Rogue Valley Food System Network logoMcCall Speaker Series

The Future of Food and Farming in the Rogue Valley

Wednesday, November 19, 7:00-8:30pm

Medford Public Library, 205 S Central Ave

Please click here to RSVP


This McCall Speaker Series event is a collaboration with the Rogue Valley Food System Network. "The Rogue Valley Food System Network establishes a collaborative community of leadership to develop and advocate for a healthy and sustainable food system in Josephine and Jackson Counties." Our Southern Oregon Advocate, Greg Holmes, is investing deeply in this Network. A reliable supply of the right kind of farmland is a necessary, but not sufficient condition, for a sustainable, equitable, and economically robust food system. This event will highlight efforts of the Rogue Valley Food System Network, as well as our role in it. You are welcome to bring interested friends, colleagues, neighbors, and stakeholders. This event is free and open to the public. Please do click here to RSVP

Representative Peter Buckley will provide opening remarks, followed by a panel presentation and discussion, and closing with a question-and-answer period with the audience. Panelists include: 

Vincent M. Smith, PhD, is an assistant professor of sociology and environmental studies at Southern Oregon University, specializing in environmental and agricultural sociology. Dr. Smith directs the SOU Green House and Sustainability Councils. Current research includes local eating behaviors in the Rogue Valley, including mapping and monitoring the Rogue Valley Food System in an online, interactive map. Dr. Smith serves on the Rogue Valley Food System Network. Dr. Smith will define a food system, highlight national work in food systems, and share research about the Rogue Valley's food system. 

Maud Powell runs the Small Farms program for Oregon State University's Southern Oregon Research and Extension Center, which offers education and technical advice to growers in the Rogue Valley. She and her husband have owned and operated Wulf Gulch Farm, a small diversified vegetable and seed farm in the Little Applegate Valley, for a decade. Powell also coordinates the Siskiyou Sustainable Cooperative, which markets the crops of eight organic farms. Powell will present on the current state of farming in the Rogue Valley (including economic impacts), challenges of farming today and tomorrow, and what the Food System Network is doing to make the future of farming brighter. 

Elise Higley works with farmers and buyers in Jackson and Josephine Counties to increase wholesale produce sold -- and grown -- locally. Higley works with Thrive, a nonprofit committed to creating a more sustainable local economy, and manages their "Rogue Valley Grown" effort. Higley is a mother, grandmother, and farmer herself, and is passionate about finding viable solutions for preserving our agricultural heritage in the valley. She works to educate and inspire values-based action in our community at large. Higley will present on the importance of markets and consumers, share an assessment of the current state of business infrastructure, and a wholesale markets program. 

Greg Holmes is the Southern Oregon Advocate for 1000 Friends of Oregon. Holmes has been using land use policy to preserve farmland in Southern Oregon since 2002. He has more than two decades of experience working collaboratively with diverse groups to facilitate the long-term use of resource land as working farms, ranches, and forests. Holmes served on the Jackson County Food System Assessment in 2010 and has served as chair of the Rogue Valley Food System Network since 2013. At this event Holmes will examine the foundation that this effort is built on -- a reliable supply of farmland -- and share how local residents can get involved in building a sustainable, equitable, economically resilient food system in the Rogue Valley. 

Stu O'Neil, executive director of Rogue Farm Corps, will facilitate a question and answer session with the audience. 


Event Date: 
Wed, 11/19/2014 - 7:00pm - 8:30pm