Seedstock 3rd Annual Sustainable Ag Innovation Conference Packs Punch with Stellar Slate of Expert SpeakersSeptember 16, 2014 | Robert Puro
Local food policy, urban agriculture strategy, and business model innovation are just a sample of the informative fare to be served up at the 3rd Annual Seedstock Sustainable Agriculture Innovation Conference – “Reintegrating Ag: Local Food Systems and the Future of Cities.”
The comprehensive, expert-rich program, to be held Tuesday and Wednesday, November 11-12, at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, will focus on the economic, environmental and community benefits that result from the development of a robust local food infrastructure. Participants from local food policy experts and urban agriculture entrepreneurs to investors and thought leaders in the sustainable agriculture industry will explore new approaches to strengthen the marketplace for local food and foster the revitalization of urban areas by embracing innovation in sustainable agriculture.
This article is part of a Seedstock series profiling women who are leading change in sustainable agriculture and local food. Read more here.
In 2003, Natasha Lantz became a member and started volunteering at the Marquette Food Co-op, a store that sells locally-produced food in Marquette, Michigan, in the state’s Upper Peninsula. Now, she serves as the organization’s outreach director.
As a volunteer, Lantz found herself unloading trucks, pricing merchandise and stocking shelves. She enjoyed her work, but noticed that not much outreach to the community was taking place. She asked management if she could start a bulletin board—this was approved. She later successfully ran for a position on the Co-op’s board of directors, and kept volunteering.
The City of Lexington, Kentucky has initiated a new local foods program as part of its economic development efforts.
Tapped to manage this new initiative is Lexington native Ashton Potter Wright, who has served as local food coordinator for Mayor Jim Gray’s office since the first week of June.
Wright previously served as operations manager of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move Child Care campaign, where she was able to network with people from around the country. She holds a doctorate in public health from the University of Kentucky and worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She also serves as president of the board for Lexington-based Tweens Nutrition and Fitness Coalition.
“The position was in the works for three years or so,” says Wright. “It’s modeled after a similar position in Louisville, Kentucky.” Her territory includes not only Lexington, but also Lexington’s county, Fayette County.
Excerpt: “A 13-episode series examining our food system called Food Forward, premiering on PBS stations across the country and streaming on PBS.org beginning this week.”
Source: Civil Eats
Situated on the last few acres of a 140-year old family homestead, Everitt Farms hopes to serve as a platform for a local food district, returning a new Denver suburb to its old agricultural roots.
Located in Lakewood, Colorado, the farm is an urban agricultural experiment initiated by husband-and-wife team Derek and Kamise Mullen.
“We both have really wanted to do something like this for honestly, a good portion of our lives,” says Kamise Mullen. “It really wasn’t until we got married about four years ago that we actually started really growing food and trying to farm at all.”
Named after the first root to appear from a seed, Radicle Farm Company of New Jersey is rethinking the sustainable leafy greens concept. Through an aggregated network of local hydroponic farms, Radicle offers its living salad products to the wholesale and retail market.
“We want to be large,” says Christopher Washington, Managing Director of the company that started in 2013. “All the research that we’ve done has indicated that the consumer wants to support local product; it’s not really groundbreaking. What is groundbreaking is that companies that get the most traction are private brands in agriculture.”
This piece is the part of a Seedstock series profiling women who are leading change in sustainable agriculture and local food. Read more profiles here.
As writer of the Smarter Food column for the Washington Post, among many other outlets, Jane Black has been a prolific journalist on topics of food, food politics, and sustainable agriculture. She has made it her career to broaden the discussion around the creation of a more sustainable food system, by taking culture and scale into consideration. Seedstock recently had the opportunity to speak with Jane to discuss her career so far, the path she took to get there, and what’s next in the pipeline for her career.
“The idea for the Smarter Food column really came from my reporting,” Jane explains, “I wanted to look at what was not getting a lot of coverage; the nitty gritty stuff that needs to happen to make real change.”
Only 2 More Days to Obtain Discounted Early Bird Tix for Upcoming Seedstock Sustainable Ag ConferenceSeptember 8, 2014 | Robert Puro
The event, to be held Tuesday and Wednesday, November 11-12, at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, will focus on the economic, environmental and community benefits that result from the development of a robust local food infrastructure.
Day 1 of the conference will be comprised of an urban farming field trip on which attendees will get a sneak peak at Los Angeles’ first multi-faceted food production business incubator for local entrepreneurs along with a tour of a blossoming 1.5-acre high school campus urban farming operation in Pasadena and a visit to a hydroponic shipping container farm in the L.A. Art District.
Agriculture has been a way of life in New Mexico for centuries. The communal irrigation canals, or acequias, and the lands they water have been passed down by family farmers generation after generation.
Today, New Mexico is returning to its agricultural roots as a way to revitalize its cities.
Espanola, New Mexico, a town of just under 10,000 people located 22 miles from Santa Fe, is leading the way with a regional food hub initiative to connect farmers with consumers while bringing new life to the city’s downtown.
Excerpt: “Diet quality has improved among people of high socioeconomic status but deteriorated among those at the other end of the spectrum. The gap between the two groups doubled between 2000 and 2010. That will be costly for everyone.”
Source: The Atlantic