Purdue Extension, in cooperation with a number of partner organizations, will host the second annual Indiana Food Summit, Sept. 25-26 at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.
The summit provides learning, networking and sharing opportunities for anyone who works in the food system, from business people to elected officials, said Jodee Ellett, Purdue Extension local foods coordinator, and event organizer. “We hope participants will not only take away new tools but also be inspired to implement innovative new strategies in their communities,” she said.
Last year’s summit was a rousing success, Ellett said, and organizers have added several new sessions this year in response to participant feedback. “Re-localizing food systems takes a lot of time in building networks and relationships,” Ellett said. “We have created an entire day of professional development workshops and will also have regional networking luncheons so you can meet people from your area you might not know.”
Also, new this year, participants will have an opportunity to submit a brief summary of their activities from the past year to share with their colleagues. The professional development workshops will be held Sept. 25. Speakers are:
* Mark Winnie, senior adviser to the Center for a Livable Future at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Winnie will lead a workshop on food councils in which participants will assess their roles in the community food system, explore a comprehensive food planning framework and learn about the mixture of policy and programming for food councils. There will also be a discussion about what a supportive statewide food policy framework would look like in Indiana.
* Tera Johnson, director of the Food Finance Institute at the University of Wisconsin Extension Division of Business & Entrepreneurship. The Level 1 training will provide an in-depth look at what food, beverage, and value-added farm businesses need to do to optimize their business model and capital structure for profitability. This includes discussion of current market trends, the basics of conducting market research and discussion of the various business models in the food sector.
* Kara Lubischer, University of Missouri Extension state specialist. Participants will learn a practical approach to creating healthy food environments in small retail stores through the Stock Healthy, Shop Healthy program. Stock Healthy, Shop Healthy is a comprehensive, community-based program that allows communities to improve access to healthy, affordable foods by working with a small food retailer.
The Sept. 26 program will include multiple concurrent sessions with speakers and panels focusing on food policy, healthy food access, farm to school and food business.
The summit concludes with a vendors fair offering appetizers, a cash bar and networking opportunities.
Registration for the 2017 Indiana Food Summit is now open. For more information about registration or sponsorship opportunities, go to https://www.purdue.edu/dffs/localfood/infoodsummit/. The summit runs 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 25, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 26, with the vendors fair from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Sept. 26, at IUPUI’s Hine Hall and University Tower, 875 W. North St., Indianapolis.