Come to the Table 2017 Conference
Thursday, March 16, 2017 from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM (EDT)
San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
Join us as we gather on Thursday, March 16th at the Durham Convention Center in Durham, NC for the 2017 Come to the Table Conference. Our theme this year is Bridging Divides: Cultivating Food and Faith Connections.
We look forward to gathering with community members, faith leaders, farmers, gardeners, farm workers, hunger relief agencies, and many more groups for a variety of workshops, presentations, and strategy sessions on relieving hunger and strengthening local and sustainable agriculture. This year, we will explore both the history and present state of our food system: how and why food is produced and distributed the way it is, and how faith communities can support both farmers and consumers.
For more information, workshop sessions, and updates, visit our Come to the Table event page on the RAFI website.
We are pleased to welcome Jason Brown as this year’s keynote speaker! Jason left a successful career as a lineman in the NFL to become a farmer in eastern North Carolina. After his departure from professional football, Jason moved back to the state and purchased a 1,000-acre farm in Louisburg. He and his wife Dr. Tay Brown have dedicated themselves to sharing the teachings of Jesus and aiding in local hunger relief efforts. Their farm, First Fruits Farm, has made national headlines for its donation of hundreds of thousands of pounds of food to those in need. Thousands of volunteers have lent helping hands in their harvest and gleaning events. In their work with Wisdom for Life Ministries and First Fruits Farm, Jason and his wife Tay are demonstrating how to live a life of purpose and how to promote community development through agriculture. >> Read Jason’s full bio here.
8:00 - Registration Opens
8:45-9:15 - Welcome and Orientation, Interfaith Prayer (Grand Ballroom 3)
9:15-9:45 - Keynote by Jason Brown, NC farmer and former NFL player (Grand Ballroom 3)
10:00-11:30 - Session 1 Workshops
11:45-12:15 - Break and Lunch Pick-up (Grand Ballroom 1)
12:15-1:15 - Community Conversations over Lunch
1:30-3:00 - Session 2 Workshops
3:15-4:45 - Session 3 Workshops
4:45-5:00 - Conference Wrap-Up and Thanks (Grand Ballroom 3)
This year’s conference workshop tracks include:
• Building Strong Foundations—skills and core knowledge for community work and hunger relief
• Theology and Food—interfaith conversation from our community of practice on broadening our lens for food and faith
• Farmer Voices and Cooperative Development—voices from the field, stories from farmers less visible in the food system, and cooperative projects
• Getting Food to the Table—a closer look at production and process in food system: issues affecting farmworkers and food workers
• Policy—a dual look at agricultural policy and hunger relief
When & Where
Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA (RAFI)
The Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA’s mission is to cultivate markets, policies, and communities that sustain thriving, socially just, and environmentally sound family farms. RAFI works nationally and internationally, focusing on North Carolina and the southeastern United States. RAFI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Pittsboro, North Carolina and incorporated in 1990.