Local foods get the highlight

Fourth annual HomeGrown Local Food Summit on April 2

Michigan's unique agricultural history will be highlighted at the fourth annual HomeGrown Local Food Summit, to be held at Washtenaw Community College from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 2.

local food ann arbor

The HomeGrown Local Food Summit has grown from a get-together of just more than 100 visionaries in 2009 to a major meeting of three times that many local-food sector stakeholders, including growers, processors, and vendors, along with representatives of environmental groups and other non-profits, health organizations and government agencies. The theme of the 2012 summit is “Remembering Our Roots: Local Food Victories Past, Present, and Future.”

“This year, we’re highlighting Michigan’s, and more specifically Washtenaw County’s, rich history and abundant food production to connect the state’s past successes with future possibilities,” according to Hillary Bisnett, director of the Ecology Center’s Healthy Food in Health Care initiative.

“We will focus on how to maintain the large strides we have made in recent years and what we can do to strengthen the current food system and push it forward into the future.”

Bisnett has been a member of the committee involved in planning the Local Food Summit. This year, she’s taking a lead role in working with the host site, Washtenaw Community College, on locating and obtaining local, seasonal foods for the event.

Last year’s summit began with keynote presentations on the role of local food in metropolitan economic development, followed by breakout sessions on topics including food as medicine, small-scale processing, farm-to-table restaurants and Michigan wines. Tours of local growers and processors were also available, as well as numerous opportunities to sample locally produced food and meet with others involved in the movement.

“The planning committee has been meeting for months to develop an agenda that both celebrates how far we’ve come, and that helps us plan for more progress in the years ahead, Bisnett said.

Those interested in attending should visit LocalFoodSummit.org for more information.

EcoLink — February 2012 Ecolink
An online publication of the Ecology Center

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