Eric Bendfeldt works as an Extension Specialist for Community Viability with Virginia Cooperative Extension and Virginia Tech’s Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences, and is a co-chair of the VFSC. His focus areas are community-based food systems, sustainable economic development, soil health and environmental stewardship, and agricultural entrepreneurship. Eric is a member of the Virginia Food System Council for which he previously served as Chair, and served as lead author on the recently released Virginia Farm to Table Plan. He also worked to facilitate the development and organization of the Shenandoah Valley Produce Auction. Eric and his wife, Mary, worked with Mennonite Central Committee in Tanzania, East Africa from 1988 to 1995, where Eric worked as a community development coordinator and agriculturalist. Eric completed a B.A. in history from James Madison University in 1987, a B.S. degree in Crops and Soil Environmental Sciences in 1997 and a M.S. in Forestry in 1999 from Virginia Tech. He is a 2008 Fellow of the Virginia Natural Resources Leadership Institute. Eric and Mary have three grown children: Freeman, Hannah and Amanda. Eric enjoys biking, reading, hiking and golf.