Jan. 10, 2019
NORTH ADAMS, MASS. — Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) announces the theme of the upcoming “Green Living Seminar Series” will be “Sustainable Food and Farming.” This 11-part series will begin on Thursday, Jan. 31, with a presentation on “Organic Certification: The Story Behind the Label” by Laura Davis, organic certification assistance coordinator and soil technical advisor for the Northeast Organic Farming Association, Massachusetts Chapter.

All “Green Living” seminars will take at 5:30 p.m. in room 121 of the Feigenbaum Center for Science and Innovation on the MCLA campus. Presented on Thursdays throughout the spring semester, this series is free and open to the public.

“Sustainable Food and Farming” will focus on the past, present, and future of how food is produced and distributed in our region and strategies for improving the sustainability of our food system.

“This series offers students and community members an opportunity to learn more about how food makes its way to our plate, and choices we have as individuals and as a society about how to ensure that everyone is able to enjoy fresh, healthy food now and in the future,” said Dr. Elena Traister, MCLA professor of environmental science.

Davis operates Long Life Farm in Hopkinton, a certified organic diversified organic vegetable Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm. In addition to assisting farmers and processors to navigate the organic certification process for the Massachusetts Chapter of Northeast Organic Farming, Davis is an independent organic inspector for Baystate Organic Certifiers of North Dighton.  

This semester’s Green Living Seminars will take place Jan. 31 to April 25. Future Green Living presentations include:

Feb. 2: “Cows Save the Planet: Soil, Climate, and the Promise of Regenerative Agriculture,” to be presented by Judith D. Schwartz, journalist and author of “Cows Save the Planet” and “Water in Plain Sight.”

Feb. 14: “Realizing the New England Food Vision,” presented by Julia Freedgood, assistant vice president of programs at America Farmland Trust

Feb. 21: “Farming in the City,” presented by Lydia Sisson, co-founder of Mill City Grows

Feb. 28: “Indoor Farming: The future of food?,” presented by  James Mayer, farmer at Grateful Greens
March 7: “Closing the Loop: Composting Food Waste,” presented by Trevor Mance, owner of TAM Organics LLC

March 14: “Sustainable Dining at MCLA,” presented by John Kozik, general manager of MCLA Dining Services, and Anthony Fiorentino, executive chef for MCLA Dining Services

March 28: “The Farm Bill: What it is and What it Means for Farming in the U.S.,” presented by Justin Chase, director of farmer training programs at Tufts New Entry Sustainable Farming Project
April 4: “Land Rich, Dirt Poor: Dairy Farming in New England,” presented by Sarah Gardner, associate director of the Williams College Center for Environmental Studies and lecturer in environmental studies at Williams College

April 11: “Climate-smart Agricultural Policy in New York,” presented by Julie Suarez, associate dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Science at Cornell University

April 25: “Innovating Open-Source Technology for Small-Scale Sustainable Agriculture,” presented by Dorn Cox, farmer at Tuckaway Farm, Farm Hack and FarmOS co-founder

Podcasts of this semester’s Green Living lectures will be posted online following each presentation at

MCLA’s Green Living Seminar Series hosts lectures by local, regional, and national experts. The seminars are organized around a central theme related to the environment and sustainability. The 2019 series is a presentation of the MCLA Environmental Studies Department and MCLA’s Berkshire Environmental Resource Center.

For more information, go to or contact Traister at (413) 662-5303 or

Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) is the Commonwealth's public liberal arts college and a campus of the Massachusetts state university system. MCLA promotes excellence in learning and teaching, innovative scholarship, intellectual creativity, public service, applied knowledge, and active and responsible citizenship. MCLA graduates are prepared to be practical problem solvers and engaged, resilient global citizens.

For more information, go to