Blue Ridge Food Ventures
Executive Director
Track E: Cluster Focus
Financing Agribusiness & the Local Food System

Smithson Mills is an economic development consultant living in Asheville N.C. Smithson has led numerous feasibility studies and grant-funded projects to increase economic opportunities for farmers, small food businesses and rural communities. He has served as a contract grants officer for the N.C. Tobacco Trust Fund, and has served as a coach for the N.C. Rural Center’s Small Towns Economic Prosperity program.  He currently serves as interim director for Blue Ridge Food Ventures, the largest food business incubator in the Southeast. Smithson is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill and the Monterey Institute of International Studies. He is married to Kathy Mills, a media specialist with Buncombe County Schools. They have two children and a dog.