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April 04, 2007

Conference brings together churches, farmers, hunger advocates

The Center for Environmental Farming Systems in Goldsboro will be a featured attraction during one of three meetings designed to explore how churches, farmers and hunger relief agencies can work together.

The North Carolina Council of Churches Rural Life Committee will bring together churches, farmers and hunger relief advocates for a conference titled "Come to the Table: A Conference on Food, Faith and Farms," which will explore how North Carolinians can honor the land, relieve hunger and sustain local agriculture.

Three one-day, regional sessions will make up the conference.
The Eastern North Carolina session will be April 10 at St. Luke's United Methodist Church in Goldsboro, N.C.
The Central North Carolina session will be April 11 at Cedar Grove United Methodist Church in Cedar Grove.
The Western North Carolina session will be April 13 at Biltmore United Methodist Church in Asheville.

The Goldsboro session will include a tour of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, a partnership of North Carolina State University's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, North Carolina A&T State University and the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The center is one of the nation's largest efforts to study environmentally sustainable farming practices.

At all the sessions, speakers will address the theology of land stewardship and the regional state of agriculture and hunger. Leaders of local projects will discuss their work with faith, farming and hunger relief. Booths and exhibits will give organizations the chance to share their work and meet new partners. Participants will also have a chance to experience local agriculture.

"We hope this conference sparks successful projects and partnerships," said Betty Bailey, a member of the Rural Life Committee and executive director of the Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA.

Speakers include Ellen Davis, a professor at Duke Divinity School; Scott Marlow, Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA farm sustainability program director; N. Yolanda Burwell, senior fellow at the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center; and Christal Andrews, Outreach Coordinator for the Food Bank of Central and Eastern N.C.

Come to the Table is sponsored by the Duke Endowment, the Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA, Hood Theological Seminary and the Heifer International-Southeast Regional Office. Anyone interested in connecting farmers to hunger relief efforts is invited to attend. Registration and other information is available online at http://www.cometothetablenc.org or by calling Claire Hermann at (919) 360-7416.

Posted by Dave at April 4, 2007 09:27 AM