THE ENERGY AND RESOURCES GROUP FALL 2019 COLLOQUIUM SERIES PRESENTS:
SPEAKER: LANEY SIEGNER
DATE: Wednesday, November 20, 2019
PLACE: 126 Barrows
Social, Ecological and Educational Seeds: Harvesting the Perennial Value of Small Community Farms
The dominant food system is in crisis, producing adverse consequences for human health and the environment. Climate change, an intersecting crisis, threatens our ability to grow food in a manner that has been prevalent for the past several decades: that is to say, industrially, through large-scale monocrops of just a few primary crops. Taking into account these challenges, how will we farm in the future? And who will farm, given the precarious economics of farming, dwindling percentage of the American population engaged in farming as a primary occupation, and growing rates of farmland loss to development and investors? This talk explores alternatives to the dominant food system emerging in several contexts: the San Juan Islands in Washington State, and the East Bay region of the S.F. Bay Area. Come to the first iteration of Laney’s “climate farm school” to learn more about existing efforts to build climate resilient, equitable, re-localized food systems.
Laney has interspersed her time as a graduate student at ERG with time spent working and volunteering on small-scale diversified vegetable farms. She collaborates with urban and rural farmers to explore food system research questions around production practices, distribution pathways, food access, food security, and food literacy. As a Graduate Student in Extension, Laney developed a food systems and climate change curriculum, which she has co-taught and evaluated in several schools both in Oakland, CA and Lopez Island, WA. Most recently, Laney worked with the Berkeley Food Institute to conduct an investigation of urban food distribution networks in the East Bay. When she’s not working on food systems issues, Laney enjoys tackling hands-on project, such as building off-grid tiny houses. Prior to attending ERG, Laney was an 8th grade teaching fellow in Boston Public Schools.