Wednesday, February 26, 2020 from 9:00 AM to 6:30 PM EST
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University of Kentucky, Gatton Student Center 
160 Avenue of Champions
Lexington, KY 40508

Driving Directions 


Dr. Lilian Brislen 
The Food Connection 
(269) 303-3142 

Kentucky Local Food Systems Summit 2020 

General Registration is now full. Thanks to everyone who has registered!

The Food Connection at the University of Kentucky, in partnership with Bluegrass Farm to Table and Kentucky Proud, invites you to the second annual Kentucky Local Food Systems Summit. This day of workshops, networking, and conversation is designed to bring together food systems professionals who work on the front lines of growing our local farm and food systems.

Registration is $75 which covers full participation in the summit, all day coffee, a locally sourced lunch, and a networking reception with drinks and light refreshments. For off-campus guests, this also includes the cost of parking. Instructions on parking and other details will be sent to you prior to the event. A limited number of scholarships are available, please contact lilian.brislen@uky.edu to inquire.

On the registration page you’ll be asked to select which sessions you will attend. This is so we can gauge interest and arrange talks in appropriately sized rooms accordingly. Session names and descriptions are provided below for your review. You will be provided with your selected schedule at registration on the day of the summit.

Session 1 (9:00 - 10:00)

1A Farmers Market Innovations: Through collaboration and innovative leadership, Kentucky’s farmers markets are a hot-bed of creative approaches to addressing food security, sites of celebration of community and culture, and a cornerstone of our local food economy. This session shares tools, tricks, and state-wide programs that can help take your market to the next level. (KDD, Fresh RX for Moms, Produce Prescription Plus)

1B Are you going to eat that? Reducing Food Waste Pre- and Post- consumer: So much work goes into producing our food, we hate for any of it to go to waste. Learn about two initiatives from UK's campus that are helping reduce food-waste all along the food-chain, and the benefits that brings to our food system

1C The Kentucky Cafeteria: Farm to Institution panel: Institutional dining adds up to big bucks that can be invested into our regional food economy. Representing public and private institutions, and a variety of campus sizes, the panelists will discuss their triumphs and setbacks on their farm to campus journey.

1D Bringing back the Joy of Cooking: Culinary Outreach: To enjoy local food, we have to cook it first! Explore new approaches to engaging community members in discovering the healing power and joy of cooking with local and seasonal foods. 

1E Connecting the dots: Innovation and collaboration for community food security: How can we make Kentucky-raised foods accessible to all members of our community? Our presenters in this session will share the story of their efforts to increase food justice and reduce food insecurity through innovation and collaboration.

1F Farm to bottle: Kentucky grains for Kentucky distilling: Brining Kentucky distilling back to its literal roots, in this session leaders from the distilling sector share their work developing opportunities for Kentucky-grown small grains for distilling, and for Kentucky grain producers.

Session 2 (10:15 - 11:15)

2A Telling Local Food Stories: The "Why" of our local food system is as important as the "How" of getting food to our table. Join our panelists as they present their strategies ranging from traditional marketing to innovative social media initiatives that lift up the stories of Kentucky farms and food.

2B Chef’s Perspective Panel: Kentucky’s farm to table chefs are invaluable ambassadors for local food systems. Join a panel of chefs from across the state to hear their first-hand perspectives on how to develop meaningful relationships with farmers and local food producers. 

2C Spreading the good word: Promoting local purchasing and local restaurants: This session will explore the Beyond Grits culinary guide published by VisitLex and how one researcher has used the local sourcing designation within the guide to examine individual level purchasing decisions.

2D Extending the Season, Expanding Markets: Resident expert on high tunnel and other season extension, Dr. Rachel Rudolph shares the latest tips and strategies for successfully integrating season extension into a farming operation and Brett Wolf from the Center for Crop Diversification will share marketing strategies for Kentucky growers of different scales.

2E Eaters Unite: Community markets and cooperative economics: Across Kentucky, neighbors are coming together to pool their buying power and support their local farmers. Hear about three different approaches to cooperative buying clubs and how they use cooperative economics to support the health of the whole community. 

2F Hook, Line, and Dinner: Kentucky fisheries: Though we may be landlocked, Kentucky is not without its waterways and fisheries. Our freshwater fish and shellfish are top quality, and so are the researchers and producers that produce them. You'll learn about the science of aquaculture from renowned Kentucky State researchers, and see examples from shrimp and catfish production.

Session 3 (11:30 - 12:30)

3A Employer Sponsored CSAs: For the health of our community: Kentucky employers are seeing the wisdom in bringing fresh produce to their workplace to support employees, their health, and the health of the community. Explore three different models of workplace CSAs and how this model might benefit your community

3B Black Soil: Our Better Nature: The founders of Black Soil: Our Better Nature work to highlight the history and ongoing contributions of African American farmers to Kentucky’s agricultural legacy.  Learn how they connect their community with the land and each other through local food and farms.

3C Life's a salad, let's mix it up: Ten farmers, one food hub, and a growing list of colleges are bringing Kentucky-raised salads to the table year-round. You'll hear the joys and heartaches of year-round salad production, and how to bring this initiative to your community.

3D One Step Further for Local Food: Processing and value adding for diverse markets: Value-adding our Kentucky-grown foods is a great way to expand availability and opportunities within our local food system. Hear from local entrepreneurs who are creating new value for our farm-products.

3E Community Food Assessments: Community Farm Alliance deeply believes in the power of communities and their ability to solve their own problems together. CFA works together with communities to unlock their food and farm system desires through conducting a Community Food System Assessment. These assessments are survey and story based and provide a snapshot of how the food and farm system interacts within a specific geographic area. These assessments also provide facilitated space for the community to dream and plan for the food and farm system they envision for their place. During this session, we will share CFA's history doing this work, what it means to be CFSA ready, and the process of conducting a CFSA in your community. 

3F: Fine as Kentucky Wine: Through firsthand accounts from Kentucky grape growers, winemakers, and enologists this session explores how thoughtful research, creativity, and good old fashioned hard work are producing high quality wines from the rolling hills of Kentucky.

3G Culinary Medicine Cooking Class: Get your hands on some healthful, local foods as Chef Tanya Whitehouse shares strategies for teaching a food-as-medicine approach to accommodating and combatting disease.  (Hands on cooking class at the Food Connection)

Lunch (12:30 - 2:00)

Session 4 (2:15 - 3:15)

4A: Farming is Our Future (Speical Presentation by Presenting Sponsor American Farmland Trust's President & CEO, John Piotti): There is a growing appreciation that farming can be a tool to combat climate change. But regenerative farming practices, though very important, are only part of what's needed. We also need to retain sufficient farmland and take steps to ensure that we are creating new opportunities for the next generation of farmers and ranchers. As the president of a storied nonprofit organization that launched the conservation agriculture movement and has remained at the forefront of these issues, John Piotti will outline both the challenges and opportunities facing farming. It’s not just about our food, but about the health of the planet and the future of society.  

4B: Hemp as Food: The hemp industry in Kentucky has exploded in the last several years. While much attention has been paid to CBD, hemp food products are a growing segment of the industry. Here from three hemp food based businesses about their unique products, marketing strategies, and outlook on the industry.

4C Many Meats, Many Markets: New frontiers for KY proteins: Explore new and sometimes unexpected opportunities for Kentucky farm-sourced proteins.

4D Up to Grow Good: Community gardens: Community gardens builds soil and nourish neighborhoods. Hear from three organizations working to increase access to healthy, local food for underserved populations.

4E Cultivate Kentucky: Growing wholesale production:  Combining one-on-one technical assistance, a diverse array of supporting partners, and a view from the trenches of wholesale produce marketing, the Cultivate Kentucky Partnership supports growers in taking their first steps into the realm of local wholesale.

4F Local food is elementary: K-12 dining: Food service directors from public and private schools share the ways they’ve integrated farm-sourced foods into their cafeterias and classrooms with the support of state and local partners.

Session 5 (3:30 - 4:30)

5A Mooooving forward with Kentucky Beef Value Chains: There's no one way to bring Kentucky beef to market. At this session you'll hear from representatives of three very different beef value chains that are supporting Kentucky cattle producers in bringing their beef to our tables.

5B Community Cafes: Serving up food justice: Pay-What-You-Can restaurants strive to make a place for everyone at the table. Hear from three organizations whose inspiring work supports local farms and local community members.

5C A Food Policy Council for Kentucky: Community Farm Alliance will describe their past experience with convening a food policy council and outline their current efforts to re-establish a state wide food policy council. 

5D Brewing success: Kentucky Proud Beer Week: Who doesn't love drinking their local food? Learn how the Kentucky Department of Agriculture is working with the Kentucky Guild of Brewers and innovative local brewers to extend the farm to bottle supply chain and integrate Kentucky flavors at Kentucky Proud Beer Week.

5E Local food is Big Business: Supporting entrepreneurial development for our local producers: Join Aleta Botts as she guides you through the key services, tools, and general considerations for promoting a strong culture of entrepreneurship across our farm and food system

5F Farm to Loaf: Kentucky grains for Kentucky breads: Kentucky researchers, bakers, and farmers are working to develop productive and delicious small-grains to fuel the growth of our home grown bread and beverage value chains that celebrate the flavors of Kentucky. Join in to hear the ups and downs of raising a Kentucky loaf.

Reception (4:30 - 6:30)

Thank you again for your interest, and if you have any questions, please direct them to Dr. Lilian Brislen via email at lilian.brislen@uky.edu

We would like to thank our sponsors:

American Farmland Trust, University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, University of Kentucky Dining,  Fayette Alliance, Student Sustainability Council, Fayette County Farm Bureau, Good Foods Co-Op, Kentucky Cattlemen's Association, Kentucky Proud and Marksbury Farm