The 2nd Annual GrowRIVERSIDE Conference: The Future of Local Food, held June 11-13 in Riverside, California, focused on production, new business creation, local food sales and community impact.
These four focuses were brought into sharp relief by numerous speakers and panelists as well as conference-goers, who discussed a wide variety of issues including local food marketplaces, developing urban farms, marketing and distribution, urban indoor farming, crop diversification, climate, farm-to-school, an update on the work of the Riverside Food Systems Alliance, compost management, water usage, and more.
“We are an extraordinary city, and we get it done.”
These words were uttered by Riverside Unified School District (RUSD) Director of Nutrition Services Rodney Taylor at the beginning of his keynote address on day two of the 2nd Annual GrowRIVERSIDE Conference: The Future of Local Food.
Taylor acknowledged the extraordinary progress made since last year’s inaugural GrowRIVERSIDE conference, but pointed out that great amounts of inequity still plague the food system.
At the 2nd Annual GrowRIVERSIDE Conference: The Future of Local Food, held last Thursday, June 11 through Saturday, June 13 participants from panelists to keynotes and breakout session leaders repeatedly honed in on the same key ingredient when discussing the development of robust local food systems: community.
And true to this theme, the first day of the conference ended fittingly as conveners partook of local food and beverages amidst an orange grove. Robert Egger, founder and president of L.A. Kitchen, spoke about how fresh fruits and vegetables not only build community, but change lives as well.
True community tends to grow and attract others to its orbit, and GrowRIVERSIDE is no exception, said Al Zelinka, Assistant City Manager for the City of Riverside.
“This is a movement rooted in community and entrepreneurship,” said Zelinka, noting that people came from as far away from Hawaii and east of the Mississippi to attend the event. “A small group of thoughtful and committed citizens can change the world,” he continued, paraphrasing anthropologist Margaret Mead.
If for some reason you can’t make it to the GrowRIVERSIDE Future of Local Conference, which starts tomorrow, don’t fret. You can catch the entire event, streamed live right here:
Check it out!
We will also be recording all of the conference sessions for later viewing.
Creating a vibrant local food system requires that cities explore how to develop new markets for their local farmers, foster entrepreneurship and innovation as it relates to the production of food and encourage responsible and sustainable farming that benefits community, economy and environment. The development of effective food policy that advances agricultural economic development and infrastructure and fosters education about food and urban farming is also essential.
Expert speakers set to participate in the 2nd Annual GrowRIVERSIDE Conference: The Future of Local Food will dive deeply into all of the above mentioned areas, and more, to come up with solutions designed to guide Riverside and cities across the country in the development of vibrant and sustainable local food systems. The conference begins in TOMORROW on June 11, 2015 at The Riverside Convention Center in Riverside, California.
Limited Tickets Remain! Register here: http://growriverside.eventbrite.com
The conference will cover a number of topics that will appeal to a diversity of audiences from growers and entrepreneurs to city planners, researchers and citizens interested in learning about how they can play a role in building their local food system. Select topics include:
Conference to Help Cities Develop Solutions to Strengthen Local Food and Urban Agriculture InfrastructureJune 5, 2015 | Iqbal Pittalwala
Several UC Riverside researchers to attend 2nd annual GrowRIVERSIDE Conference, June 11-13
News Release – RIVERSIDE, Calif. – What does it take to develop and strengthen a city’s urban agriculture and local food infrastructure? A conference in Riverside, Calif., attracting experts in farming small plots, new business creation, local food marketplace development and community food access, will explore this question in detail June 11-13, 2015. Several University of California, Riverside researchers will attend the annual conference, now in its second year, to share their expertise on food-related issues.
Called “GrowRIVERSIDE: The Future of Local Food,” the conference will take place at the Riverside Convention Center, 3637 5th Street, downtown Riverside, and aim to offer solutions on how Riverside can become a model for other cities to emulate. A full conference program can be found here.
The UC Riverside Office of Strategic Communications is a co-sponsor of the conference; the office will provide free copies of the UCR magazine to attendees. The UC Global Food Initiative is also a co-sponsor of the conference.
Riverside, CA (PRWEB) June 01, 2015 – This is the final call for registration to attend the 2nd Annual GrowRIVERSIDE Conference: The Future of Local Food, June 11 – 13 at The Riverside Convention Center. The conference will assist cities in examining and developing solutions to strengthen their local food systems and urban agriculture infrastructure.
Organized for the city of Riverside by Seedstock co-founder Robert Puro, the conference will feature a broad lineup of speakers ranging from urban agriculture entrepreneurs, USDA representatives from Marketing Services and Rural Development, startup business experts from the U.S. Small Business Administration, local food policy experts, sustainable farmers and hydroponic practitioners as well as numerous buyers and distributors of local produce.
Starting up and funding a local food-focused small business – from launching a new farm to creating a value-added product (jam for example) using local products – is both exciting and challenging. To offer guidance, support and information on the steps that entrepreneurs can take to give their fledgling business endeavors the greatest chance to succeed and thrive, Paul Smith, Business Development Specialist for the U.S. Small Business Administration, along with a team of start up business experts will lead a breakout session at the upcoming GrowRIVERSIDE Conference entitled, “Launching and funding a local food enterprise.”
This session will provide prospective and existing entrepreneurs with insight into how to get their businesses off the ground via an explanation of core business creation steps – from business planning, accessing capital, marketing, sales, and more.
Paul Smith is an accomplished professional with twenty-five years experience in business development. His career encompasses both the private and public sectors. His experience includes sales management, direct marketing, export promotion, and matchmaking, for markets worldwide. As Business Development Specialist for the U.S. Small Business Administration Mr. Smith is responsible for outreach to the business community for the Santa Ana District office.
Paul’s session will be comprised of a group of accomplished entrepreneurs and business development specialists including:
Nicole Kinney, Director of the Inland Empire Women’s Business Center (IEWBC)
Vincent McCoy Director of the Inland Empire Small Business Development Center
Diana Cescolini Professor of Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Business, & Management and Chapter Chair for SCORE Inland Empire
Anthony Lattner Chief Instructor for Cal Poly Pomona’s Sustainable Agriculture Training (SAT) program at Archi’s Acres
There are only 10 days left until the conference and tickets are going fast, so register now to attend this session and learn how to give your local food-focused business the best chance for success!
Register Here: http://growriverside.eventbrite.com
To build a strong local food system cities must examine how to increase food access to citizens living in food deserts in need of fresh and healthy food. The development of effective food policy that advances agricultural economic development and infrastructure and fosters education about food and urban farming is also essential. So too is support for the development and start-up of new local food-focused business ventures.
Expert speakers set to participate in the 2nd Annual GrowRIVERSIDE Conference: The Future of Local Food will dive deeply into all of the above mentioned areas, and more, to come up with solutions designed to guide Riverside and cities across the country in the development of vibrant and sustainable local food systems. The conference begins in only 12 days on June 11, 2015 at The Riverside Convention Center in Riverside, California.
Select GrowRIVERSIDE Conference breakout session topics include:
Market Development for New Farmers – featuring:
Ramiro Lobo has been the Small Farm and Agricultural Economics Advisor for the University of California Cooperative Extension in San Diego County since 1997. Ramiro is one of several Farm Advisors affiliated with the University of California Small Farm Program and his primary responsibility is to conduct research and educational activities to support small-scale agricultural producers in San Diego County. Ramiro’s work focuses primarily on educating small scale producers on topics related to agricultural business and risk management, new crop development and evaluation, new entry grower education, market development through agricultural tourism and direct marketing, and Food and pesticide safety education.
A.G. Kawamura, a 3rd generation farmer and former Secretary of the California Dept. of Food and Agriculture (2003 – 2010) was recently featured in a Fortune Magazine article entitled, ‘Commercial farming in your subdivision’, which discusses the challenges and opportunities of urban farming within the confines of a city that has very little traditional farmland. Kawamura and his family have created a thriving commercial urban farming business that could provide a model for the City of Riverside and others to follow.
Kawamura will be delivering a keynote and participating in a breakout session at the upcoming GrowRIVERSIDE Conference on June 11 at The Riverside Conference. You won’t want to miss it! Read the Fortune article and go to http://growriverside.eventbrite.com to register to hear A.G. speak in Riverside!