Living in the bread basket of the world, it’s eye-opening to realize that most of the food we Iowans buy is imported from other states and countries.
We’ve been lucky to have groups like the Iowa Valley RC&D and now the Field to Family Regional Food Coalition, which work to increase the accessibility of local foods.
One of those initiatives is the Iowa Valley Food Co-op, in which members buy and sell fresh produce, meats, dairy products and more through an online shopping site, with pick-up in Cedar Rapids. As a member, I can attest that this is one of the best ways to buy local. Check it out here: http://iowavalleyfood.com/
One of the driving forces behind the Co-op, Jason Grimm, shared the following about an upcoming summit that will further those efforts:
IOWA CITY – Come to the Table is a special program of the Field to Family Regional Food Coalition with the goal of bringing together farmers with bakers, butchers, grocers, chefs, schools, hospitals, distributors, and many more buyers of local food. The goal is to foster the relationships between farmers and buyers in the Iowa Corridor Region.
Despite its strong agricultural market, Iowa imports most of its food from other states and countries. Event organizers hope to increase the amount of local food bought and sold in Iowa by bringing together area food buyers with local food producers. “Come to the Table” aims to expand the local foods market starting with a handshake.
WHAT: Third Annual Come to the Table: Local Food Summit for Producers & Buyers
WHEN: 9-4 PM on February 15, 2013
WHERE: Johnson County ISU Extension, 3109 Old Highway 218 S. Iowa City, IA 52246
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC – $10 Registration fee, or $20 for event and local lunch with pre-paid order
Keynote speaker Angie Hawk Maiden, Executive Director of Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACEnet), will share the story of ACEnet’s new business incubation and support programs including their Food Manufacturing & Commercial Kitchen facility.
Following the opening presentation three local start-up food businesses will tell their business’ story including planning, acquiring capital, finding the best facility, and much more.
“In developments toward a more sustainable, local food system in our region, packaged and processed local food products are becoming more important to our customers. With every new business start-up there are resources that are important to their success,” said Jason Grimm, Food System Planner from Iowa Valley RC&D. “This year’s summit is focused on highlighting some of these food business resources and showcasing stories from business owners about how they started their business.”
This marks the third year of the Summit. The Summit is now a full day featuring a panel of local food businesses, networking of buyers, farmers and food entrepreneurs and three afternoon breakout sessions.
To Register for the Event
Register online at www.2013cometothetablesummit.
Event Sponsors Include:
Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture
New Pioneer Food Coop/Soilmates
Iowa Valley RC&D
Iowa City Area Development
Farmers Trust and Savings Bank