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C of I to host 'Farm to Table' celebration of Idaho food

The College of Idaho campus is set to celebrate Idaho farmers and food with an on-campus event Saturday, Oct. 1. “Farm to Table: Celebrating Idaho’s Food” will feature a variety of activities including a bus tour from Boise to the College’s campus in Caldwell with samples of local wine and beer, a dinner highlighting local food prepared by C of I food service provider Bon Appétit, presentations on local and sustainable food habits and a free public symposium that includes a lecture by visiting Idaho State University professor Dr. Susan Swetnam and a performance by the Fool Squad. Tickets, available at www.treasurevalleyfoodcoalition.org, cost $15 for the bus trip and $30 for dinner and must be purchased by Sept. 23. No ticket is required to attend the public symposium.

“Through this evening of delectable dining and informative entertainment, The College of Idaho demonstrates its commitment to the local food movement,” said Dr. Rochelle Johnson, a professor of Environmental Studies at C of I and a co-organizer of the event. “We are eager to welcome folks to campus to celebrate The Year of Idaho Food with us.”

“Farm to Table” is a joint effort between C of I and “2011: The Year of Idaho Food,” a grass-roots, statewide look at the surprising variety of foods grown in Idaho as well as the social, economic and environmental significance of those foods. The bus trip will depart Boise at 4 p.m. and event organizer Janie Burns, a local farmer and founding board member of the Treasure Valley Food Coalition, will give travelers a farmer’s view on the local food and agriculture scene.

Dinner will be held at 5 p.m. inside the newly remodeled Simplot Dining Hall. Guest speakers include Bon Appétit district manager Sam Currie and the College’s student sustainability stewards, who maintain an organic garden, raise chickens and promote sustainable living habits through various programs and activities on campus. The all-local menu will be freshly prepared and will include a vegetarian option.

The public presentation begins at 7 p.m. in Jewett Auditorium. Swetnam, a respected food scholar and author of multiple books, will be the evening’s first speaker. She will address early Idaho’s food culture.  The Fool Squad – comedians Tom Willmorth and Joe Golden, a C of I theatre professor – will perform a new show on the local food movement.  Finally, Scott Knickerbocker, a C of I professor of English and Environmental Studies, will give some brief thoughts on the challenges, opportunities and future facing Idaho food.

The bus will return to Boise by 9:30 p.m. “Farm to Table” is sponsored by The College of Idaho, The Year of Idaho Food, the Treasure Valley Food Coalition and the Idaho Humanities Council.

Founded in 1891, The College of Idaho is the state’s oldest private liberal arts college. It has a century-old tradition of educating some of the most accomplished graduates in Idaho, including six Rhodes Scholars, three Marshall Scholars, and another ten Truman and Goldwater Scholars. The College is located on a beautiful campus in Caldwell, Idaho. Its distinctive PEAK curriculum challenges students to attain competencies in the four knowledge peaks of the humanities, natural sciences, social sciences and a professional field, enabling them to graduate with an academic major and three minors in four years. For more information on The College of Idaho, visit www.collegeofidaho.edu.