GL-oc-conf-logo-ID-v1Slated for Thursday, November 10 (Conference Day) and Friday, November 11 (Future Farm Field Trip) at California State University, Fullerton, Grow Local OC: The Future of Urban Food Systems Conference presented by Seedstock and the OC Food Access Coalition will focus on the community and economic development potential of urban and local food systems efforts in Orange County – to improve food access and health outcomes, connect people to their food, and create new jobs and business opportunities by employing innovative business models and farming systems of the future.

The conference will serve to galvanize the citizens, growers, advocates, government officials and other major stakeholders in Orange County around the positive economic and community development outcomes that can result from the creation of healthy and vibrant local food systems in the county and on its fringes.   

To register, click here:


November 10 (Day 1): Grow Local OC Conference Day

Attendees will convene at the Titan Student Union at California State University, Fullerton in Fullerton, CA for a series of panels and keynotes that will address the positive community and economic development outcomes that can result from the creation of healthy and vibrant urban food systems. Confirmed speakers for the November 10 conference day include:

Karen Ross – Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture
Mark Lowry – Director of the Orange County Food Bank
Rachel Surls – Sustainable Food Systems Advisor for UC Cooperative Extension
Ed Horton – President and CEO of Urban Produce LLC
Colin and Karen Archipley – Co-founders of Archi’s Acres and the VSAT Program
Derek Lutz – Asst. Vice President at American AgCredit
Aaron Fox – Asst. Professor, Urban & Community Agriculture at Cal Poly Pomona
Frank Fitzpatrick – Owner of 5 Bar Beef
Glenn Tanaka – Owner of Tanaka Farms
Kimi McAdam – Asst. Dept. Administrator for Food and Nutrition Services at Kaiser Permanente
Chris Higgins – General Manager at Hort Americas
Tim Alderson – Executive Director at Seeds of Hope
Chef Adam Navidi – Founder, Future Foods Farms and Oceans & Earth Restaurant
Rishi Kumar – Co-founder and Director of The Growing Club
Christina Hall – Executive Director of OC Food Access Coalition
Jeremy Samson – Chair of Slow Food OC
Anna Maria Desipris – The Ecology Center/The Honeybee Hub
Erik Cutter – Managing Director of Alegria Fresh
Dwight Detter – Executive Director, Slow Money SoCal
Megan Penn – Executive Director of Orange Home Grown
Sara E. Johnson – Director of the Urban Agriculture Community-based Research Experience (U-ACRE) program at Cal State Fullerton
…and more!


November 11 (Day 2): Future Farm Field Trip

The second day of the event offers an Urban Food Systems field trip. Participants will have the opportunity to tour a diversity of innovative urban and state-of-the-art agriculture operations across Orange County – from an aquaponic community garden to an indoor vertical hydroponic farm and more – that are utilizing innovative growing systems and business models to grow the local food marketplace in SoCal. Participants will be treated to lectures and sessions that examine urban farming and community garden operations that are embracing innovative supply chain models to both increase food security and take advantage of the growing market demand for local food.

Presently scheduled stops on the field trip include:

Urban Produce

Irvine-based Urban Produce is an indoor vertical farming operation that uses advanced hydroponic technologies in a controlled environment. Urban Produce currently grows and sells organic microgreens that are available throughout southern California

Riverbed Farm

Riverbed Farm in Anaheim is an aquaponics community farm that uses minimal water to operate and produces over 2,000 pounds of food for underserved residents.

Future Foods Farms

Future Foods Farms, located on 25 acres in Brea, California, produces all organically grown products in several 2,000-4,000 square-feet greenhouses and is one of the largest aquaponic farms in the state.

Alegría farm

Alegría farm supports more than 60 cultivators growing over 50,000 plants utilizing hydroponic and natural, nutrient-dense configurations. The farm’s resource-efficient technologies demonstrate how urban microfarms can supply communities with locally grown, fresh produce while reducing transportation and preserving natural resources.