The Beet at Ellwood Thompson's

4 North Thompson Street Richmond, VA 23221

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Richmond has a lot of things growing...

Join Beth Furgurson, Executive Director of Real Local RVA, as she moderates a panel of farmers, urban farming supporters, and agricultural sustainability advocates in the Richmond area. Go beyond the soil and vegetables to learn about the programs these leaders are establishing -- everything from facilitating urban greening to connecting small farmers with the much needed resources to mentoring urban agriculture certificate fellows. You'll leave with a greater understanding of the 'what's growing' in Richmond, its impact on our community's health, and how you can support these initiatives!

About the Panelists

David L. Seward

Horticulture Program Head And Associate Professor - Reynolds Community College (JSRCC)

David Seward is the Program Head for the Horticulture program at Reynolds Community College. A native Richmonder, David graduated from Virginia Tech with a masters in Horticulture. After many years working in landscaping and design, David joined the staff JSRCC in 2006 as the head of the Horticulture Program and is a Certified Landscape Designer and a Certified Horticulturist. The Horticulture program at JSRCC focuses on Landscape Design, Plant Production, Floral Design, Landscape and Turf Management and Sustainable Agriculture. David lives what he teaches on 25 acres in Montpelier, VA with his wife Susan, where he manages his own garden.

Duron Chavis

Manager of Community Engagement - Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden

Duron Chavis, a native of Richmond, joined the staff at Lewis Ginter in 2016. He is chiefly responsible for the Garden’s outreach and relationship-building across a diverse community, expressly to foster greater collaboration and facilitate neighborhood-based urban greening and beautiful place-making initiatives. A graduate of Virginia State University, Duron previously served as project director of the Harding Street Urban Ag Center, an indoor farming incubator funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Chavis is known nationally for his leadership in urban agriculture and is an advocate for community-designed solutions to local challenges. He is a graduate of Hope in the Cities’ Community Trustbuilding Fellowship program (2015) and Leadership Metro Richmond (2011); and is a certified Alternatives to Violence Project conflict resolution trainer. He has served on numerous public advisory councils, including the Citizens Advisory Board to the Maggie L. Walker Initiative for Expanding Opportunity and Fighting Poverty (2013-14); the Capital Region Collaborative Social Stability committee; and the Richmond Food Policy Task Force. He is the founder of the McDonough Community Garden, and has served as project coordinator for Renew Richmond’s community garden start-ups.

Michael Carter, Jr.

Small Farm Resource Center Coordinator - Virginia State University

Michael Carter Jr. is an agronomist/ agricultural consultant, husband, father, vegan, part time comic, and spent 5 years learning and sharing organic agriculture in West Africa. After graduating from NC Agricultural & Technical State University, Michael moved to Washington, DC. An immersion in the African Hebrew Israelite Community of Jerusalem led him to invest in and manage several vegan restaurants in the Washington DC area, and spend a great amount of time in Israel studying desert agriculture, organic ‘divine’ agriculture and drip irrigation. He has worked with African Hebrew Development Agency (AHDA) in Israel, where he worked on a development project in Asikuma, Ghana to establish an organic demonstration farm plot along with the Ministry of Health of Ghana. He co founded an alternative energy company, Plantroleum, which converted diesel vehicles to run on vegetable oil. In addition to his work with VSU’s Small Farm Outreach Program he sits on the board of the Virginia Association for Biological Farming (VABF) and is working to reestablish his family farm in Orange, Va.

Beth Nelson

Tricycle Urban Ag - Fellowship Program Manager

Beth Nelson is the Urban Agriculture Fellowship Program Manager for Tricycle, a non-profit organization in Richmond that is on a mission to grow a healthy future through urban agriculture. Beth joined Tricycle in 2016 to design the curriculum and program for Tricycle’s Certificate in Urban Agriculture that is offered in partnership with USDA-NRCS and Bon Secours - Richmond. Upon completing the program, Certified Urban Agriculturalists enter the field of urban agriculture by way of starting small scale commercial farms, community gardens, or by other activities that facilitate the connection of people and food. Beth holds a Master of Arts in Education, with a focus on adult education, from Central Michigan University. Her 25 year career in education, training, and program development is a reflection of her belief in the power of lifelong learning and her enjoyment of facilitating meaningful learning experiences and community engagement.

About Business Beyond Banking

C&F Bank's ‘Business Beyond Banking’ Speaker Series is a monthly breakfast program designed to provide small business owners access to information and education outside of the realm of banking. Each month will feature a different expert from various fields including branding, succession planning, organization, and now through their partnership with Ellwood Thompson’s, health and wellness!

Breakfasts will take place monthly and are free for anyone to attend. Registration and breakfast start at 8:00am, and the speaker runs until 9:15am.


Please email Neil Morrissette at

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