Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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Richmond Conference Scheduled for September 29, 2012, on Agriculture, Food, Hunger


            “Educating People of Faith: Personal Choices, Agricultural Sustainability and the 21st Century Challenge of World Hunger,” a comprehensive conference on food resources in Virginia and the globe, is set for Saturday, September 29, at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 6000 Grove Avenue, Richmond.
            The event, jointly sponsored by the Stewardship of Creation Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia and the Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church, will include discussions on key issues involving food availability in Virginia and globally.
            The conference, scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., will include a luncheon focused on “Creation Stewardship and Diet.”
“Subjects during the conference will be explored from a number of viewpoints with particular attention to how, through personal choices and greater knowledge of broader issues, people of faith might develop greater resources for stewardship of the earth,” said Craig Dubishar, Chair of the Stewardship of Creation Committee for the Diocese of Virginia.
            “These issues include how we eat, the land that is farmed, what is grown, how food is cultivated, where it comes from, and the effect on public health, our well-being, the vitality of our soils, the health of our streams and rivers, the energy we consume and its sources, the world food supply, and the future of the planet.”
            Conference speakers will include experts in public policy, preservation of agricultural land, water and energy resources, sustainable livestock production, and challenges and opportunities to alleviate global food insecurity, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
            “In the 2010 Census, fewer than 2 percent of Virginians in the labor force worked on farms, but every Virginian eats,” Dubishar said.  “While every Virginian eats; some often go hungry.  Still more eat poorly, some out of habit, some for lack of resources, and others for lack of choice ‑ all to the detriment to their health. Many of their choices are affected by local farming conditions and productivity, globalization, and the effects of farm policy.”
            “Worldwide, as many as one billion went hungry in 2009. The future challenge in sub-Saharan Africa is particularly stark as its populations continue to grow and current methods of agricultural production fail to meet needs.  By mid-century, the United Nations projects the population of sub-Saharan Africa will increase by 120 percent; by another 1.2 billion people.”
            “Some of these choices are personal decisions amenable to mindful change, choices in what to buy, in what to grow, and in how much to eat. Others are intended and unintended consequences of public policy and market functioning that affect the interests of all, but are closely monitored by relatively few.”
            Cost of the conference, including the luncheon, is $25 a person, or $20 a person for multiple attendees from the same church.  Additional information and registration details are on the Committee website, http://caringforgodscreation.net/Annual_Conferences/2012_Conference/.

CONTACT: Tal Day, Vice Chair (htfairfax@yahoo.com)

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