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Seedstock 3rd Annual Sustainable Ag Innovation Conference Packs Punch with Stellar Slate of Expert Speakers

September 16, 2014 |

speakers seedstock conference

Top Row (left to right): Clare Fox, Los Angeles Food Policy Council; A.G. Kawamura, former Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture; Nurit Katz, UCLA Sustainability. Bottom row (left to right): Michel Algazi, Freshology and Food Centricity; Sasha Kanno, Long Beach Local and Farm Lot 59; Rickey Smith, Urban Green.

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.

“The marketplace for local food continues to grow in lockstep with consumer demand.” said Robert Puro, Seedstock’s co-founder. “This conference aims to explore how policy makers, growers, entrepreneurs, city officials, investors and businesses at all ends of the supply chain can further accelerate the growth of local food systems across the country.”

The conference is ideally suited for new and established farmers looking to share ideas or develop connections with suppliers and buyers, economic and community development officers exploring job stimulus programs, as well as urban planners, restaurant owners, investors, technology companies, agriculture suppliers and others.

The conference begins with 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 Downtown Los Angeles Arts District.

On day two (Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014) of the conference, attendees will convene at the UCLA Anderson School of Management in Los Angeles for a series of panels and breakout sessions that will address the definition, economic impact, long-term benefits, challenges, and solutions associated with the development of a vigorous local food infrastructure.

A.G. Kawamura, former Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture and co-chair of Solutions From the Land Dialogue, will deliver the keynote address, drawing upon his extensive knowledge of California’s agricultural landscape and the challenges and opportunities associated with the development of local food systems in cities and counties across the U.S.

Register here:

Additional confirmed speakers who will share their insights and innovations include:

  • Robert Egger is the Founder and President of L.A. Kitchen, which recovers fresh fruits and vegetables to fuel a culinary arts job training program for men and women coming out of foster care and older men and women returning from incarceration. L.A. Kitchen is currently holding a pilot program at St. Vincent Meals on Wheels, and will move into its own kitchen facility in 2015.
  • Erik Cutter is Managing Director of Alegría Fresh, a new start-up in Laguna Beach that utilizes high-efficiency hydroponic vertical farming systems to produce and distribute superior locally-grown salad greens and vegetables. He has over 35 years experience growing food using organic techniques and is a leading pioneer in developing the use of hydroponic vertical farm technologies that are far more resource efficient than traditional farming processes.
  • Clare Fox is the Director of Policy and Innovation for the Los Angeles Food Policy Council (LAFPC), an independent non-profit created by the City of Los Angeles to advance food systems policy. She collaborates closely with a large network of food advocate, public and private sector representatives to catalyze projects and build leadership capacity for a sustainable and equitable food system in Southern California.
  • Michel Algazi is Chairman and CEO of Freshology, a leader in nationwide delivery of personalized, chef-designed, freshly-made and nutritionally-balanced meals. He also is founder of Food Centricity™, a unique food business accelerator that focuses on breaking market, business and financial barriers for early and growth stage food companies.
  • Kim Kessler is the Policy and Special Programs Director of the Resnick Program for Food Law and Policy at UCLA School of Law, a newly created program dedicated to studying and advancing law and policy solutions to improve the modern food system.

Additional presenters at the conference include: Rob Trice, founder of Better Food Ventures and The Mixing Bowl; Colin Archipley, co-founder of Archi’s Acres and the Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training Program; Nicola Kerslake, founder of New Bean Capital; Mark Glassock, director of special projects for the Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust; Sasha Kanno, founder of Long Beach Local and Farm Lot 59; Mud Baron, project director at Muir Ranch; Daniel Allen, CEO of Farmscape; Erika Block, founder and CEO of Local Orbit; Dwight Detter, Whole Foods Market Local Forager for the Southern Pacific region; John Mesko, executive director of the Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota; David Rosenstein, founder of EVO Farm; Chef Erik Olberholtzer, co-founder of Tender Greens; and, Rickey Smith, founder and principal of Urban Green.

Register here:

For updates to the program and other information pertaining to the event, ticket prices, program speakers, and registration, please visit:

About Seedstock:
Seedstock s a social venture that fosters the development of robust and sustainable local food systems through consulting services and the use of a variety of tools, including the news and information blog Seedstock ( and live events. Seedstock works with government agencies, municipalities and all private sector stakeholders to create a sustainable food ecosystem of innovation, entrepreneurship and investment.

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