SERA-47 2020 Annual Meeting

Registration Link:

SERA-47 Goal: The goal of SERA-47 is to strengthen the southern region extension and research system to support local & regional foods needs and priorities.

Conference Expectations: The virtual annual conference will provide participants with the opportunity to:

  • network,
  • collaborate in multistate extension and research projects, and
  • participate as we set vision and strategy for the work of SERA-47.

Conference Objectives:

  • Develop a vision for 2021 and set the stage for the new 5-year proposal which will be submitted in 2021.
  • Discuss work completed, identify future action plans, and select leadership for each working group.
  • Learn what is happening around local and regional foods around the region especially related to the impact of COVID-19, social justice/equity, and food access on local foods work.
  • Elect a secretary and identify leadership for the working groups.

Virtual Annual Meeting Draft Agenda

*All times are EST

Day 1 – December 9:

  • 10:00am Welcome and Introduction of SERA 47 – Karen Vines, Virginia Tech, 2020 Chair SERA-47
  • 10:15am Institutional Shout-outs
  • 10:35am Minutes from 2019 Annual Meeting – Marcus Coleman, LSU AgCenter, 2020 Secretary SERA-47
  • 10:45am Working Group Introductions
    • Strengthen Impact Evaluation – Hannah Dankbar, NC State, Chair
    • Resource Bank – Janie Burney, University of Tennessee-Knoxville, Chair
    • Room 3:  Successful Models – Quisto Settle, Oklahoma State University, Chair
    • Room 4:  Learning Communities – Leslie Hossfeld, Clemson University, Chair
  • 11:00am Question and Answer Period
  • 11:20am Working Group Breakout Rooms
  • 12:30pm Return to Main Room – Working groups will report program successes during the past year and plans for future meetings during the week, plans for meetings on Thursday.
  • 1:00pm           Meeting adjourned

 Day 2 – December 10

  • 11:00am: Operationalizing Equity Across Land Grants and Their Partners Through Local Food Systems – A panel/speaker session facilitated by the Learning Communities working group.  Suggested topics: COVID 19 and Food Access; Social Justice/ Equity and Food Access.  The timing of the session will be discussed by the Learning Communities working group.
  • Afternoon: Working Group Additional Time  – Working Group work time to develop plan of work for 2021 & recommendations for proposal for 2022-2027.  Scheduled by work groups so this can be promoted with meeting materials. Chairs responsible for deciding and setting up the means to which they will meet (conference call, Zoom, etc.)

Day 3: December 11

  • 10:00am Welcome – Karen Vines, Virginia Tech, 2020 Chair SERA-47
  • 10:15am USDA Update (TBA)
  • 10:30am Working Group Reports – Plan of work for 2021
  • 11:30am Visioning Group New Proposal Discussion – 2020 SERA-47 Visioning Committee
    • Vivian Carro-Figueroa, University of Puerto Rico
    • Hannah Dankbar, NC State University
    • Dave Lamie, Clemson University 
  • 12:15pm Expectations and Recommendations – Administrative Advisors –
    • Ed Jones, Virginia Tech
    • Dr. Robert Houtz, University of Kentucky
  • 12:30pm Reflections – Karen Vines, Virginia Tech, 2020 Chair SERA-47
  • 12:40pm Nomination/Election of a Secretary – Virginie Zoumenou, University of Maryland-Eastern Shore, 2021 Chair SERA-47
  • 12:50pm Moving Forward – Virginie Zoumenou, University of Maryland – Eastern Shore, 2021 Chair SERA-47
  • 1:00pm Meeting Adjourned

Working Group Information

  • Strengthening Impact Evaluation
    Objective:  Strengthen the capacity of research and extension professionals in the Southern Region for gathering, communicating, and promoting impact data and analyzing secondary data through identification and sharing of common measures, resources, and tools by reporting on an annual basis. Working group chair, Hannah Dankbar(
  • Resource Bank
    Objective:  Design a user-friendly and robust repository of local foods system resources that meet the needs of extension and research professionals in the land-grant system.  Working group co-chairs: Janie Burnie ( and Russ Garner (
  • Successful Models
    Objective:  Identify successful processes, collaborative leadership, networking frameworks, creative staffing, and organizational structures of land-grant universities participating in the development of local and regional food systems. Working group co-chairs: Quisto Settle ( and  Dave Lamie (
  • Learning Communities
    Objective:  Create distributed learning communities of land grant professionals from at least 15 land grant universities in the South and local, state, and federal partners around high-priority needs in the food system.  Working group co-chairs: Leslie Hossfeld ( and Iris Crosby (

 Please come join us!


Farmers Markets

Farmers Markets provide communities with direct access to fresh, nutritious foods. They give growers a market to sell their wares and give consumers a direct line to their food production. The resources listed below are designed to help in the establishment, accessibility, and management of a local farmers market.

Resources for the establishment of farmers markets

Resources for increasing accessibility in farmers markets

Resources for management of farmers markets

For information on the impact of COVID-19 on farmers markets, please look under the COVID-19 Farmers Market tab in the menu above.

Food Access

Consumer choices about food spending and diet are likely to be influenced by the accessibility and affordability of food retailers—travel time to shopping, availability of healthy foods, and food prices.  Some people and places, especially those with low income, may face greater barriers in accessing healthy and affordable food retailers, which may negatively affect diet and food security.

ERS is a national leader in measuring the people and places facing barriers to accessing healthy and affordable food and conducts research examining the consequences of food access limitations on food spending, diet, and health. See:

ERS conducts economic analyses of:

  • the extent and characteristics of people and places that lack access to healthy and affordable foods, and
  • the relationships between food access and food shopping and spending patterns, diet, and health.

ERS also provides publicly available mapping tools for indicators of the food environment that allow users to create maps and download data—the Food Environment Atlas and the Food Access Research Atlas.

Last updated: Tuesday, August 20, 2019

For more information, contact: Alana Rhone and Michele Ver Ploeg

2020 SERA-47 Leadership Team


    • Chair – Dr. Karen A. Vines, Assistant Professor & Extension Specialist, Virginia Tech & Virginia Cooperative Extension
    • Vice-Chair – Dr. Virginie Zoumenou, Professor & Extension Specialist, University of Maryland Eastern Shore, 1890 Nutrition & Program Leader
    • Secretary – Mr. Marcus Coleman, Program Director, Grow Louisiana Beginner Farmer Training Program, Louisiana State University AgCenter
    • Past-President – Dr. Iris Crosby, Extension and Outreach Manager, University of Arkansas Pine Bluff Agriculture Demonstration and Outreach Center

Working Group Leadership:

Learning Communities:

    • Chair – Dr. Leslie Hossfeld, Dean, College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences, Clemson University
    • Vice-Chair – Dr. Iris Crosby, Extension and Outreach Manager, University of Arkansas Pine Bluff Agriculture Demonstration and Outreach Center

Resource Bank:

    • Chair – Dr. Janie Burney, Professor & Extension Specialist, University of Tennessee Extension, Knoxville
    • Vice-Chair – Mr. Russ Garner, Extension/Research Associate, Southern Rural Development Center

Strengthening Impact Evaluation:

    • Chair – Dr. Dara Bloom, Associate Professor & Extension Specialist, North Carolina State Extension
    • Vice-Chair – Ms. Hannah Dankbar, Local Food Program Manager, North Carolina State Extension

Successful Food System Models:

    • Chair – Dr. Quisto Settle, Assistant Professor, Oklahoma State University
    • Vice-Chair – Dr. Dave Lamie, Professor, Clemson University

Visioning Committee:

    • Dr. Vivian Carro-Figueroa, Assistant Dean of Research, Experiment Station, University of Puerto Rico
    • Dr. Hannah Dankbar, Local Food Program Manager, North Carolina State Extension
    • Dr. Dave Lamie, Professor, Clemson University

Administrative Advisors:

    • Extension – Dr. Edwin Jones, Director, Virginia Cooperative Extension, Virginia Tech
    • Research – Dr. Robert Houtz, Director, Kentucky Agricultural Experiment Station & Associate Dean for Research, College of Agriculture, Food, & Environment, University of Kentucky


Home Food Preservation

Webinars and Training (Time Sensitive)

Virginia Cooperative Extension FST-HFT-01 – Home Food Preservation (Virtual Program). This short self-paced course will provide participants with the basic knowledge of safe home food preservation methods. Registration Deadline: October 15, 2020

Online Training

These basic videos are provided by University of Minnesota Extension and cover all the basics. 

Preserve@Home is a six-week online class from University of Idaho Extension for individuals who want to can and preserve foods for their families


Preserve It & Serve It: A Children’s Guide to Canning, Freezing, Drying, Pickling and Preparing Snacks With Preserved Foods is a 47-page book that teaches the basics of preserving with boiling water canning, freezing, refrigerating, quick pickling and drying. Step-by-step methods are illustrated and several child-friendly recipes are provided for using each of the preserved foods. Available from University of Georgia Extension.


USDA Department of Agriculture, Complete Guide to Home Canning, 2015 revision

University of Georgia Cooperative Extension, So Easy to Preserve, Sixth Edition

Judging Home Preserved Foods from the National Center for Home Food Preservation, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service

Publications from the National Center for Home Food Preservation

Publications from universities

Other Resources

Canning Timer & Checklist App from Oregon Extension Service

Webinars from Penn State University on freezing, drying and canning

Need to check consumers’ dial gauge canners for accuracy? Information on ordering the Presto Test Unit #81288 here


COVID 19: Local Producers & Direct Marketers

These resources related to LOCAL PRODUCERS & DIRECT MARKETERS have been provided by institutions of higher education in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic:

Food Safety Protocols for Produce

Cleaning & Sanitation

Connecting Producers, Markets, and Food Lovers



Other Relevant Resources

COVID 19: Grocery Shopping/Stocking the Pantry

These resources related to GROCERY SHOPPING/STOCKING THE PANTRY have been provided by institutions of higher education in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic:

Cooking/Food Preparation

  • Food Preservation Basics Videos (Website) University of Minnesota Extension*
  • Common Ingredient Substitutions ( Blog) Alabama Extension
  • Washing Produce (PNG) NC State Extension

Food Selection

  • Healthy Shelf-Stable Foods (Blog) Alabama Extension

Grocery Shopping

  • Alternate Ways to Get Food (Blog) Alabama Extension
  • Food Budget Buying for Two Weeks (Blog) Alabama Extension
  • Grocery Pickup and Delivery (PNG) NC State Extension
  • Handling Groceries (PNG) NC State Extension
  • Helpful Food and Shopping Tips (Blog) Alabama Extension
  • Is Coronavirus a Concern at Grocery Stores? (Co-branded)
    • NC State Extension (PDF)
    • Virginia Cooperative Extension (PDF)
  • Minimizing Risk (PNG) NC State Extension
  • Tips for Shopping and Eating at Home (Website) Alabama Extension
  • Top Tips for Grocery Shopping (PNG) NC State Extension

Reusable Bags & Containers


  • Ensuring an Adequate Water Supply (Blog) Alabama Extension

*Thank you to our friends in the North Central Extension region.