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ThinkFOOD Conference

our 10th annual ThinkFood conference!

Thanks to all who attended! Links to recorded sessions below.

Making local farming work
November 4, 2023

Location: Fisher Science Center at Simon’s Rock.

The Center for Food Studies at Bard College at Simon’s Rock presents our 10th annual ThinkFOOD conference on Saturday, November 4. ThinkFOOD will give you new perspectives on food, farming, and resiliency. We’ll offer interactive sessions with practical takeaways and new ideas from experts in the Berkshires and beyond.

Ashley Randle, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) will give the keynote address.

The conference is free for all students. Tickets are $25 for access to all sessions, $15 for half day, or $10 for keynote only; lunch tickets are $10. Discount tickets available; please email for details.


 Register to attend the Conference


thinkfood panel

Devan Arnold from Sassafras Landcare discusses designing a pollinator garden outside the Fisher Science Center at ThinkFOOD 2019

Soul Fire Farm and Greenagers panelists

Speakers from Soul Fire Farm and Greenagers at lunch at the 2018 Conference



Speaker Bios and  Workshop Descriptions 

Saturday, November 4

Registration: 9:00 a.m. – 2:00pm

Registration desk open at the Fisher Science Center

Panel 1: 9:45 – 10:45 am

Land access for Farmers

 Watch Video

Jamie Pottern, American Farmland Trust; Kali Lucey, Land For Good; Lily Massee, Community Land Trust; Mackenzie Greer, Berkshire Natural Resources Council

Clark Auditorium [in-person/Zoom]

Workshop A: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Tom Ingersoll, Ingersoll Land Care, tree pruning and orchard care demo

Daniel Arts Center parking lot [in-person outdoors]

Panel 2A: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

State and Federal Initiatives for Local Farmers

Tricia Wancko, Massachusetts Agriculture Innovation Center (MAIC) at the Franklin County CDC; Faith Shaeffer, National Young Farmer's Coalition; Kelly Coleman, Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture

Room 201 [in-Person]

Panel 2B: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Local Meat Processing

Watch Video

Katie Adkins, Plymouth Meats, Terryville, CT; Jake Levin, Berkshire Agricultural Ventures, Great Barrington, MA; Dan Carr, Berkshire Agricultural Ventures
Clark Auditorium [In-person/Zoom] 

Lunch: 12:00 – 1:00 pm

Conference Lunch provided by Simon’s Rock Dining Services

Workshop B: 1:00 pm

1:00-2:00pm Networking Event for Farmers and Farm Service Providers, hosted by Jamie Pottern (AFT) and Rebecca Busansky (BAV)

Clark auditorium [in-person]

1:00-3:00pm Tom Ingersoll, Ingersoll Land Care, tree pruning and orchard care demo

Daniel Arts Center parking lot [in-person outdoors]

Panel 3: 2:00 – 3:15 pM

Farmers Making it work

 Watch Video

Elizabeth Keen, Indian Line Farm in Egremont, MA; Jen Salinetti, Woven Roots Farm in Tyringham, MA; Sarah Chase, Chaseholm Dairy Farm in Pine Plains, NY; Sunder Ashni, Mumbet's Freedom Farm in Sheffield, MA; Maeve Wilber, Greenagers/April Hill in S. Egremont, MA

Clark Auditorium [in-person/Zoom]

Tom Seeley at ThinkFOOD 2019

Keynote Speaker Tom Seeley of Cornell University at ThinkFOOD 2019

Zoom Session at ThinkFOOD 2020

Panelists at ThinkFOOD 2020’s Virtual Conference

ThinkFOOD 2022

Session on fair land access at ThinkFOOD 2022

Keynote Address: 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.

[In-person/Zoom] Clark Auditorium

 Ashley Randle, Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources

Massachusetts Agriculture: Building a Resilient Future

Watch Video


Register to attend the Conference

For more information, contact Maryann Tebben, Faculty and Director of the Center for Food Studies and the Center for Food and Resilience, at

We want to think about how to support farmers in the Berkshires and beyond to create a functional local food system that feeds everyone fairly.

— Professor Maryann Tebben,
Center for Food Studies at Simon’s Rock

Conference Sponsors

Thank you to our sponsors!

Funding provided by:

Berkshire Agricultural Ventures

Berkshire Agricultural Ventures

Promotional partners:

Berkshire Grown
Great Barrington Agricultural Commission
Guido’s Fresh Marketplace

Berkshire Grown
Great Barrington Agricultural commission


From the 2022 conference:

regenerative, October 2022

Session 1: Regenerative Practices

Melissa Ferretti, Herring Pond Wampanaog Tribe, Cape Cod, MA; Jaime Piñero, UMass Stockbridge School of Agriculture, Integrated Pest Management and Fruit Orchards:

View Recording

Session 2: Empowering Young People and Building Community

Sarah Monteiro, Greenagers/April Hill, Sheffield, MA; Lauren Piotrowski, Program Manager, Roots Rising Pittsfield, MA

View Recording

Session 3: Farms for All

Amanda Reynolds, Senior Community Engagement Coordinator, Food Bank Farm in Hadley, MA; Anita Adalja, Not Our Farm, Albuquerque, NM; Gaby Pereyra, Northeast Farmers of Color Land Trust

View Recording

Session 4: Farms as Community Sanctuaries

Ben Crockett, Berkshire Agricultural Ventures: Climate Change and the Berkshire Foodshed; DeeArah Wright, Co-Founder/Worker-Owner, Mumbet’s Freedom Farm, Sheffield, MA: Seeding BIPOC Sanctuary; D Rooney, Farmer/Co-Owner/General Manager, Rock Steady Farm, Millerton, NY: One Farmer’s Take on Being Regenerative with Oneself

View Recording

Keynote Address: View Recording

By Karen Washington of Rise & Root Farm and Black Urban Growers

Additional Resources

Cheeses from local farms.

Cheeses from local farms at the 2017 conference.

ThinkFOOD 2019 student

Student participant at ThinkFOOD 2019 workshop