“Harvesting Rhode Island,” a pilot television series with RI PBS will promote public awareness through folk life studies by interpreting how this historically significant way of life on the farm will manage to survive and become more competitive through resourceful adaptation. The television pilot will explore how traditional systems can be creatively maintained and become more of a dynamic marketplace. Introducing the general public to the farmers of Rhode Island through television will give the public insights into the complex but easily taken-for-granted process behind products they consume.
The panel discussion is based on the research topic of Nursery Farming in Rhode Island, focusing on three nursery farms operating in the State of Rhode Island who were among some of the first to establish a business in the nursery industry.
The panel will feature an introduction by Alex Caserta, grant recipient of “Rhode Island Nursery Farmers” funded by the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, an independent state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Panel participants include:
Ken Ayars, Chief, Division of Agriculture, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management, who will talk about the history of farming in Rhode Island from the past to the present and the future of farming.
Heather Faubert, Entomologist, Cooperative Extension, URI who will discuss the support system offered to farmers by the University and how the farmers have benefited over the years from the services provided.
Jean Cotta, co-owner of Portsmouth Nursery and President of the Rhode Island Landscape and Nursery Association. Jean will talk about farming in Rhode Island and the constraints on the industry from the State and the political arena. How there is a need to develop a conscious awareness for saving the farmland in the State of Rhode Island.
Bruce Vanicek, owner of Rhode Island Nursery will discuss the day-to-day operations of the nursery industry and it’s future in the State. Bruce will talk about the importance of having a “Trust “ for family members and the impact of saving the land for future farmers.
There will be a question and answer session after the speakers.