Conferences related to food systems and/or community development.

October is National Farm to School Month! Join the National Farm to School Network and thousands of schools, early care and education sites, farms, communities and organizations across the country as we celebrate food education, school gardens and lunch tray’s filled with healthy, local ingredients. Everyone can celebrate! 
Here are four free upcoming webinars that you're invited to join to learn more about the farm to school movement and its positive impacts. Find more Farm to School Month opportunities (and sign our Take Action Pledge!) at
Economic Impacts of Farm to School
Wednesday, Oct. 11 // 12-1pm ET
Learn about the economic impacts of farm to school initiatives through a case study approach. Panelists will share findings from the new Economic Impacts of Farm to School: Case Studies and Assessment Tools report (a collaborative project of the National Farm to School Network and Colorado State University), highlight the use of key resources for conducting economic impact studies of food system initiatives, and discuss continuing work to better understand the impacts of farm to school activities. Register here
Next Event:
SNEB Webinar: National Farm to School Month: Early Care Education Edition
Tuesday, October 17 // 12-1:15pm ET
Join speakers from the National Farm to School Network and Arizona State University to learn about opportunities to celebrate National Farm to School Month and discover the vast array of benefits of farm to early care and education for children, families and communities. This webinar, hosted by the Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB), is free and open to the public. Register here
Event Date 10/11/2017 12:00 pm ET
Event End Date 10/11/2017 1:00 pm ET
Individual Price Free



Location: Mississippi e-Center at Jackson State University 
1230 Raymond Rd, Jackson, MS 39204



Hosted by the Mississippi Farm to School Network 

The Mississippi Farm to Cafeteria Conference brings farm to school practitioners and future practitioners together from across the state and region to share, learn, and help grow the farm to school movement. The conference will feature a keynote speaker, break out workshop sessions, panel discussions, a delicious lunch and snacks featuring local foods, and an entire track dedicated to youth. Register below to be a part of it all.



Gather with farm to school practitioners from all fields in Jackson on October 12th at the Mississippi E-Center at Jackson State University (1230 Raymond Rd, Jackson MS 39204) for an all day conference. Topics from cafeteria, classroom, and community connections to farm to school will be discussed. A keynote by Minneapolis Public School District's Bertrand Weber, delicious lunch featuring local foods, and huge networking session will all be included.



Registration opens at 8am, and the conference starts at 9am. We will finish up our closing reception by 5pm and have dinner meet ups around the Jackson area at 6:30pm.



Register here:

Event Date 10/12/2017 8:00 am ET
Event End Date 10/12/2017 5:00 pm ET
Individual Price scholarships and youth discounts available



Description: The LSU AgCenter is hosting a statewide farm-to-school conference to bring together school administrators, teachers, parents, food service managers, farmers and food distributors in the interest of Louisiana agriculture, school gardens and healthy school meals.  The conference will center on education, gardening and procurement, with technical assistance in areas such as curricula incorporation and culinary education, food and garden safety and local food procurement.  The event will begin with a welcome and opening speech for all attendees and will proceed to split into two tracks to better suit the educational needs and interests of both groups.  Please be sure to choose your ticket option above for the track you wish to attend.


Track 1:  Connecting School Gardens with Curriculum (Topics include: Best Practices School Gardening Initiative, Eating with the Seasons, Agricultural Education, Farm to School Opportunities, Funding and Resources)


Track 2:  Producer and Child Nutrition Procurement (Topics include:  Local Purchasing, Stories from the Field, Best Practices, Farm-to-School Food Safety, Connecting Farm to Kitchen, Funding and Resource Opportunities)



Attendees will have the opportunity to present 90-second success stories on current farm to school* programs.  Please click the link below and register to present the highlights of your program.



Vendors and exhibitors, please contact Dr. Pamela Hodson to register via email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via telephone at 225-953-3913.


What exactly is Farm to School? - There are no rigid standards to qualify as a farm to school program. Farm to school programs should, and do differ by location but the foundation is based in one or more of the following: procurement, education, and/or school gardens. Procurement is the purchasing and serving of fresh, local foods. Education entails students taking part in activities that promote agriculture, food, health and/or nutrition. School gardens involve students engaging in hands-on learning through gardening. If your school or community has any programs that fit any three of these disciplines, you should submit a form to be highlighted in the success panel.


Lunch is included with the purchase of your ticket. Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have dietary restrictions.





Event Date 10/24/2017 8:00 am ET
Event End Date 10/24/2017 4:00 pm ET
Individual Price $24.00

Location: Duluth, MN



Plan to attend the 6th Food Access Summit in Duluth, MN Oct. 25-27!  The 2017 Summit will be bigger and better than ever.  We’ve expanded to welcome up to 800 participants from a growing network of individuals and organizations dedicated to increasing healthy and equitable food access. This is one of the largest gatherings of its kind in the country. Thought the content has a Minnesotan lens, all of it is more broadly applicable.  

The conference goal is to bring together people working to advance reliable access to safe, affordable, healthy food; learn from each other’s lived experiences & stories; build connections across sector, cultural perspectives, and geography; and cultivate alignment and momentum toward collaborative action.  



Just SOME of the many amazing sessions:



What's Your Score on the Color Line: Un-packing White Privilege in Food Systems and Urban Planning
Given the embedded social contradictions and historical legacies we encounter in food systems and advocacy work, how can we have a genuine conversation about race that confronts white privilege? How can strangers talk about race by building community and embracing all racial experiences with tolerance and non-closure? This facilitated session will provide a safe space where all participants can carry out the emotional labor of racial self-awareness. 



Tools and Strategies to Support Healthy Eating Policy Work at the Local Level

Participants will learn about a new Minnesota policy guide, a new national policy database, and other tools available to help advocates, policymakers, public health officials, researchers, and community groups identify and understand local level policy options for promoting healthy eating, as well as approaches being tried by local governments across the U.S.. They will gain ideas for how to work with local policymakers and advocates to assess and tailor policies for their communities, and will also learn how to prepare to deal with efforts to undermine, or preempt, local policy work, based on lessons learned both at the Minnesota legislature and from other states. 



Food Safety and Working with Local Farmers: Facilitating Access into the Emerging Wholesale Produce Marketplace

Farm to school, prison, food bank, food hub, early child care and other local procurement programs are expanding rapidly in the region. This session will describe various models of engaging local farmers in real procurement partnerships and providing necessary training, particularly around food safety and postharvest handling. Examples will illustrate how these partnerships have facilitated farmer access to new markets like food hubs, schools and hospitals. Challenges and solutions from both the food service and farm perspective will be addressed, as well as concrete strategies to build farm to institution programs and increase the amount of locally produced food available to consumers across the region.



The World in our Neighborhood: Refugees and Food Access

Refugee status is unique in the U.S. immigration system, and reflects an experience of loss, trauma and resilience in the refugee journey. Recently-arrived refugee populations have particular challenges to food access as well as inherent assets and strengths. Presenters will highlight case studies of local examples of efforts to increase food access within refugee communities, describe why other attempts were less successful, and offer action steps in addressing equitable access and its holistic impact for our newest refugee neighbors.




Increasing Food Access Across Minnesota: Innovative Community Initiatives Address Unmet Needs

Many Minnesotans lack reliable, safe, and easy access to affordable healthy food, placing Minnesota among the bottom 10 states in the nation for access to food. This session will examine new and emerging approaches to food access across Minnesota, including mobile grocery stores, safe routes to food, mobile food distribution, and local and regional food hubs. Speakers will highlight how their efforts developed in response to specific community needs, utilized key relationships in the community, and navigated policy and legal considerations to move each effort forward.



Public Engagement: Getting it Right
We are smarter together, and to do good change work we often need to have many voices engaged in our efforts. Still, public engagement can be perfunctory, at best, or marginalizing, at worse. In this workshop, we’ll talk about how to do rich, real, challenging public engagement in a way that will make your efforts not only reflective of public voice but meaningful for all involved. 



Small but Mighty: Working with Local Governments for Big Food Access Wins
Do you know your local government? Local governments have jurisdiction over a host of powerful levers to change the food landscape in communities, and your voice MATTERS. We will focus on developing long-term relationships with local governments to improve food access in communities through local planning and practice, using tools, resources, and concrete strategies to give you clarity and confidence!



Navigating Small Retail Food Stores to Increase Healthy Food Access
Improving the food environment begins with an understanding of the available foods, merchandising practices and the challenges associated with increasing access to healthy foods in small stores. This session is designed to increase your understanding of the small store retail environment and provide tools to support your efforts to improve food access, especially in communities with limited access to healthy choices.



To register, visit the website and review the downloadable PDF that lists the full schedule and breakout descriptions. You will tentatively choose your sessions at registration.  Then, click on the GREEN “Register” button. Cost is $185 per person and includes excellent meals. 

Event Date 10/25/2017
Event End Date 10/26/2017
Individual Price $185.00

This international conference is hosted by Gustolab International Institute for Food Studies and Roma Tre University.


Learn more about the conference here.

Event Date 10/26/2017
Event End Date 10/27/2017
Individual Price Free