Rural Calendar

An eclectic compilation of upcoming events of interest to rural journalists and others interested in rural issues

Oct. 14-16: Appalachia and Wales: Coal and After Coal symposium

What happened when Welsh coal mines closed during the 1980s? How did communities make the transition from an economy dependent on fossil fuels? What does the Welsh story mean for creating sustainable Appalachian communities? Appalachia and Wales: Coal and After Coal, a symposium to answer those questions, will be held in the Blue Ridge Ballroom at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C., Oct. 14-16.  Scholars, artists, and activists will provide an interdisciplinary view of how issues relating to how coal, climate change, economy, and technology have shaped the coalfields of South Wales and Appalachia.  All events are free and open to the public; for a complete schedule go here.

Featured speakers include Jeff Biggers, Helen Lewis, Ron Lewis, Hywel Francis, William Schumann, Randy Wilson, Mair Francis, and Amanda Starbuck. Rare film clips from Helen Lewis and John Gaventa’s visits to the Welsh coalfields in the 1970’s will be shown, as well as the new Appalshop documentary "The Electricity Fairy."

The symposium is presented by the Center for Appalachian Studies at Appalachian State with major financial support from the University Forum Committee, and the Office of Academic Affairs and is made possible by a grant from the North Carolina Humanities Council, a statewide nonprofit and affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Co-sponsors include the departments of Anthropology, Communication, Government and Justice Studies, History, Philosophy and Religion, Sociology, Sustainable Development, International Programs, the Institute for Energy, Economics, and Environment, The Appalachian Journal, and University Documentary Film Services. For more information contact Center for Appalachian Studies Director Pat Beaver at 828-262-4089 or Tom Hansell, lecturer, at 828-262-7730.

Nov. 6: Tri-State Farm and Food Conference, Huntington, W.Va.

Farmers and community members within a 50 mile radius of Huntington, W.Va., will gather at The Douglass Center, 1448 10th Avenue, on Nov. 6 to study ways to connect farmers, chefs, processors, and consumers in the $1.2 billion food industry of West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky. The Tri-State Farm and Food Conference offers a variety of topics to engage all individuals within the region’s foodshed—including the everyday consumer.

Conference topics include fruit and vegetables, value adding, food security, animal care/production, economic development and farm to institution. Farmers, residents of the region, and all those who are interested are invited to attend the event for a $20 registration fee. Breakfast, lunch, and break snacks will be provided and sourced from local tri-state farmers.

“The tri-state aspect of the conference is important because the impact that this community has on neighboring counties in Kentucky and Ohio truly comes full circle. These areas must work together to build this food system. Without an open dialogue and discussion started, we can’t expect change,” said Gail Patton, executive director of Unlimited Future, Inc.

The conference is being hosted by the West Virginia University Cooperative Extension Service Small Farm Center in co-operation with Unlimited Future and Ebenezer Medical Outreach, as well as staff from other land-grant universities in the three states. For program details, registration forms or any additional information, please visit the WV Small Farm Center web site at http://smallfarmcenter.ext.wvu.edu/events/farmfoodconference. Additional questions may be directed to Tom McConnell or Carrie See at 304-293-2642 or trmcconnell@mail.wvu.edu.

Institute for Rural Journalism & Community Issues
School of Journalism and Telecommunications, College of Communications & Information Studies
122 Grehan Building, University of Kentucky, Lexington KY 40506-0042
Phone 859-257-3744 - Fax 859-323-3168

Al Cross, director al.cross@uky.edu