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AM Workshops  11 am-12:30 pm

PM Workshops 1:30 pm-3 pm

1. How Can We Scale Up Our Food System?

1. Food Security: A Household Approach

2. Alternatives in Business Finance

2. The Maturing of Greenfield

3. Let’s Get a Divorce from the “Sick Care System”

3. Business in the 21stCentury

4. Youth as Change Makers

4. More Discussions with Ben Hewitt

5. Sustainable Business 101

5. Open Space – to be decided

6. Open Space – to be decided

Morning Workshops


Farmers and food processors will engage the audience in a discussion of the challenges involved in moving our food infrastructure forward.  Margaret Christie of CISA (Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture) will facilitate add insights from her published study, Scaling Up Local Food: Investing in Farm and Food Systems Infrastructure in the Pioneer Valley.

Shelly Beck of Enterprise Farm has been growing food for most of her life.  She currently coordinates the Food Justice projects at Enterprise Farm in Whately, and lives in Greenfield.  She will respond to the question: Can we provide affordable quality food for everyone?

Dan Rosenberg is founder and co-owner of Real Pickles, which produces naturally fermented pickles made from local, organic vegetables. Promoting a local/regional food system is at the core of Real Pickles' mission, and meeting the challenges posed by local ingredient sourcing and regional marketing has been a major component of Dan's work since launching the business in 2001. He will explore:  How can a business thrive when its raw materials are only available several months out of the year?

Jen Smith has been working on farms and gardens for eight years and currently works as the Farm Conservation Program manager at Mount Grace Conservation Land Trust.  She and her husband Nate run Crimson & Clover Farm in Florence, MA, where they are in their first season of farming on the new Northampton Community Farm.  She will discuss:  How can young farmers access land?

Brianyn MacLeod, is an advocate of community, environmental and social justice, holistic health, and sustainability.  She is studying Food Systems and Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency at GCC. She is a mother of two, and assists in her husband’s solar contracting business:Apollo Contracting. She will discuss: What has the GCC Food Systems Class learned about Greenfield?

John Waite, Executive Director of the Franklin County Community Development Corporation (FCCDC), is an advocate of local economic development with 25 years of experience as a Peace Corps volunteer in Africa, developer of a Micro-Loan Program in Brooklyn, NY, and Director of Peace Corps’ Business Education Program in Uzbekistan. He will discuss: FCCDC’s contribution to expanding access to locally-produced food including the operation of the Western Massachusetts Food Processing Center.

Margaret Christie is CISA’s Special Projects Director and has previously worked for University of Massachusetts Integrated Pest Management Program and the Northeast Organic Farmers Association, Massachusetts’s chapter. Margaret and her family raise much of their own food in Whately.  She will discuss: How we can finance new projects and lessons learned from Scaling Up Local Food.


We have great local banks, but the rules and regulations covering banking often limit what they can do.  This workshop will discuss alternative ways to get your business idea or local project off the ground.

Amy Shapiro is the Business Assistance Director at the Franklin County Community Development Corporation.  She assists small business owners in developing plans and connecting to resources and teaches FCCDC’s Business Training class – Plan For Success and Secure Business Finance workshops.  She has an MBA and owned and operated a family business for many years.  She lives in West County and has over 30 years of experience working for and with small businesses, in particular arts and culture businesses.

Mary Hoyer is a community and cooperative development consultant working out of Amherst.  She works with the Cooperative Fund of New England, a lending organization for cooperatives and community-based nonprofits; the Cooperative Development Institute, a regional co-op training organization; and the Eastern Conference for Workplace Democracy, a regional consortium of democratically owned and managed businesses.  She co-chairs the Union Co-ops Committee, a national group under the auspices of the U.S. Federation of Worker Co-ops.

Becky Meier is representing William Spademan of Common Good Finance.  She has been an elementary school teacher in Williamstown, Massachusetts for 20 years and has been a core staff member of Common Good Finance for the past year. She is impressed with the community spirit and forward thinking of Greenfield.

3.  LET'S GET A DIVORCE FROM THE “SICK CARE” SYSTEM:  How to create a community that's healthier and makes the most appropriate use of doctors and hospitals
During this workshop, we will look at ways each of us can take greater responsibility for our own health – from lifestyle changes to wellness checks and screenings.  By making best use of our health care resources, and reducing our reliance on doctors and hospitals for a “sick care fix” after the fact, we will experience more vitality and productivity in our lives and save a lot of money in the process!

Amy Swisher is Director of Public Affairs and Community Benefits for Baystate Franklin Medical Center.  She has worked in the healthcare field for more than 20 years.   Amy has presented creativity workshops at conferences in the United States, United Kingdom and South Africa, and she is an active member of the Pioneer Valley writing community

Nancee Bershof is a retired physician who practiced Internal Medicine and Occupational Medicine in Greenfield for over 20 years. Since leaving practice she has worked on a volunteer basis at the YMCA promoting and developing health prevention efforts in that organization.  During her time in practice, Nancee was passionate about prevention and patient responsibility.  She specialized in life-style management including smoking cessation, alcohol avoidance, exercise and stress-management.

Bob Sunderland is Executive Director of the YMCA in Greenfield.  For 40 years, he has been involved in Y's, the majority of those years in his current position. He has brought pioneering health improvement programs to our local Y including First Step Fitness, Exercise is Medicine and Walk Franklin County.

4. YOUTH AS CHANGE MAKERS: Engaging Youth in Food Justice and Community Development

Participants will discuss how we, as a community, can create innovative agriculture and food justice programming for youth.  Young adults from Seeds of Solidarity’s SOL Garden (Orange, MA), will share their experiences as members of a pioneering food justice education project. Workshop participants will discuss how to engage Greenfield’s next generation in cultivating food and community.

Carrie Petrik-Huff is a co-facilitator of SOL Garden, a program of the Seeds of Solidarity Farm in Orange, MA.  She is committed to reducing the threats of climate change and helping communities become more sustainable. For eight years, she worked in organic agriculture focusing on community education and sustainability.  As a geosciences graduate student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, she researches the possibility of storing carbon dioxide in geologic formations in Massachusetts to help mitigate climate change. In her spare time, Carrie can be found in her side yard farm in Greenfield with her family growing food.

SOL Gardeners TBA.

5. SUSTAINABLE BUSINESSES 101: What does it take?

Three local business owners/managers will share their experiences starting, growing and sustaining ‘green’ companies. Come hear their stories, challenges, and insights and engage in a discussion of how we create jobs and revitalize our regional economy as we build a vibrant post-carbon future.

Teresa B. Jones, facilitator, is an associate professor of science at Greenfield Community College who coordinates the Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency program. She works closely with GCC colleagues, businesses, organizations, high schools and citizens to co-create educational opportunities that support career success and economic sustainability.

Gregory Garrison has twenty-five years of experience in logistics, management, business start-ups, consultation, rescue, and restructuring. In 2009, while sitting a class room, he made a commitment to pay back his 38 million ton carbon debt and has refocused his energies to the advancement and deployment of sustainable energy initiatives.

Brandon Turner is the owner of Renewed by the Son, a solar contracting business in Erving.  Renewed by the Son designs and installs solar hot water and solar photovoltaic systems.

Neal Bannon started Apollo Contracting with Brianyn MacLeod in 2010 after completing GCC's renewable energy program. By combining Neal's construction experience with the skills and techniques learned at GCC, they offer a range of services including installation of renewable energy systems and energy efficient construction.

Afternoon workshops

1. FOOD SECURITY:  A Household Approach

What can we do as individuals and families to make our food healthier and more secure? Come learn about what is happening in Greenfield’s community gardens, backyards and kitchens. Meet people who are growing vegetables, raising chickens and using food preservation skills that our ancestors took for granted. Handouts with information about how to follow up with these ideas, composting and more.

Jay Lord is the Director of Just Roots and a board member of the Franklin Community Co-op. Jay first knew Franklin County as a farmer. He farmed in East Colrain for many years. His family grew produce, built and ran a commercial kitchen/ bakery, and milked a small herd of goats. Later Jay helped to found and staff the Northeast Foundation for Children.

Wendy Marsden spent part of her childhood on a subsistence-level farm in northern Vermont; this experience instilled in her an ethos of emergency preparedness.  "Winter is coming" could be her motto.  Buying in bulk and cooking from scratch with storage foods are two good habits she has parlayed into eating locally.  She lives in Greenfield with her husband and children, who think food preservation is normal.  She is a member of Greenfield Redevelopment Authority and Co-op Power.

Eveline MacDougall founded the Pleasant St. Community Garden in Greenfield in 1999.  She grew up in a farming family from Quebec.  When she is not directing a chorus or playing the fiddle, she has her hands in the soil.

Kimberly Walker-Goncalves learned, as a librarian's daughter, that anything you want to do is possible, as long as you are willing to do the research and work hard. This is how Kimberly has translated a broad liberal arts education and a career in early childhood into a passion for chickens. It all started when she thought a few chickens in her town backyard would be healthy and tasty and connect her children to their food from the source. Today, Happy Abbott Eggs is a working CSE (community sustained EGGriculture!

Seniors are getting younger every day - they have energy, opinions and a wealth of wisdom. How do we tap their potential in creating Greenfield’s Future and the future of our region? How can we make this “maturing” of our communities an opportunity rather than a threat?  What are the obstacles we face? How can community life be adapted to support people to age in place as vital contributors to the future of Greenfield and Franklin County?

Jamie Godfrey is the director of the Shelburne Senior Center which provides direct service programs to the seniors of West County. He is working on a plan to organize new multi-generational neighbor-to-neighbor support networks that enrich the lives of people as they age. He is interested in aging as an opportunity for inner growth.

Lesley Kayan is the Healthy Aging Coordinator at Franklin County Home Care Corporation.  She recruits, trains and supports volunteer “leaders” who facilitate workshops on healthy aging at senior centers throughout Franklin County and the North Quabbin region.  She is a health education trainer and coordinator.

Estelle Cade is Volunteer Receptionist and central support to director Hope McCary at the Greenfield Senior Center. A Franklin County resident for most of her life, Estelle has gone from student to Senior citizen in the blink of an eye. A twenty year career with the Mass. Dept. of Mental Health provided her with insight into the needs of people living in this area.  Her special interests are in Healthy Aging and Transportation needs of elders.


Three community leaders at very different organizations will discuss how sustainability is their guiding principle.  They will explore how building a green emphasis into their business planning has affected their work.

Kate Snyder, facilitator, worked as a journalist and writer before making a career change and earning a master’s in sustainable landscape planning and design in 2010. She now is the coordinator of the Greenfield Business Association where she promotes economic development in Greenfield through buy-local campaigns and arts and culture initiatives. She also is launching a landscape design business with a focus on stormwater management and native habitat.

Alden Booth is the co-founder of The People’s Pint, which opened on January 1, 1997.  “The Pint” was built upon principles of recycling and minimum waste and continues to this day with this philosophy as the core of its business model.  It is a center of community life in Greenfield.  More recently, he opened the Gill Tavern.  Both restaurants serve “fare made from fresh, locally produced ingredients whenever possible in an atmosphere that fosters friendship, community, and respect for our environment.”

Ashley Schenk is a member of the core organizing committee of Valley Time Trade. He is also working closely with the non-profit, Common Good Finance, to develop a truly democratic economic system. He lives in a collective house in Montague, where he is exploring new ways of fostering inter-reliance during these turbulent times.

Lynn Benander, has worked since 1996 to develop sustainable energy resources based on a community-ownership model.  As Manager of Co-op Power, she has supported the development of five solar installation businesses and Energia - a multi-family/commercial building energy services company in Holyoke, MA.  She has supported the development of affordable, sustainable energy products and services for Co-op Power's members and supporters.  She is Chair of the Energia board of directors and of the Northeast Biodiesel board.


How do we create a localized economy?  Every community is unique.  How does Ben’s knowledge and experiences inform with Greenfield’s reality?  How do we make this local economy, particularly the food economy, accessible to low and moderate income residents?  Do you have other questions for Ben?  Would you like to discuss a particular aspect of his talk or his book?  Here’s your opportunity.

5-6. OPEN SPACE DISCUSSIONS:  In the open space discussion rooms, people can continue discussing a topic that was part of a workshop or explore ideas that were not included in today’s workshop format.