NCTC and the Josey Institute host Sustainability Faire

Elizabeth F. Dieter | Sep 8, 2017

On September 21, 2017, North Central Texas College and the Josey Institute of Agroecology will co-sponsor a forum on climate change and a sustainability faire in the Leo and Mabel Scott Health Science Center (HSC) on the Gainesville Campus from 5:30 pm until 8:00 pm. 

The forum entitled “Where in the World are We—and You—on Changes in Weather, Climate, Nature?” will begin at 7:00 pm in the Lecture Hall. Special guest Pat Hoerth, an advocate for sustainable agriculture and a published author, will engage the community in an interactive dialogue on issues involving environmental sustainability. Ms. Hoerth is the director of Turtle Rock Farm, a farm in Red Rock, Oklahoma dedicated to modeling sustainable practices in living and farming.   According to Ms. Hoerth, “Some people may feel overwhelmed or paralyzed by what appears to be happening in nature around us. They may have questions they are reluctant to raise or they may feel powerless to act. Others attempt to deny problems exist.   Our program models how to find common ground and communicate on complex issues and problems we must face together.” She adds, “All that is required is that people come with an open mind and an open heart, ready to talk about what to do to care for the planet. There is no charge, no political agenda, only an opportunity to participate in a dialogue that is so critical at this time in human history.” Dr. Brent Wallace, Chancellor of NCTC, noted that this group has spoken at the college before and was well received by both students and the community. 

Prior to the forum, local organizations and businesses that support sustainability will have the opportunity to share information about their programs using tables set up in the foyer of the HSC Building. Facilitated by Dr. Lisa Bellows, NCTC science professor and director of the Josey Institute of Agroecology, and Dr. Pat Ledbetter, NCTC history and humanities professor, this informal exchange of ideas and information will begin at 5:30 pm. Dr. Bellows is an expert in habitat regeneration and sustainable agriculture, who has worked with such organizations as the Dixon Water Foundation and the Thomsen Foundation, and has conducted research with the Noble Foundation on soil health. “We are especially interested in businesses that are engaged in producing for local markets using sustainable practices, such as farming and ranching operations. But anyone who wants to share ideas is welcome to join us,” said Dr. Bellows. To show support for such businesses, locally grown food, such as grass-fed beef and locally produced corn, will be available for sampling. 

If you are interested in participating or attending the event and have any questions, you can contact Dr. Ledbetter at or Dr. Bellows at