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Samantha Jameson

Executive Director

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Samantha Jameson joins Real Local RVA after spending over a decade working in multiple sectors of the local food movement, advocating for small and community-based farms.  Raised in the mountains, Samantha has spent a lifetime pursuing the same close, collaborative, and diverse community in which she was raised.  Having lived in Virginia, Texas, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, Samantha has found the local food movement uniquely able to connect people with the greater mission of sustainability and a more just, equitable, and healthy world.

As Sustainability Coordinator with Aramark at the University of Virginia, Samantha excelled in building local partnerships between corporate chefs and local farms and producers, bringing over thirty community-based farms into the dining rooms.  For Earth Week 2017, she founded the UVA Farmers Market, which continues each semester and brings thousands of students, staff, and faculty closer to their local food system.  She also helped secure a USDA Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification for the university’s student-run farm, the Morven Kitchen Garden, which grew produce later featured on campus menus.  In 2018, she was awarded the Staff Sustainability Award for her contributions to the UVA Sustainability Master Plan, recognized for her vision and leadership in the realm of sustainable food and green dining practices.  In addition, Samantha has worked with two local community development boards to develop strategies for increasing community engagement and access to local, healthy food.  Her graduate work helped identify potential food-growing sites in Aberdeen, Scotland to develop urban agriculture initiatives for communities that lacked access to fresh food.

As Executive Director for Real Local RVA, Samantha looks forward to building a robust network of local farmers, producers, and businesses in the Richmond area.  Her vision is for Real Local RVA to act as the primary hub for networking, education, and economic development for those promoting and participating in the local food movement in central Virginia.   She can be reached by email at samantha@reallocalrva.com, or on social media @reallocalrva.

 

Among other professional pursuits, Samantha has volunteered on farms in Texas, Iceland, England, and Scotland, and firmly believes that there is nothing better than eating a fresh vegetable picked right off the vine (especially tomatoes)!  Samantha holds a Bachelor of Science in Geography and Sustainable Architecture from Texas A&M University, and a Master of Science in Environmental Partnership Management from the University of Aberdeen.  Local food is her passion, so when not advocating for Richmond’s local producers, you can find her growing her own food and herbs, experimenting in the kitchen, and finding inspiration in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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