Bard College at Simon's Rock: the Early College
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ThinkFOOD Conferences since 2014

ThinkFOOD started in 2014 as a forum to bring thinkers, activists, entrepreneurs, and community members together for discussions on a range of topics.

Field and Forest (2021)

Looking to nature for sustainable ways of feeding ourselves and softening our impact on the planet. Workshops on sustainable eating from home gardens, urban gardening, ethical foraging, spirituality and nature, agroforestry, silvopasturing and Berkshire-local timber. Keynote by Emily M. Broad Leib, Clinical Professor of Law and Faculty Director, Food Law and Policy Clinic at Harvard Law School. 

Watch the recorded sessions on Composting with Ronald Kujawski, Agroforestry, Silvopasturing, Sustainable Local Timber, and the Keynote Address.

Eating to Save the Planet (2020)

Workshops on shopping green, smarter ways to address food waste, rethinking the farm, food justice, urban farming, and a keynote from Brian Donahue on the New England Food Vision.

Our first online ThinkFOOD! Watch the sessions on Green Eating and Food Waste, Rethinking the Farm, Food Justice, and the Keynote Address.

Berkshire Pollinators (2019)

Farmers, educators, and entrepreneurs gathered to support a lively local interest in bees and pollination.

The 2019 theme, “Berkshire Pollinators,” embraced the community’s interest in bees and pollination, and showcased local food entrepreneurs whose ideas can inspire innovation in other communities.

Thomas Seeley, author of Honeybee Democracy and Horace White Professor in Biology in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University, gave the keynote address.

Workshops by Jen Salinetti (Woven Roots Farm), Devan Arnold (Sassafras Landcare), Bridghe McCracken (Helia Land Design), Jim Schultz (Red Shirt Farm), and Chris Wellens (Berkshire Botanical Garden).

The Future of Farming (2018)

Farmers as Activists: Democratizing Food Production

Why is ownership of food production important?

Amani Olugbala from Soul Fire Farm, Ibrahim Ali from Gardening the Community, and Lindsey Lusher Shute from the National Young Farmers Coalition will discuss these questions: What could bring young farmers, people of color, and underrepresented groups into farming? How do we create a pipeline of future farmers to maintain our food supply ethically and sustainably? Why is ownership of food production important, particularly for marginalized groups?

The panel was followed by poster presentations by students from the fall course Food Media Literacy, roundtable discussions, and a tree walk.

Equity and Inclusion in Food (2017)

Prelude event featured Mark Winne, author of Closing the Food Gap and Food Rebels, Guerrilla Gardeners, and Smart-Cookin' Mamas, for a conversation about changing the food system.

Farmer and Farm Worker Pay: Balancing Equity and Viability

This panel discussed the issues of living wage and overtime pay for farmers and farm laborers. Panelists included speakers from Woven Roots Farm, FARMroots of Greenmarket/GrowNYC, Breezy Hill Orchard, and the Northeast Organic Farming Association.

Reading the Signs of Food, Ethics, Whiteness, and Resistance: A Black Feminist Praxis

Dr. A. Breeze Harper provided the conference keynote address. She is author of Sistah Vegan: Black Female Vegans Speak On Food, Identity, Health, and Society. The keynote respondent was Rachel Slocum, associate professor in sustainable development at SIT Graduate Institute.

The What, How, and Where of Food in Our Region (2016)

Grown/Made in the Berkshires

Richard Bourdon from Berkshire Mountain Bakery, cookbook author and food writer Alana Chernila, Maddie Elling from Hosta Hill, and Sean Stanton from the North Plain and Blue Hill Farm discussed the question "What is Berkshire Food?"

Feeding the Berkshires

Sarah Gardner from the Center for Environmental Studies at Williams College, Jock Herron from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Nick Martinelli from Marty’s Local, and Peter Stanton from The Nutrition Center discussed the local networks that have been established to distribute food produced in the Berkshires.

The Future of Food Activism: Issues and Answers to Hunger in the Berkshires (2015)

Hunger in the Berkshires

Andrew Morehouse, executive director of the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, provided an introductory address and moderated the first discussion with speakers from Berkshire Interfaith Organizing, The Christian Center, and Sisters for Peace.

Community Garden Activism

Billie Best from the Community Land Trust in the Southern Berkshires moderated the second discussion with speakers from Greenagers, Pittsfield Church of Christ, the Growing Healthy Garden Program, and “City Farmers” filmmaker.

What is Berkshire Food? (2014)

Perceptions and Perspectives: Our Regional Food Culture

ThinkFOOD was launched in 2014 with a conference about the local food movement. Dan Shaw, Founder of Rural Intelligence, moderated a panel with Matthew Rubiner from Rubiner’s Cheesemongers & Grocers, Serge Madikians of Serevan Restaurant, and Angela Cardinali from Berkshire Farm & Table, who discussed how media coverage of Berkshire food culture impacts the daily lives of people living and working in the region.

Food Studies at Simon’s Rock

Simon’s Rock faculty members Maryann Tebben, Chris Coggins, and Erin McMullin discussed current research and teaching related to food studies and Dominic Palumbo of Moon In The Pond Farm and Peter Stanton of The Nutrition Center provided responses.

Practical Matters: The Challenges of Feeding Our Students

The first conference closed with a panel moderated by Marianne Young from Monument Mountain Regional High School. Panelists Lisa Damon from MA Farm to School, Meriweather Clark-Connors and Chas Cerulli from Chartwells, Andy Cox from The Hotchkiss School, and John-Paul Sliva from the Bard College Farm discussed the sourcing and serving of local food at schools and colleges in the region.

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