Monday, October 20, 2008

"Ripe for Change" Tour Day 9 Clemson, South Carolina

Southern Circuit "Ripe for Change" Tour Day 9 Clemson, South Carolina

A hurricane was bearing down on the Carolinas as I drove east towards the coast. Clemson University is known for its football team and academic proweress. It is also a major agriculture school.

My host at Clemson was Aga Skrodzka-Bates, a youthful professor in film studies at Clemson University who is originally from Poland. A visiting German film and anthropology professor named Marcus Stiglegger joined Aga and some of her colleagues for dinner before the screening. Through a number of measures Aga was able to turn out 115 students and faculty members including several members of the agriculture department.

"Ripe for Change" was very well received by the applause from the audience. For the first time though I met some resistance from grad students and a couple of the faculty at Clemson. Part of the discussion delved into the farm bill and other important issues. I am pleased that it happened. I wish more agriculture students and professors would have attended the screenings at the other venues, especially schools with large agriculture departments.

Afterwards I was approached by a group of young men and women who are involved with farmers market in nearby Anderson, South Carolina. I was invited over to see the Anderson County Farmers Market and meet the farmers by James Rubenstein. I met the Farmers Market Manager Brandon Grace and he introduced me to a number of farmers from the area. While there I picked the last local peaches of the season.

James and Brandon are very proud to be hosting the 23rd Annual Sustainable Agriculture Conference this October 31-November 2nd in Anderson, South Carolina. The conference's theme is "Strong Communities, Sustainable Food." I was impressed with how organized and forward thinking the folks are in Anderson County when it comes to connecting consumers and the producers of food.