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Email Announcements Received Today:

1) ASU’s Sustainability Film Series Begins Jan. 20 with “Fed Up”

The 2015 Sustainability Film Series at Appalachian State University begins Jan. 20 with the screening of “Fed Up,” which examines America’s obesity epidemic. Films will be shown on the third Tuesday of each month beginning at 7 p.m. in I.G. Greer Theatre. The films are free and open to the public. A panel discussion will follow each film. The series is sponsored by The Goodnight Family Sustainable Development Department, Belk Library and Information Commons, Department of Geology and Office of Sustainability. In addition to “Fed Up,” the series includes “Thin Ice,” “Surviving Progress” and “Mission Blue.” The films were selected to help viewers better understand the challenges facing humankind and the planet and to broaden observations regarding environmental and economic sustainability and social justice. “Fed Up,” shown Jan. 20, examines America’s obesity epidemic and the food industry’s role in aggravating it. Filmmaker Stephanie Soechtig and TV journalist Katie Couric lead viewers through the exposé that uncovers why, despite media attention, the public’s fascination with appearance, and government policies to combat childhood obesity, generations of American children will now live shorter lives than their parents did.  Panelists for “Fed Up” include New York Times bestselling author Dr. Colin Campbell, Dr. Lanae Ball from Appalachian’s Department of Nutrition and Health Care Management and dietetics student Chloe Paddison. Campbell is the co-author of the bestselling book “The China Study” and is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University. His latest book is “Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition.” Panelists for remaining films in the series will be announced at least two weeks prior to each screening. For more information, visit http://sustain.appstate.edu/2015filmseries. “Thin Ice” will be shown Feb. 24. The film’s producers talked to researchers on four continents who explain their work measuring changes in the atmosphere, oceans and ice sheets to create a film that puts a human face on the international effort and range of human activity and scientific endeavor required to understand Earth’s climate system. “Surviving Progress,” shown March 17, was produced by Martin Scorsese. The documentary explores the concept of progress in the modern world, guiding viewers through “progress traps” facing civilization in the areas of technology, economics, consumption and the environment. “Mission Blue,” shown April 21, documents scientist, explorer and visionary Sylvia Earle’s three-year effort to save the oceans. The film is part action-adventure and part exposé of an eco-disaster as more than 100 scientists, philanthropists and activists gather in the Galapagos Islands to help fulfill Earle’s lifelong wish to build a global network of marine protected areas.

2) Boatright Presents Cello Recital Jan. 22

Alex Boatright, a 2012 graduate of Appalachian State University’s Hayes School of Music, will present a cello recital Jan. 22 on campus. Her performance begins at 6 p.m. in Broyhill Music Center’s Recital Hall. Admission is free. Boatright will perform “Suite No. 2 in D Minor, BWV 1008” by Johann Sebastian Bach, “Sonata for Piano and Cello No. 3 in A Major, Op. 69” by Ludwig van Beethoven, “Sonata for Cello and Piano” by Claude Debussy and “Elfentanz (Dance of the Elves) Op. 39” by David Popper. She will be accompanied by pianist Elizabeth Brown. Boatright is a performer and teacher of classical cello and traditional Irish music in the Washington, D.C., area. She has performed as a soloist with the Appalachian Symphony Orchestra and as a member of a number of string quartets and orchestras in the D.C. metro area. Aside from her work as a cellist, Boatwright is a multiple All-Ireland champion and is one of the premier concertina and harp players in the United States. Boatright earned a bachelor’s degree in cello performance at Appalachian where she studied with Dr. Ken Lurie. She currently is working towards a Master of Music Performance degree at the University of Maryland. Brown is pursuing a doctorate degree in collaborative piano at the University of Maryland. She graduated cum laude from Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Arts in English literature and a Bachelor of Music in piano performance. Brown spent the past summer at Songfest, an intensive art song festival at Pepperdine University, where she participated in master classes with Graham Johnson and Martin Katz. She has also attended the Aspen Music Festival from 2007-10, the American-Russian Piano Institute in St. Petersburg, Bowdoin Summer Music Festival, and the Opera Theater and Music Festival of Lucca. Brown is in demand as a piano teacher and collaborator throughout the Washington D.C. area.

3) Campus Emergency Test System Tested Feb. 4

Appalachian State University will conduct a full test of its emergency notification system – including siren, email, voice and text messaging and the Alertus desktop notification system – Wed., Feb.4 , at 11:55 a.m. The siren test will consist of a 75-second discontinuous air horn tone followed by a pre-recorded voice message that says, “This is a test. This is a test of the emergency warning system. This is only a test.” The all-clear activation will consist of a 20-second alert tone followed by a pre-recorded voice message. Appalachian uses multiple methods to notify and communicate emergency information to the campus community. The AppState-ALERT siren warning system is designed to provide campus students, staff, faculty and visitors with an audible notification of an emergency event that affects campus.

4) ASAP’s Annual Business of Farming Conference Returns Feb. 14

ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project) kicks off the new year with their annual Business of Farming Conference on Feb. 14, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m. at UNC Asheville. The conference—which focuses on the business and marketing side of farming—promises to offer more learning and networking opportunities for regional farmers than ever before. What’s new this year? Returning farmers will discover a new conference location at the beautiful Sherrill Center at UNC Asheville, featuring an expanded exhibitor hall and larger classroom spaces, allowing for more farmers to attend the annually sold out conference. Pre-conference workshops are available for farmers to investigate a variety of current topics including agritourism, value added processing, and food safety. The conference features 17 workshops, including new options such as “Accepting SNAP and EBT at your Farmers Market” and “Managing Risk on Your Farm.” During the two-hour lunch break, farmers will meet one-on-one with marketing, media, and business consultants as well as lawyers from Ward and Smith, P.A. The popular Grower-Buyer Meetings also return with more than 15 restaurant owners, grocers, and distributors. “Participating in the Grower-Buyer meetings gave me an opportunity to clearly explain how farmers should approach working with us.” says Bridget Kennedy, Produce Manager of Katuah Market. For farmers who are just getting started to those looking to expand their markets, the Grower-Buyer meetings provide new business connections and valuable learning opportunities. Registration is now open at asapconnections.org/conference; attendance is $75 with a discount for multiple farm registrants. Pre-conference workshops can be registered for separately. The Business of Farming Conference is made possible with support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Risk Management Agency, Southern Risk Management Education Center, and Farmers Market Promotions Program, as well as The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina, Golden LEAF Foundation, and many more community partners. In addition to offering valuable training and technical assistance, market connections and networking opportunities, this conference also introduces farms to the wide variety of services, resources, and materials offered by ASAP. Well known for the comprehensive Local Food Guide, ASAP also operates the Appalachian Grown™ program that certifies family farms as authentically local to the Southern Appalachian region and includes branded packaging and promotional materials, cost share funds for labels and marketing materials, and one-on-one market planning assistance.

5) Boone LPU Planning Committee Meeting Held Jan. 26

The Boone LPU Planning Committee will hold a meeting on Monday, Jan. 26, at 12:30 p.m. at the Watauga County Library. The event is free to attend.

6) Viticulture Conference Held Feb. 26

On Thursday, Feb. 26, the Sustainable Appalachian Viticulture Institute, Jewel of the Blue Ridge Vineyard, and the French Broad Vignerons, will host the 5th Annual Grape Growers Conference in the Madison County Cooperative Extension auditorium in Marshall NC. Come learn how to participate in the fastest growing industry in North Carolina that provides over $1.5 billion economic impact in NC. The all-day conference will feature speakers from around North Carolina who will share information on everything from growing cold-hardy grapes to making wine. The goal of the ongoing Grape Growers Conference is to expand its participation by commercial growers, wineries and craft beverage makers across the region. “There will be interesting speakers with useful information to help you grow cold-hardy grapes in the mountains” says Chuck Blethen, the conference organizer. The Sustainable Appalachian Viticulture Institute was formed five years ago to provide educational opportunities in organic and biodynamic viticulture for cold-hardy grapes in Western North Carolina. Studies of other similar regions show the economic impact of the many businesses and jobs that are created from the grape industry. More than 150 different products can be derived from grapes including preserves, balsamic vinegar, paper, bio-fuel for energy generation, pigments for paints, neutraceuticals and many other value-added products. Wine is just one product, but a very important one, that helps create tourism in the grape-growing regions. Chuck also states “Western North Carolina has the right soils, the right amount of rain in most areas, the right climate, and farmers who know how to grow things. The farmers who own their land, have farming equipment, and have a long heritage of growing crops on the steep slopes of the mountains are our most valuable resources.” The conference Early Bird registration fee is $45 paid in advance before midnight Feb. 12. Registration fee includes lunch, coffee break refreshments, handouts, and free parking. From February 13 to February the registration cost online will be $50. Online registration is now available at www.GrapeSAVI.org until noon on Tuesday, Feb. 24. Registration fee includes lunch, coffee break refreshments, handouts, and free parking. (Walk-in registration will be $55 but will not guarantee a lunch will be available.) People who register in advance will receive a copy of the agenda and directions to the conference location. For additional information about the upcoming conference, schedule a TV appearance or radio interview, please contact Chuck Blethen, Executive Director, Sustainable Appalachian Viticulture Institute, 828-606-3130 or email Blethen@GrapeSAVI.org