On Monday, we had an opportunity to talk about ways to involve the LL.M. Program with the Arkansas Department of Agriculture. As Arkansas has such a diverse agricultural sector and also confronts challenging food security issues, work with the Ag Department can be instructive even for students from other states. With so many of our graduates serving in policy positions at a state and federal level, on-the-ground involvement with the work of an administrative agency will be very helpful to our students.
On Tuesday, we accompanied Wes and Cynthia on a series of on-site visits with people on the front lines of the local food movement in Northwest Arkansas.
|Teresa Mauer, Sec. Wes Ward, Dep'ty Sec. Cynthia|
Edwards, and Leann Halsey at the Farmers' Market
|Dep't Sec. Cynthia Edwards, Sec. Wes Ward, Principal|
Ashley McLarty, Morgan Stout, Ally Mracheck, Nicole Civita
|Nicole Civita, Dept'y Sec. Cynthia Edwards, Susan|
Schneider, Ally Mracheck, Morgan Stout, Sec. Wes Ward
in the Washington Elementary School Garden area.
After leaving Washington Elementary, we visited Feed Fayetteville, the NW Arkansas non-profit organization "founded to cultivate proactive, durable solutions to local hunger, childhood obesity and the relationships between both of these hotspots with a focus upon supporting local farmers and producers in our community." There, we met founder Denise Garner, who explained the origins of Feed Fayetteville and Feed Communities. And, we met Mike Rush, Executive Director, Jared Phillips, Program Manager, at Feed Communities. We had a great discussion about local and regional food initiatives and innovative agricultural production systems in Arkansas.
|Jared Phillips, Sec. Wes Ward, Nicole Civita, Denise |
Garner, Mike Rush, Dep'ty Sec. Cynthia Edwards
We then headed to lunch at The Farmer’s Table, a popular locally-sourced Fayetteville restaurant. We talked with the owners Adrienne & Rob Shaunfield about sourcing issues. Peter Nierengarten, the Director of the Fayetteville Sustainability & Resilience Department joined us. Peter was able to provide information about his work for the City and urban agriculture initiatives, including urban farming ordinance passed last year. Of course, we had a most delicious lunch.
|Rose Konold, Sec.Wes Ward, Dep'ty Sec. Cynthia|
Edwards & some of the Boston Mtn Hogs at Mason Creek Farm
Our day concluded with an inspiring visit to Tricycle Farm & Crossroads Farmers Market. Founder of Tricycle, Don Bennett spoke about the concept behind this unique urban farm and the people that they bring together from throughout the community. Located in the heart of a busy urban area and close to the UA campus, "the mission of Tri Cycle Farms (TCF) is to grow community through soil as we steward food awareness, education and empowerment." Discussing community, food security, and the satisfaction that comes from producing food while drinking tea in the shade was a perfect way to end an amazing day.
Thanks to Secretary Wes Ward, Deputy Secretary Cynthia Edwards and all the wonderful hosts we had throughout the day. Special thanks to our Professor Nicole Civita for coordinating.