The talk will be held virtually via Zoom and in-person at 107 Norman Smith Hall, UMaine.
- Virtual attendance: Complete the registration form for Zoom connection information
Speaker: Ernesto Méndez, Professor of Agroecology, University of Vermont
A discussion of the potential for transforming food systems – from farm to plate – through agroecology. Transformative agroecology seeks to collaborate with farmers, academics, activists and policy makers to better understand and transform food systems. We assess core causes driving food system issues, and through a participatory research approach seek solutions that are also centered on equity. An example with coffee farmers in Mexico is used to illustrate the challenges and opportunities of this approach, and discuss its future potential in different contexts.
Ernesto Méndez is Professor of Agroecology at the University of Vermont (UVM), where he is the inaugural faculty director of the recently launched Institute for Agroecology. His research and teaching focus on agroecology, smallholder coffee systems, participatory action research (PAR), and transdisciplinary research approaches. He has over 25 years of experience working with smallholder and Indigenous farmers in Latin America and collaborating in agroecology efforts in Vermont and around the world. He is also active in advancing issues of justice, equity, anti-racism, diversity and belonging. He has authored or co-authored over 65 peer-reviewed articles and chapters, co-edited three books and co-authored one textbook. Ernesto was born and raised in El Salvador and maintains deep connections with his Central American roots.