FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 12/12/2016 Contact: Kathlyn Terry, Executive Director       276.623.1121


Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD) announces conference designed to improve physical and economic health in region

Abingdon, Virginia, 12/12/2016 – Appalachian Sustainable Development, a non-profit committed to transitioning Appalachia by supporting local agriculture, exploring new economic opportunities and connecting people to healthy food, is pleased to announce a conference titled: Intersections: Aligning Agriculture, Nutrition, Health and Economic Development, Monday, January 9, 2017 from 8:30am-3:00pm. Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast TN, 1020 Jericho Drive, Kingsport, TN 37663. Space is limited and registration is required.

Email Mary Tignor at by 12/21/2016 to reserve your seat.

The conference aligns with the views of Dr. Randy Wykoff, Dean, ETSU College of Public Health, in his recent video: The Vital Role of Food and Food Systems, In the video, Dr. Wykoff describes the unique challenges we face in our region and the critical connections between chronic poverty, food insecurity and health and wellness. ASD has assembled a distinguished panel of speakers representative of Dr. Wykoff’s approach, including:

Earl Gohl, Federal Co-Chair, Appalachian Regional Commission: Keynote Speaker and Panel Moderator

Coalfield Development Corp: Creative workforce development/education approach that has been implemented in WV

Robin Robbins, ASD/Appalachian Harvest: Increased opportunities available with large east coast produce buyers

Shannon Blevins, Associate Vice Chancellor of Economic Development & Engagement, UVA Wise: The role of partnerships in transitioning our region

Roger Leonard, Board Chair, Wellmont Health System; Senior Advisor, England & Company and Management Consultant, The Summit Companies: Collaborative Philanthropy for Catalytic Social Impact

Intersections: Aligning Agriculture, Nutrition, Health and Economic Development aims to bring together up to 150 partners involved in the Agriculture, Nutrition, Health, and Economic Development sectors in northeast Tennessee (NETN) and southwest Virginia (SWVA) to discuss the opportunities around healthy food, public health, and healthy economies. Designed to look at improving economic and physical health using agriculture/the food system as an economic driver, a means of improving health outcomes, and implementing creative workforce development strategies; attendees will identify ways to deepen impacts by creating connections between organizations and projects to have a more deliberate and collaborative approach to creating a healthy region.

ASD Executive Director, Kathlyn Terry comments, “ASD and our partners are so excited about this event.  We look forward to sharing what has occurred over the last 15 months since our initial meeting on 10/1/2015. We will also look forward, creating a roadmap that will assist us in improving the physical and economic health of our region.”

About Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD)

Appalachian Sustainable Development is dedicated to its mission to transition Appalachia to a more resilient economy and a healthier population by supporting local agriculture, exploring new economic opportunities and connecting people with healthy food. Since 1995, ASD has been serving northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia. As ASD’s work continues, it will expand its focus to include regional partnerships that build important connections to increase market access and bring necessary resources to the rural communities in its physical footprint. ASD operates programs in sustainable agriculture and food access.

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