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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture

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Sustainable Ag News and Information

Congressman Mark Takano to Address Seedstock’s “Grow Riverside” Sustainable Agriculture Conference

February 6, 2014 |

Congressman TakanoPress Release – Seedstock today announced Congressman Mark Takano (CA-41) as the opening day luncheon speaker for the “Grow Riverside: Citrus and Beyond!” conference. The March 19-20 event, to be held at the Riverside Convention Center, will assist cities in examining and developing solutions to reconnect with their agricultural roots as well as evaluate potential economic and public health benefits of sustainable urban agriculture.

Representative Takano presently serves on the House Veterans’ Affairs and the Science, Space and Technology committees. Prior to being elected to Congress, Takano spent 23 years as a high school teacher in the Inland Empire and more than 20 years on the Riverside Community College Board of Trustees. The Congressman, an advocate of “slow food” – an international movement founded by Carlo Petrini in 1986 – will share his perspective on this fast food alternative and the quest to preserve traditional and regional cuisine through the farming of plants and seeds characteristic of the local ecosystem.

“The progressive sustainable urban farming innovations to be presented at this event will prove an invaluable asset to Riverside and its environs,” said Congressman Takano. “I am greatly impressed with the forward-thinking leaders of this historically rich agricultural region and look forward to witnessing the future success of the collaborations that are certain to be generated as a result of the Grow Riverside conference.” Read More

Seedstock’s “Grow Riverside” Sustainable Agriculture Conference Nears Discounted Registration Deadline

January 9, 2014 |

grow riverside speakersRIVERSIDE, CA– Little more than a week remains to obtain discounted registration for the “Grow Riverside: Citrus and Beyond!” Conference (http://growriverside.com).  The event, to be held Wednesday and Thursday, March 19-20, at the Riverside Convention Center, will assist cities in examining and developing solutions to reconnect with their agricultural roots and unite citizens, growers, advocates, government officials and other major stakeholders around the economic opportunities that can result from employing sustainable agriculture. Read More

New York Distributor Brings the Farmers’ Market to the Supermarket; Increases Local Food Access

January 3, 2014 |
Dan Horan, President & CEO of Five Acre Farms Image Credit: Five Acre Farms

Dan Horan, President & CEO of Five Acre Farms
Image Credit: Five Acre Farms

Dan Horan had a notion back in 1989 that started with a college essay and turned into a business plan: enlist the cooperative efforts of various small farms in the region to supply supermarkets with locally produced foods. The idea of bringing the farmers’ market to the local supermarket was planted, he says.

“Fast-forward to 2010,” says Horan. “I sold the company I was involved with and hired my first employee.”

The name for Horan’s new venture, Five Acre Farms, came from the principle of small, local agriculture serving its local communities, according to Horan.

“Our focus was on the mainstream customer,” says Horan, “improving their access to local food where most of the shopping is happening—in the supermarkets. Less than 10 percent of people can support the farmers’ market. We wanted to be in the mainstream shopping centers.” Read More

Urban Farming Startup Sees Opportunity in Aeroponic Tower to Increase Local Food Production in New Orleans

December 16, 2013 |
Image Credit: VertiFarms

Image Credit: VertiFarms

Fresh produce in New Orleans usually arrives from places like California or Florida. One company wants to change that.

Vertifarms began providing aeroponic farms for New Orleans food businesses in 2011, when company co-founders Doug Jacobs and Kevin Morgan-Rothschild began partnering with Florida-based FutureGrowing to bring aeroponic tower systems to restaurants, markets, grocery stores, and non-profit organizations that want to grow their own local crops.

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Food Leaders to Gather Dec. 15 at ‘EatingLA Food Fair and Forum’ to Create Plan for Local Food System in L.A.

December 9, 2013 |

eatingLA food fairNews Release — LOS ANGELES, December 9, 2013 — Prominent food leaders from across the Los Angeles region will gather on December 15 at the inaugural EatingLA Food Fair and Forum to create a plan for a local food system. The spectrum of panelists includes urban gardeners, permaculturists, gleaners, foragers, restauranteurs, chefs, food truck advocates, urban planners and food policy experts. The event will also include a family-friendly holiday artisanal food market with cooking demonstrations and a film screening. The EatingLA Food Fair and Forum will take place on Sunday, December 15, from 12-5PM at the EarthWE Gallery at Bergamot Station in Santa Monica, and is a collaboration between Homemade1616, EarthWE, Project Butterfly, and Rhyzotek. Read More

Speakers at Seedstock’s “Grow Riverside” Conference to Examine Opportunities for Urban and Local Ag

December 3, 2013 |

citrus and beyond speakersHow can cities leverage unused agricultural land to increase the supply of locally available and create new jobs and farmers? What small scale urban agriculture solutions are bearing fruit? Is it possible to create an economically viable farming business on one or two acres of land? How can the USDA help? What are innovators in the sustainable urban agriculture space doing? What policy needs to be put into place to facilitate an active agricultural economy in a city and on its fringes?

These and other questions will be the focus of Seedstock’s upcoming Grow Riverside: Citrus and Beyond! conference, which is set to take place on March 19 – 20 at the Riverside Convention Center in Riverside, CA. The event will feature urban agriculture innovators, key policy makers, nutrition experts, and investors, who will partake in a two-day, outcomes-based conference to examine solutions to help cities, Riverside in this particular case, to galvanize their citizens, growers, advocates, government officials and other major stakeholders around the economic opportunities that can result from employing sustainable urban agriculture. Read More

Seedstock “Grow Riverside” Conference to Examine Economic, Community Benefits of Local Urban Agriculture

November 21, 2013 |

grow riverside 300News Release: Riverside, CA – November 21, 2013 – Grow Riverside: Citrus and Beyond!, slated for Wednesday and Thursday, March 19-20, 2014, will reconnect the City of Riverside to its agricultural roots as well as provide a template for other cities interested in identifying the economic and community advantages of local sustainable farming.

The objectives of the conference, to be held at the Riverside Convention Center, will define opportunities for food production within Riverside’s environs, explore solutions to sustainably increase local food in an economically viable manner, and develop practical next steps to leverage the area’s rich agricultural assets.

“One of society’s burgeoning challenges is the need to establish local, sustainable food sources,” said Seedstock co-founder and Grow Riverside event organizer, Robert Puro. “The conference seeks to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in sustainable agriculture by uniting citizens, growers, advocates, government officials, and other major stakeholders to forge new partnerships and, ultimately, develop creative solutions to building and expanding local urban agriculture.” Read More

New ‘Virtual Grange’ Connects Young Farmers in a Digital World

November 14, 2013 |
Image Source: Virtual Grange

Image Source: Virtual Grange

Though you might find some millennials paying their dues in entry-level office jobs, increasing numbers of “agri-preneurs” in their twenties and thirties are opting for a more independent, agrarian lifestyle by establishing small, sustainably managed farms.

In many cases, these new farmers are the first in their families to choose farming as an occupation. Starting a farm is no guarantee that it will prosper, and many enterprises fail. Without a strong family background in farming or a community to rely on, young farmers’ chances of success are diminished.

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