Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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Speaker Biographies



RACHEL MARIE STONE (M.A., Loyola University Chicago) is the author of Eat with Joy: Redeeming God's Gift of Food and a regular writer for Christianity Today's Her.meneutics blog. She has also written for such publications as Christianity Today, Books & Culture, Catapult, Relevant, Flourish and The Huffington Post. She enjoys gardening and meal-making with her husband and two sons. She is coeditor (with Timothy Stone and Julius Steinberg) of the forthcoming book The Shape of the Writings.


CHARLES “CHIP” JONES is the manager of the agricultural program at Stratford Hall, the home of the Lees and childhood home of Robert E. Lee. As farm manager, Chip seeks to showcase 18th century crops using 21st century agricultural knowledge. Through rotational planting systems and grazing, cover crops, conservation tillage, and nutrient management planning, he aims to demonstrate a productive farm that improves the soil quality and is environmentally sustainable. He is a frequent speaker on ways to protect farmland and open space through grants of easements, estate planning, and other financial management strategies. He is a Gulf War veteran and graduate of Virginia Tech with a degree in agricultural and applied economics.

MARTHA STAFFORD is the owner and instructor of The Charlottesville Cooking. She graduated from Peter Kump's New York Cooking School (now The Institute of Culinary Education) in 1990 and was awarded The Blue Ribbon. After graduation Martha apprenticed with Chef Wayne Nish of March Restaurant in New York City and worked for Yura Cafe and Catering and the Cleaver Company Catering. After working as recipe editor on several prestigious cookbooks, Martha started the Charlottesville Cooking School in 2008, teaching amateur and professional chefs, as well as hosting talks and seminars including "Healing Your Relationship With Food". Martha supports a variety of community organizations such as the City Schoolyard Garden, The Local Food Hub, and the City Market. Martha lectures each summer as part of the Food Politics Seminar at UVA's Morven Summer Institute. She has also served as the consulting chef to The Charlottesville City Schools to develop vegetarian meals that could be prepared from scratch.

Workshop Leaders

DOMINIC BARRETT is the Executive Director of Shalom Farms, a sustainable urban farm at Westview on the James in Goochland. In addition to providing leadership on a number of local and regional food access initiatives, he has served on the Governor’s Transition Council on Agriculture and Forestry and is on the board of the Virginia Food System Council where he works to develop statewide strategies to improve the food system in ways that benefit the most poor and marginalized communities. In 2010, Bread for the World recognized Dominic as one of the “the best and brightest young advocates” on issues of hunger. Other recognition include Style Weekly’s 2012 Top 40 Under 40, The Valentine’s Richmond History Maker award for social justice, and Style Weekly’s 2014 Power List.

THE REV. CASS BAILEY instigated Bread and Roses, a community kitchen and garden at Trinity Episcopal Church, Charlottesville, to address food education and food access for the neighboring community. Pastor Cass, as he likes to be called, completed his undergraduate education at Amherst College and graduated from the Berkeley Divinity School and Yale Divinity School. Before coming to Trinity Pastor Cass served as rector at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church in Kailua, Hawaii for twelve years.

MARTHA MORRIS is the program coordinator for Bread and Roses. Born and raised next to the Blue Ridge Mountains, she grew up attending Grace Church, Stanardsville. After graduating from William and Mary with a degree in English and Environmental Studies, Martha decided to put her hands in the soil and began working on organic farms in Virginia and North Carolina. She gardened and lived in community for two years at Innisfree Village in Crozet, VA. She is currently pursuing a Masters in Urban and Environmental Planning at UVA.

SAMANTHA TAGGART is Allegheny Mountain Institute Fellow and Elementary School Garden Coordinator in Charlottesville, VA. She came to AMI after developing a passion for community food systems and environmental stewardship while studying Environmental Thought and Practice at the University of Virginia. Sam attends St. Paul's Memorial Church where she is one of the chairs of the Environmental Stewardship Committee.

BUCK BLANCHARD is the Director of Mission & Outreach for the Diocese of Virginia. His role is to encourage and facilitate the mission and outreach efforts of all parishes in the Diocese. Buck was born and raised in Richmond and graduated from the University of Colorado. From 1980 to 1982, Buck served in the Peace Corps in Togo, West Africa. Buck worked as a lawyer for Hunton & Williams and lived in Brussels, Belgium for five years, helping to establish the firm’s European business practice and its office in Warsaw, Poland. After returning to the United States, Buck worked in the venture capital industry and ran his own private equity firm. He joined the diocesan staff in 2006.