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Dr. Gary Fick, Professor of Crop & Soil Sciences, Cornell University


September 16, 2011 at 9:30 PM EDT


411 Willard Straight Hall

As Christians, we believe that God created the world for both celebration and stewardhip. Although Christians have not always taken that charge seriously, and the dominance of technology has led to indifference about the choices we make concerning food, there is a resurgent interest in thinking carefully and Christianly about our food choices.

Prior to the lecture, a limited seating dinner will introduce you to some of the topics of the evening. Our chef will talk to us about how he prepared the meal and choices that went into his selections and preparations. A local bakery cooperative will offer a bread tasting. One of the Fingerlakes outstanding wineries will offer a wine tasting. We’ll have an opportunity to meet the farmer who will provide our main course. And more! Our goal is to stimulate both stewardship and creativity as we live our whole lives to the glory of God and delight in his good gifts.

Following dinner, Dr. Gary Fick, Professor of Soil & Crop Sciences at Cornell and author of Food, Farming, and Faith, will provide a keynote address. Then panelists will engage us in conversation about how food relates to theology, hospitality, stewardship, worship, contentment, diet, pros/cons of organic and natural farming, food cooperatives, seasonal eating, and more.

Dinner (very limited seating): $50. [DINNER IS NOW FULL]

Lecture and Panel, 7:30pm, Upstairs in the “Hayloft”: Free and Open to the Public. Seating for 120.

Our panelists will include the following:

Matt LeRoux works for Cornell Cooperative Extension -Tompkins County as the Agriculture Marketing Specialist on a five county team. He has also worked for the New England Heritage Breeds Conservancy and as an ultrasound technician beef carcass quality for the New England Livestock Alliance. Recently, he completed a Master’s in Agricultural Marketing.


Ryan O’Dowd is a Senior Visiting Lecturer of Aerospace Studies at Cornell University. He holds degrees from the U.S. Air Force Academy, Reformed Theological Seminary, and the University of Liverpool (PhD), and previously taught Religion and Biblical Studies in Canada. He is the author of The Wisdom of Torah: Epistemology in Deuteronomy and the Wisdom Literature (V&R, 2009) and, with Craig Bartholomew, Old Testament Wisdom Literature: A Theological Introduction (IVP Academic, 2011). See his recently published article, “Thought for Food.”

Melanie Soberon is a PhD candidate in Animal Science at Cornell, mother to an energetic 2 year old, and farm girl at heart. She grew up on a hobby farm in Illinois raising sheep, hogs, horses, chickens and vegetables but gained the perspective of a true farmer when her family relocated to Wisconsin during her second year of high school to farm full-time. At that time, she became active in her family’s farm, managing the flock of 500 ewes, putting up hay with her dad and sister and direct marketing retail cuts of lamb with her mother at the St. Paul Farmer’s Market. She has BS degrees in Animal Science and Life Science Communications from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and a Master’s in Animal Science from Cornell. She currently studies the effects of feed-derived compounds on milk quality and sensory properties. In 2009, she won the Emerging Scientist Competition at the American Forage and Grassland Council annual meeting for her research. In addition, Soberon has taught or assisted in numerous Cornell undergraduate courses including Animal Nutrition, Animal Agriculture, and Society and Sustainable Animal Husbandry.

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