Watch RI PBS Community Conversations Panel About Modern Farming

Host Mario Hilario will moderate a TV discussion with panelists as they and the studio audience explore options and the creative responses from farmers, advocates and community leaders.

Katie Steere of Deep Roots farm (left), and Jordan Goldsmith and Melissa Denmark of Moonrose Farm. Photos by Jesse Burke.

The Rhode Island Foundation and Rhode Island Monthly present the latest edition in the Rhode Island PBS Community Conversations series, Modern Farming in Rhode Island. Host Mario Hilario will moderate a TV discussion with a broad range of guests, as they and the studio audience explore options and the creative responses from farmers, advocates and state and community leaders. Watch the panel discussion on Friday, December 21 at 8 p.m. on Rhode Island PBS.

The panel is based on a feature story that appears in the November issue of Rhode Island Monthly, “Betting the Farm: How local farmers are adapting agricultural businesses to make it work in a modern world.” Farming is on the rise in Rhode Island where more than 1,240 farms call it home. The state is second in the nation for direct retail sales, which means selling directly to the public through venues like farmers markets, farm stores, restaurants and institutions. Farms are developing their own marketing strategies by adopting social media to gain new customers, and Rhode Island is doing its part to keep farms in the state by facilitating land linking between existing farmland and new farmers who can’t afford to buy it, and the Farmland Protection program is saving farmland from future development. But there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done when it comes to preserving farmland, making it more accessible to new farmers and getting more people to purchase local products. In this panel, we’ll discuss how farmers are adapting agricultural businesses to advance their businesses a modern world.

Panelists include Jamie Coelho, associate editor of Rhode Island Monthly, who will discus the story; Ken Ayars, Chief of the Division of Agriculture, RI DEM; Katie Steere, owner of livestock farm, Deep Roots Farm; Mike Hallock, CEO of RI Mushroom Company; and Sarah Turkus, organizer of the Young Farmer Network of Southeastern New England and Manager at Sidewalk Ends Farm and Osamequin Farm.

Tune in on Friday, December 21 at 8 p.m. on Rhode Island PBS.

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