednesday, 10/27 11:00am – 12:00pmGuiding Questions:
    1. What is working on both sides since 2009? What are the new developments in urban, rural and small-town markets? How is local government supporting these efforts?
    2. What will the Tuscans see at the City Market in Burlington and the Portland Farmer’s Market that may be unique or informative?
  6. Topic: Connecting Restaurants to Communities: Culinary/Agritourism
    Wednesday, 10/27 1:30 – 3:00pmGuiding Questions:
    1. What’s working on both sides since the 2009 symposium – farmhouse dinners featuring products from local farms; food festivals and fairs to promote local dining/menus; affinity marketing; etc.
    2. What are the New England states doing to promote culinary tourism?
    3. What role does policy or government funding and advocacy have in the promotion of culinary/agritourism? Who’s responsible for educating the public?
    4. What can NE learn from Tuscany’s 200-year-old tradition of culinary tourism and what is replicable in the US?
  7. Topic: Access to Farmland
    Wednesday, 10/27 3:30 – 5:00pm
    Introduction by Brian DonahueGuiding Questions:
    1. How are programs that increase access to farmland improving prospects for local farmers in NE; in Tuscany?
    2. How will the publication and distribution of “A Vision for Healthy Food Culture and Sustainable Farming in New England” impact regional and statewide policy around the preservation of farmland?

Wednesday, 10/27 5:30 – 7:00pm
Introduction by Amy Trubek with guests Isabella Dalla Ragione and Nick Cowles

Feedback from Participants

“The shared meals at Shelburne Inn were really wonderful ways to connect with everyone and deepen ideas that had been presented during the days. It was great to feel like we were all working together.”

“L’esperienza del simposio ha fatto sì che si rafforzassero le relazioni tra i vari componenti del gruppo toscano . Vorrei quanto prima riunire il gruppo toscano a Spannocchia ( forse per un pranzo) per continuare a mantenere una relazione e per discutere ed eventualmente sviluppare idee intorno agli stimoli che ci sono arrivati attraverso l’esperienza del simposio.  (The experience of the Symposium reinforced the relationships among the Italian participants.  I would like to gather the Italian group at Spannocchia soon for a lunch meeting to continue and maintain the group dynamic and to discuss the eventual development of ideas and initiatives built on the stimulating experience of the Symposium.)”