Virginia Food Systems Leadership Institute

The Virginia Food Systems Leadership Institute (VFSLI) fosters rising leaders in the area of sustainable food systems by combining content knowledge in food systems, competency development in leadership, and direct experience helping re-localize Virginia’s food systems. VFSLI is for graduate students, advanced undergraduate students, and food system practitioners seeking professional development opportunities. Offering a potent mix of theoretical training, practical skills, and hands-on experience, VFSLI will facilitate career advancement in both new and established sectors of local and regional food systems in Virginia and beyond.

For more information about the project, go to Seeds of Change: Cultivating the Next Crop of Food Systems Leaders.

Schools are spending millions of dollars on food, and we saw the chance to offer campus food providers an option to source fresh, sustainable local fare which would generate both environmental and economic benefits. What’s more, we also recognized the need to support small-to medium-sized growers by helping them access institutional markets—a real boost for Virginia’s rural economy.

Andrew WingfieldAssociate Professor of Integrative Studies

Andrew Wingfield
Associate Professor of Integrative Studies

Dr. Mike Ellerbrock
Professor of Agricultural Applied Economics

Grant Info

  • 2016 – 4-VA awarded GMU $20,000 and VT $5,000 for Virginia Food Systems Leadership Institute.

Benefits to the Commonwealth

Making locally-sourced sustainably-produced fresh food more accessible across Virginia