Monday, February 23, 2015

Monday, February 23: Mount Vernon & Sustainable Food & Agriculture

Flagraising at Mount Vernon by Seminar Team Leaders Hinke & Johnson

          Today, Monday the 23rd, we started the morning off by going to Mount Vernon Memorial.  Our tour of George Washington’s estate began with the raising of the American Flag.
Mount Vernon
 From there we were able to walk through Washington’s Mansion.  The architecture of the Mansion was incredible for that time in history.  Also the view overlooking the river was gorgeous. For the rest of the morning we were able to walk around the 500 acre estate.  Although it is winter, we were able to see the gardens where they grew their own crops.  Most of us bared the crisp wind and viewed the family tomb.
Jamie Johnson as a Seminar Team Leader
President George Washington wax replica
View of the Potomac River
  For lunch we went to historic Gadsby Tavern.  Our food was delicious and our entertainment during was awesome.  Our first speaker, Pam Hess, the Executive Director of Arcadia gave insight on challenges of supplying poverty communities with healthy food.  Arcadia is center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture.

Pam Hess
Since its establishment in 2010, Arcadia's mission has been to improve the health of our community, support the viability of local farmers, and preserve the environment for future generations. Through our programs, we:  Work to address issues of food access and food justice; Raise awareness about healthy food and its sources; Establish innovative connections between local, sustainable farms and consumers. It was great to see someone else who had that much passion on providing nutrition.
After a very short break we had the honor of listening to Bruce and Julie Knight.  Julie, Strategic Conservation Solutions, spoke on how providing healthy eating and environmental structure in Fairfax is just as important and challenging as it is in South Dakota.  She spoke on Partnership for a Healthier Fairfax and its healthy eating team & how one highly suburban/urban community is doing to address food security issues.

Julie Knight in conversation with members Kroupa and Haugen
 Bruce Knight, Co-founder of Strategic Conservation Solutions, is a South Dakota native from the Gann Valley area who believes his grandfather had a true definition of sustainability!  Leave the land better than when you received it.   Bruce Knight, spoke on  sustainability from a more macro level as well as policy issues and getting your voice heard locally, nationally and globally.
Bruce Knight
Submitted by Randy Nelson & Nick Scott