Appalachian State University & Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture to host The 2017 Food Summit

The 2017 Food Summit, a gathering of scholars, farmers, and food lovers, is organized around the theme “Dynamic Traditions, Resourceful Communities.” The Summit will take place on Saturday, October 28th 2017, at Appalachian State University’s Plemmons Student Union in the Parkway Ballroom.

The morning session features a discussion with Ronni Lundy, author of the widely acclaimed Appalachian cookbook Victuals, while afternoon events explore how communities are building economic and ecological wealth from food waste recovery. The purpose of this year’s summit is to explore what makes High Country communities both unique and uniquely regenerative: self-healing, self-sustaining, innovative, and resourceful.

Lundy’s Victuals, the James Beard Foundation’s 2017 Cookbook of the Year, chronicles the dynamic evolution of Appalachian Foodways and profiles up-and-coming Appalachian chefs. She will be joined onstage by Shelley Cooper, one of the chefs profiled in Victuals, and Dr. Jessica Martell, a literature and food scholar who teaches at Appalachian State.

In the afternoon, Linda Bilsens of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance will discuss how food waste composting can regenerate communities, both socially and ecologically. Breakout sessions will highlight local perspectives on food waste, including the Food Preservation Project, a new collaboration between F.A.R.M. Cafe and Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture.

Local lunch provided by F.A.R.M. Cafe.

“At last year’s Food Summit, we had important conversations about food insecurity, both on campus and in the community,” comments Dr. Jacqui Ignatova, one of the Summit’s Co-Organizers. “The conversations that the Summit made possible led to the opening of the Watauga and Ashe County Seed Libraries as well as the ASU Food Pantry in the Office of Sustainability.”

“It is my hope,” Ignatova continues, “that by examining our community’s history of resilience, alongside new ideas that promote local self-reliance, we will encourage concrete steps that can enable the High Country to continue to build as a regenerative community.”

“The Food Summit has been an integral part of the College for several years now,” says Phyllis Kloda, Dean of the College of Fine and Applied Arts. “In the past two years, Dr. Jacqueline Ignatova has worked to bring higher visibility to the event and forge strong community connections with partners such as the Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture.  We’re excited about this year’s Keynote speaker, Ronni Lundy, plus the Food Summit’s theme, ‘Dynamic Traditions, Resourceful Communities,’ promises some vibrant conversations surrounding the topics of food waste, food recovery and food redistribution.”

Lundy has both personal and professional ties to the area. “Appalachian State,” she says, “is tremendously important to all of us who write and work in the region. ASU students are passionate explorers who come out of school with a strong and proud understanding of who they are and where they come from. It’s such a gift to the region.”

“I am looking so forward to my Boone visit, and to seeing the opportunity that the Food Summit presents for deepening our sense of community at home as well as our value to the world at large.”

Tickets are $30 for the General Public and $15 for Students. They may be purchased online at and are expected to sell out.

The 2017 Food Summit is sponsored by Appalachian State University's College of Fine and Applied Arts, Research Institute for Environment, Energy, and Economics (RIEEE), the Sustainable Development Department, the Center for Appalachian Studies, the English Department, and the Office of Sustainability, and Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture.

For more information, visit For additional information for the press, contact one of the event co-organizers, Dave Walker Jacqui Ignatova or Jessica Martell

About the College of Fine and Applied Arts
Appalachian State University’s College of Fine and Applied Arts is a dynamic and innovative group of seven academic departments, bringing together a variety of perspectives, experiences and real-world education to provide unique opportunities for student success. The college has more than 3,000 undergraduate and graduate majors. Its departments are Applied Design, Art, Communication, Military Science and Leadership, Sustainable Development, Sustainable Technology and the Built Environment, and Theatre and Dance.

About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina system, Appalachian enrolls about 18,000 students, has a low student-to- faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.

Published: Oct 13, 2017 4:37pm