If you’re curious about the potential for urban farming endeavors to generate community and economic capital, or how stakeholders – from farmers and food bank administrators to healthcare providers and community advocates – can build connections to foster robust local food systems, or how entrepreneurs utilize hydroponics and aquaponics to create new farm enterprises in cities, you won’t want to miss out on the upcoming Grow Local OC: Future of Urban Food Systems Conference.
The event, presented by Seedstock in partnership with the OC Food Access Coalition, is only SIX DAYS away. Scheduled for Nov. 10 – 11, 2016, at California State University, Fullerton (Hosted by U-ACRE), the conference will explore the community and economic development potential of fostering local food systems in cities.
Below is a summary of the conference details:
Day 1 – Conference Day
Day 1 (Nov. 10) of the conference, attendees will convene at the Portola Pavilion at California State University, Fullerton in Orange County, CA for a series of panels and keynotes that will address such topic areas as:
- Finding Funding for Local Food and Farming Ventures
- Urban Agriculture
- Food Access
- Controlled Environment Agriculture, from Hydroponics to Aquaponics
- Community and School Garden Development
Full Program: http://growlocaloc.com/conference/program
Tim Alderson – Vice Chairman at Solutions for Urban Ag
Rachel Surls – Sustainable Food Systems Advisor for UC Cooperative Extension
Ed Horton – President and CEO of Urban Produce LLC
Karen Ross – Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture
Nate Storey – CEO of Bright Agrotech
Farmer Glenn Tanaka – Owner of Tanaka Farms
Megan Penn – Executive Director of Orange Home Grown
Sonora Ortiz – Market Manager, Downtown Santa Ana Farmers’ Market
Rishi Kumar – Co-founder and Director of The Growing Club
Christina Hall – Executive Director of OC Food Access Coalition
Mary Abad – Deputy Executive Director, Slow Money SoCal
Aaron Fox – Asst. Professor, Urban & Community Agriculture at Cal Poly Pomona
Kimi McAdam – Asst. Dept. Administrator for Food & Nutrition Service at Kaiser Permanente
Derek Lutz – Asst. Vice President at American AgCredit
Mark Lowry – Director of the Orange County Food Bank
Rickey Smith – Founder, Urban Green
Colin and Karen Archipley – Co-founders of Archi’s Acres and the AISA Program
Chef Adam Navidi – Founder, Future Foods Farms and Oceans & Earth Restaurant
Frank Fitzpatrick – Owner, 5 Bar Beef
Chris Higgins – General Manager at Hort Americas
Jeremy Samson – Chair of Slow Food OC
Anna Maria Desipris – The Ecology Center/Honeybee Hub
Erik Cutter – Managing Director of Alegria Fresh
Dwight Detter – Executive Director, Slow Money SoCal
Sara E. Johnson – Director of the Urban Agriculture Community-based Research Experience (U-ACRE) program
Day 2 – Future Farm Field Trip (SOLD OUT!)
The Future Farm Field Trip on Day 2 (Nov. 11) of the conference offers an excursion into the diversity of urban and state-of-the-art hydroponic and aquaponic agriculture operations in Orange County. Tour participants will be treated to lectures and sessions from pioneering farmers who are embracing innovative business models and growing systems to both increase food security and take advantage of the escalating demand for local food.
Scheduled stops include:
- Urban Produce LLC – an indoor vertical farming operation based in Irvine, California that uses advanced hydroponic technologies in a controlled environment. Urban Produce currently grows and sells organic microgreens that are available throughout southern California
- The Riverbed – an aquaponics community farm in Anaheim, California that uses minimal water to operate and produce over 2,000 pounds of food for underserved residents.
- Alegría Farm – an urban farm that 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.
- Future Foods Farms – one of the largest aquaponic farms in the state, Future Foods Farms is located on 25 acres in Brea, California. The farm produces all organically grown products in several 2,000-4,000 square-feet greenhouses.
Garden Tower Project
OC Food Access Coalition
Agra Tech, Inc.
Oceans & Earth
Orange Home Grown
Association for Vertical Farming