CLEMSON — A national leader in the local foods movement will speak at Clemson University Wednesday, offering a vision of how the nation can move toward a sustainable and secure future.
Farmer, professor and author Philip Ackerman-Leist will explore local-scale food from a national perspective and propose strategies for creating more democratic and secure food systems in his presentation at 6:30 p.m. at the Strom Thurmond Institute auditorium. The event is open to the public and free of charge.
With more than two decades of “field experience” working on farms, in the classroom and with regional food sy collaborators, Ackerman-Leist’s work focuses on examining and reshaping local and regional food systems from the ground up.
It’s not enough to say “local food” and declare victory, said Ackerman-Liest. “We need to invest in thoughtful planning, not just local foods, and we have to begin thinking about local food systems as citizens, not just consumers. We must also bring more diverse representation to the table and stretch our thinking from local realities to regional possibilities.”
Author of “Rebuilding the Foodshed” and “Up Tunket Road,” Ackerman-Leist is a professor at Green Mountain College in Vermont, where he established the college’s farm and sustainable agriculture curriculum and is director of the Green Mountain College Farm & Food Project. He also founded and directs the college’s Masters in Sustainable Food Systems, the nation’s first online graduate program in food systems, which features applied comparative research of students’ home bioregions.
Rebuilding the foodshed brings democracy back to the table through a focus on community-based food systems that are just and resilient, he said.
“Models abound for re-envisioning how local food systems can transform how we eat, shop, grow, connect and plan for the future,” he said.
With his wife, Erin, Ackerman-Leist farmed in the South Tirol region of the Alps and North Carolina before beginning their 16-year homesteading and farming venture in Pawlet, Vt.
The presentation is sponsored by the Clemson Sustainable Agriculture Program.
The Barnes and Noble campus bookshop will have copies of Ackerman-Leist’s books, “Rebuilding the Foodshed” and “Up Tunket Road,” for sale at the program, after which there will be a book-signing and refreshments.