MU hosts Food, Fuel and Society conference

Tuesday, October 12, 2010 | 9:37 p.m. CDT; updated 10:33 a.m. CDT, Wednesday, October 13, 2010

COLUMBIA—Holding one conference per year is a condition of the two-year grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting that created Harvest Public Media, a collaboration among six midwestern public broadcasting stations.

This year, academics, journalists, foodies and aggies congregated at MU’s Reynolds Journalism Institute for the Food, Fuel and Society conference, held Tuesday. The conference drew an estimated 170 people for lectures and panel discussions on topics such as biofuels, local food movements, farm labor and food recalls.

“The conferences have a public outreach function,” said Frank Morris, executive supervisor for the grant and news director at KCUR, NPR’s Kansas City affiliate. “(The Corporation for Public Broadcasting) really wants people to know this is going on, and it’s also useful for our reporters to be exposed to these conversations.”

Online participants also joined in on panel discussions via Twitter, Facebook and a live blog. The event was streamed live online.

“We’ve had a really good response with people contributing in multiple ways," said Tim Lloyd, Harvest Public Media’s multimedia editor. "I’d say we’ve been pleasantly surprised by the number of people getting involved online.”

The conference closed with tastings of local wine, beer and food, and a showing of Edward R. Murrow's 1960 documentary "Harvest of Shame."

The Reynolds Journalism Institute has made live blog transcripts available.

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