Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

4th Annual Come to the Table Summit

Date: Friday, February 7th, 2014

Start: 9:00 am End: 3:30 pm

Location: Johnson County ISU Extension, 3109 Old Highway 218 South, Iowa City, Iowa

Contact: Jason Grimm, Iowa Valley RC&D, 319.622.3264, jason@ivrcd.org

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.

Morning Presentations and Panel
Come and hear from local partners Jesse Singerman and Jason Grimm of the Iowa Valley Food Co-op. Singerman just completed a study of the retail food market in the Corridor. The study provides information on the supply and demand side of local food in Corridor. Learn about the challenges and opportunities in capturing this retail market with local food production.

In addition, Jessica Burtt-Fogarty of the Iowa Regional Food Systems Working Group will share the findings of a recent report from the Leopold Center highlighting the work of the Regional Food Systems Working Group (RFSWG). RFSWG supports local food systems in 90 of Iowa’s 99 counties. It is the first coordinated, comprehensive attempt to measure actual economic and community impacts associated with regional food system development in Iowa.

The report shares local food purchases by grocery stores, restaurants and institutions, and sales from Iowa farm-based enterprises that marketed their products locally in 2012. Nearly 180 businesses and individuals participated in the data collection effort, including 74 buyers and 103 producers of local foods. The evaluation also measured job creation as a result of local food production, processing or utilization, and counted funds leveraged by the regional food groups that comprise the statewide RFSWG network.

Following the opening presentations two Corridor farm businesses will tell their story. Owners of Buffalo Ridge Orchard and Rapid Creek Ranch will talk about their initial start-up to current stages, from the early phases to determining how and when to scale up and more.

Afternoon Panel
Following the lunch hear from a panel of restaurants on the demand side of the local food system. The panel will consist of restaurant owners - David Wieseneck, Motley Cow, Ofer Sivan, Oasis, Barbara Farnsworth, Her Soup Kitchen, Steve Harding, The Wedge, James Adrian, Atlas, and Kyle Sieck, Local Burrito and Food Entrepreneur.  Hear about their business goals and dreams of procuring local products as well as their plans for 2014.

Meet and Greet Expo
The purpose of the Summit is to foster the relationships between farmers and buyers. During the meet and greet expo farmers and other entrepreneurs will be free to visit tables staffed by local buyers from restaurants, groceries, careering companies, hospitals, schools, colleges, and more.

Free beverages and snacks will be made available during the meet and greet expo.

2014 Summit organizers include Scott Koepke of New Pioneer Food Co-op, Jessica Burtt-Fogarty of the Regional Food Systems Working Group of Iowa, Michelle Kenyon-Brown of the Johnson County Food Policy Council and Jason Grimm of the Iowa Valley RC&D.

Related information

Register here

Iowa Valley RC&D website