Last week, College Station played host to Foodways Texas’s Annual Symposium, centering on the theme “Farm to Market 2014.” In case you missed it – and we hope that this will serve as a call for you folks to attend the next! – enjoy this fascinating and detailed write-up of the symposium from Kelly Yandell. We’ve pasted an excerpt below that explains what the symposium offers; the full post detailing some of the conversations that occurred (and some more of her wonderful photos) can be found here.
We meet yearly in support of a greater academic archiving project run through the University of Texas to document the diverse cultures of Texas. In fact, Foodways Texas just became a permanent part of UT’s American Studies Department. The panels, talks, and discussions this year were centered on the topic of agriculture at the aptly titled Farm to Market 2014: 4th Annual Foodways Texas Symposium. This alone would have been enough to hold my attention for two days. And, the meals at the symposium would have been enough to justify the cost of admission had there been no discussions at all.
But the enduring draw of this event is the fascinating group of people that it brings together. We are scholars, writers, farmers, ranchers, chefs, food lovers, entrepreneurs, photographers, scientists, and all manner of other professionals and people who simply love Texas, Texas food and foodways, and Texas history and cultures. This is not to say by any means that we all share the same point of view on some of these thorny agricultural topics. In fact, with a group this diverse it is virtually guaranteed that our interests, backgrounds, and opinions will diverge. But the very convivial nature of the gathering ensures that we all seek each other out and use it as an opportunity to think, more so than to merely form opinions. The time limitations and the number of topics covered mean that we barely scratch the surface of the topics we approach; however, for many of us it is the first time we have ever considered the lives and businesses of some of our peers.