Speakers announced for 2019 CFS annual event

March 1, 2019

Sommer Sibily-Brown of Virgin Islands Good Food Coalition to keynote

Check out the agenda and list of speakers for this year’s Community Food Systems Annual Event! It’s set for Friday, March 29, in Des Moines, and will be our best and biggest yet. Register now!

Morning keynote will be Sommer Sibily-Brown, founder and executive director of the Virgin Islands Good Food Coalition. Our Community Food Systems Program staff has traveled to the US Virgin Islands to meet with Sommer and her staff. They are working on rebuilding the food system after major hurricane damage.

sommer sibily-brown keynote
Sommer Sibily-Brown

Sommer will talk about capacity development. During lunch, Arthur Neal of the USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service will speak on “What’s Happening in Local Foods?” CFS program coordinator Courtney Long will close the day with a capnote on “Creating Momentum.”

Breakout sessions

Afternoon breakout sessions and other presenters will include:

1 p.m. – Breakout Session 1:

  • Beginning Farmer Training (Emily Coll, Beth Grabau, Zach Couture)
  • Mapping and Technology (Ron Rainy, Matt Tortora, Tony Thompson, Dar Knipe, Christa Hartsook, Chris Seeger)

2 p.m. – Breakout Session 2:

  • Food Systems Curriculum and Certification (Courtney Long, Kathleen Liang, Arthur Neal)
  • Power of Produce (Margaret Murphy)
  • Farmer Feasibility (Gary Matteson)

3 p.m. – Breakout Session 3:

  • Teaching through Art (Tina Bakehouse)
  • Food to its Highest Purpose: Gleaning, Donation, Composting (Emily Paull, Aubrey Alvarez, Carly McAndrews)

We will also offer “open sessions” where individuals who register can share ideas for facilitated discussion during the breakouts. Participants will receive a survey about 10 days before the conference to suggest use of open space time if they aren’t interested in a breakout provided.

Find more information on our speakers here, and take a look at the full agenda.

Interested in sponsoring or tabling? Download the form.

Location and lodging
Our 2019 event will take place at the Des Moines at Ramada Tropics Resort and Conference Center, 5000 Merle Hay Road, Urbandale, Iowa, 50322. You can call the hotel at (515) 278-0271 and request a room for the Community Food Systems event for any of the nights from 3/27/19- 3/30/19 at a rate of $79/night.