Lillian Fountain Smith Nutrition Conference to discuss food distribution, public health

Samantha Ye

woman standing in front of display table with dairy products
The 37th Lillian Fountain Smith Nutrition conference  features speakers on dietary assessments and health effects of nutrition. (Photo courtesy of CSU College of Health and Human Sciences)

The semester may be ending, but the learning opportunities are not.

Students, educators and professionals can still register for the 38th Lillian Fountain Smith Nutrition Conference to be held May 15-16 in the Lory Student Center.

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Registration is open on the LFS website through May 10, with a late registration fee afterward. For those who cannot attend, slides of the speakers’ presentations will be online after the conference.

This year’s theme, “The Food System: Novel approaches to its application for public health,” focuses not only on nutrition but how the production and distribution of food impact public health.

This marks a shift away from previous years which focused mainly on the science and research behind human nutrition, said conference coordinator Elisa Shakelton.

“This year we wanted to kind of step back and look at how people are getting the food and then what might be impacting either their actions to the food or the quality of the food that’s actually being delivered to people,” Shakelton said. “As we look at safe and healthy food, there’s just so many more parts and pieces than just telling people to eat apples.”

Nine experts from around the country will speak about the present and possible future of food distribution and the food system’s roles in getting people healthy meals.

Nutrition professionals and educators are encouraged to attend, but so is anyone interested working within food systems such as farmer’s markets or food banks.

The daughter, granddaughter and great-granddaughter of Lillian Fountain Smith will also be attending the conference this year, marking the first time all three generations have come. Add in the spirit of Smith, for whom the event is named, that makes four generations attending this unique legacy, Shakelton said.

Smith was a Colorado State University alumna who, recognizing the importance of proper nutrition, made donations to the University for a fund to host an annual nutrition conference.

“It was her vision that people would come and every year, get some new nutrition education information from the latest research across the country,” Shakelton said. “We are just so appreciative that she did that for us and that we are able to share this with health educators … all across the country.”

Although not a highly marketed event, Shakelton said the conference draws about 200 people each year, with 176 registrants so far. The size is ideal for networking or discovering new job possibilities, Shakelton said.

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The cost of attendance for the full two-days is $150 for professionals and $125 for students and professionals 65-years or older. Other registration packages can be found on the website.

Net conference proceeds support the Lillian Fountain Smith Scholarship, according to the website.

The conference, once annual, will switch to a biennial event starting this year, Shakelton said.

“As nutrition educators, I think we’re hoping that we can help people to better navigate the food system and find the healthiest types of food to eat for what their nutritional goals are,” Shakelton said.

Collegian reporter Samantha Ye can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @samxye4.