January 7-9, 2016
Anthony Flaccavento of SCALE was our 2016 keynote speaker. Anthony is an organic farmer near Abingdon, Virginia, in the heart of Central Appalachia. He has been working on community environmental and economic development in the region for the past 27 years. In 1995, he founded Appalachian Sustainable Development, which became a regional and national leader in sustainable economic development. Anthony left ASD in December, 2009 to found SCALE, Inc, a private consulting business dedicated to catalyzing and supporting ecologically healthy regional economies and food systems. SCALE works with community leaders, farmers, foundations, economic development agencies and others in Appalachia, Iowa, Michigan, New Mexico the Arkansas Delta and other communities. Anthony speaks and writes about sustainable development, economics, food systems and rural development issues extensively, with some of his pieces appearing in the Washington Post, Huffington Post, Solutions Journal and elsewhere.
Anthony is the author of Healthy Food Systems: A Toolkit for Building Value Chains, and has also authored chapters in books on rural development and ecological literacy. Most recently SCALE Inc produced Is Local Food Affordable for Ordinary Folks?, a study of farmers market affordability in six states in Appalachia and the Southeast.
In 2012, Anthony ran for the United States House of Representatives in Virginia's 9th district, winning the Democratic nomination. Although unsuccessful in the general election, the campaign enabled him to meet and talk with thousands of farmers, loggers, miners, small business owners and others, whom he found to be very excited about the ideas of sustainable development and a "bottom up" economy.
Anthony has received a number of awards and honors for his work in recent years, including the Ford Foundation Leadership for a Changing World Award, and selection by Blue Ridge magazine in 2009 as one of Central Appalachia's most important agents for positive change. He was a Kellogg National Food and Society Policy Fellow during 2007 and 2008, and a Fellow with the Business Alliance for Local, Living Economies (BALLE) in 2010/2011. Anthony has a BS degree in Agriculture and Environmental Science from the University of Kentucky and a Masters degree in Economic and Social Development from the University of Pittsburgh. He is married with three grown - and terrific - children.
The keynote address is sponsored in part by Lincoln University.