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2016 Conference Sessions


Conference General Information

Session Descriptions


Plenary Sessions

Maintaining Values While Building Value

Speakers: Mike Curtin, Dennis Derryck, Anthony Flaccavento, Scott Marlow, Bu Nygrens, and Malini Ram Moraghan

Food hubs differ from conventional distributors in their commitment to delivering values along with food. Our kickoff plenary will inspire and challenge, validate and prod. We've asked some of the most well-established champions of food values to share their life's wisdom on incorporating values into food businesses. You will leave this session re-inspired, and ready to learn as much as you can from the conference to ensure your operation contributes most effectively to building our new, 21st century food system.

Slides: Dennis Derryck  Bu Nygrens  Mike Curtin  Anthony Flaccavento | Back to Top

Building an Equitable Food System

Speakers: Cornelius Blanding, James Faison, Haile Johnson, Tamara Jones, Shirley Sherrod, Kolu Zigbi 

This plenary will look at each area of the supply chain and will explore how incorporating an equity focus enhances economic opportunity for hubs and their partners.


Stories & Stages of Partnerships to Grow Regional Food Economies

Speakers: Garret Ballard-Rosa, Allison Duncan, Justin Hembre, Bob Heuer, Mark Winnie

Regional food planning—carried out by Councils of Government (COGs) and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) in cooperation with local food councils—provides a potentially essential support system for good food economies.  COGs and MPOs are public-based entities that foster intergovernmental collaboration among federal, state and local officials. They deliver and manage various federal and state programs. Some are beginning to use their convening power and data collection tools to build understanding, investment and policy support for our shared Good Food mission at the regional level.
Moderated by independent public policy strategist Bob Heuer, this plenary convenes Johns Hopkins’ Center for Livable Futures food communities & public health program senior advisor Mark Winne along with Atlanta Regional Commission senior planner Allison Duncan, Asheville-based Land of Sky Regional Council executive director Justin Hembree (representing NC Association of Regional COGs), and Sacramento COGs Rural-Urban Connections Strategy program analyst Garett Ballard-Rosa to share actionable intelligence for food hubs seeking new partnerships in their own communities.


Financing the GLUE of Regional Food Systems: Supporting value chain coordinators to strengthen regional food systems development

Speakers: James Barham, Ann Karlen, Susan Pavlin, Lilian Salerno, Steve Warshner

In a notable level of private-public partnership, USDA and 15 philanthropic organizations are collaborating to support value chain coordinators across the country.  As the glue of a resilient and equitable food system, value chain coordinators make it possible to connect supply to demand to yield both business successes and social benefits.  In this plenary session, participants will have the opportunity to learn about the Food LINC initiative being spearheaded by USDA and hear from three value chain coordination organizations about their boots-on-the-ground perspectives.



Tuesday, March 29

Full day and half day intensive trainings will be offered as a pre-conference option and will include breakfast and lunch (full day trainings only). Full Day Trainings will start at 9am and end by 5pm. 

Full Day

Wallace Center’s Early Stage Food Hub Workshop

Presenters: Anthony Flaccavento, Haile Johnston, Dave Rand

Daylong in-depth start-up and capacity-building course to support the development of food hubs and the decisions needed to create them. This training is targeted to beginning and emerging food hubs. Read more about this workshop. 


Principles of Food Safety for Farm to School

Presenters: Sean Monahan, Beth Oleson

This all-day workshop is an introduction to food safety with an intended audience of those who intend to sell to the public school market, or assist those who do.

Slides: Sean Monahan Beth Oleson | Back to Top


Tuesday Afternoon - Half-Day 

What's the Big Deal? Assessing and Financing Regional Food Hubs

Presenter: Darrow Isaacman-VanWertz

As Food Hubs mature and attract the attention of new kinds of investors, it is important for food hubs and other food enterprises to become comfortable speaking about their company in the language of investment. This training will provide an in-depth look at how a potential investor may assess a food enterprise before committing to a financial partnership. By including relevant case studies throughout the training, the participant will leave with increased knowledge about capital stacking and how to identify non-traditional resource partners. This training will be mostly relevant to the food hubs trying to secure new avenues of investment but it will also be relevant to investors new to food enterprise work and CBOs working between the two worlds.


GroupGAP Intensive Workshop

Presenters: Phil Britton, Audrey Draper, Lindsay Gilmour, Steve Warshawer

Are you serious about pursuing GroupGAP certification for your growers? This session is NOT an introductory course on GroupGAP - this is a WORK session where you will be able to get the nation's experts to advise you on your QMS, grower and staff trainings, scheduling and other operational details as you ramp up to getting your Group certified. Please bring relevant draft materials. If you are a beginner to GroupGAP, we strongly encourage you to attend the 90 minute session on GroupGAP during the main conference instead.



Wed morning, 30March - (concurrent with most half-day trainings)

Note: Tours have limited availability, and require an additional fee

  • Intersecting farmers of color with wholesale markets through a lens of racial and social equity to build a stronger regional food system

    This tour presents Global Growers and the West Georgia Farmer’s Cooperative, two distinct producer groups representing small family farmers of color in Georgia and the local foods distributor, Common Market Georgia, a new regional hub of the Common Market Philadelphia, an established food hub that has traditionally linked small farmers and institutional customers in the mid-Atlantic region. Global Growers is a nonprofit organization that creates opportunities in sustainable agriculture, primarily serving farmers who have come to Atlanta as legal refugees. The West Georgia Farmer’s Cooperative is a traditional growers cooperative established almost 50 years ago by farmers of color. Attendees will learn how these 2 producer models continue to increase their wholesale capacity in order to become key suppliers for the Common Market Georgia. The tour includes a stop at Global Growers incubator farm followed by a tour of the Common Market distribution facility to illustrate how all 3 organizations are sharing resources and infrastructure to grow together build a stronger and more just regional food system.

  • Wholesaling at Whole Foods: Aggregating and distributing perishable foods and effective tools for scaling-up sales

    The Braselton Distribution Center is the Whole Foods Market South Regions’ main perishable supplier distributing to 35 stores in 6 states; Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi and Tennessee. Attendees will get an inside look into operations of one of the Southeast’s largest perishable foods distribution centers including purchasing, receiving, product inspection and shipping. The tour will also detail how Whole Foods is investing in a strong local supply chain by accommodating growers of all sizes and providing micro-credit loans to local producers through the Local Producer Loan Program.

  • Food Banks: Leveraging Infrastructure to Grow Local Food Systems

    This tour provides current examples of diverse food bank operations and innovations as well as how food banks are contributing to building strong, local food systems. The  trip will begin with a guided tour of the Atlanta Community Food Bank. It will provide visitors with an inside look at operations and how they have adapted their infrastructure to accommodate high quality, fresh produce, and some of the unconventional resources they’ve tapped into to achieve their mission of distributing nutritious food. Attendees will also learn about the numerous ways in which the ACFB is working with their partners to develop innovative and affordable ways to improve fresh and healthy food access in under-served communities-including a site-visit to a partner organization. This tour will also include a panel discussion featuring the Food Bank of Northern Alabama and the Food Bank of Northeast Georgia to share their experiences in innovative ways they act as a supportive link between the local food movement and communities in which they serve. Participants will experience first-hand how food bank partnerships increase access to fresh and healthy food. All 3 featured food banks are included in the 200-member Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization.

  • The good neighbor hub: Building a stronger food system just by crossing the street

    This tour will visit local food hub the Turnip Truck, a substantial Atlanta-based food hub, and Georgia Organics, a member-supported non-profit organization connecting organic food from Georgia farms to Georgia families. Attendees will tour the Turnip Truck’s operations and learn about their recent entry into light-processing operation. The visit will also showcase how both entities are working to ensure an adequate supply of organic food for a local supply chain; the Turnip Truck through sharing purchase commitments and distribution, Georgia Organics through their multiple approaches to helping farmers grow into environmentally and financially sustainable food producers. The tour will also highlight partnerships based on sharing space and resources between the Turnip Truck and other neighboring food-related enterprises.

  • Institutional and large-scale buyers at the center of the local food system

    Attendees will spend the morning visiting Kennesaw State University to see first-hand how the award-winning Culinary and Hospitality Services department is connecting student dining options and the culinary arts program with fresh produce, mushrooms, eggs, and honey sourced directly from over 40 acres of university farm land. Participants will tour the farm, visit the producer-only weekly farmers market on campus, and receive and in-depth look at how the food and dining service operations are pulling it all together. Tour also features Hyatt Regency Atlanta’s executive chef, Thomas McKeown, to expand the conversation about how local and sustainable sourcing fits into high-volume, high-quality purchasing.


Half-Day Trainings

Wed morning, 30March - (concurrent with tours)

Economic Impact of Local Food Systems / Making use of the New USDA AMS Local Food Economic Impact Assessment Toolkit

Presenters: David Huges, Dave Lamie, Ken Meter, Jeffrey O'Hara, Dan Thilmany

This Deep Dive session will engage planners in learning to engage community partners in a comprehensive approach to food system assessment, including framing the scope of a local food assessment study, collecting both primary and secondary data, analyzing findings, performing input/output analysis, and customizing commonly used input/output software such as IMPLAN.  


Presenters: James Bright, Lauren Handel, Denetra McPherson, Gideon Burdick

Pieces of government legislation that are starting to effect hubs, particularly larger hubs, learn how they will affect your hub and what you need to be aware of. 

What should I be? An Operator’s Guide to Food Hub Structure

Presenters: James Matson, Margaret Bau

Structure is one of the most critical and often daunting aspect in creating a new food hub.  B corp, Cooperative, LLC, or multistakeholder, what are the processes of thinking through your organizational decisions? Topics covered in this workshop include food hub tax designations, legal structures, and operational models. Case studies of specific operational hubs from across the nation will be provided and discussed.

Customer Journey Mapping: Drill Down on Customer Experience to Increase Sales, improve Service, and Extend Impact

Presenters: Kate Barker, Erika Block, Conor Butkus

As a food hub operator, your customers include producers, purchasers, supply chain partners and your internal team members/stakeholders.  As a funder or service provider, understanding your customers’ and stakeholders experience is critical to maintaining effective programs and services.  Customer Journey Mapping offers a design-thinking approach to analyzing customer experience and improving processes for sales, marketing, service design, product development, training and impact.  

Sales Training

Presenters: Laura Edwards-orr, Sona Desai, Maria Mastanduno, Katherine Sims

The ability to attract, maintain and service a growing sales base is a fundamental feature of any successful business. Sales efforts that yield adequate revenue, margins and profits are necessary to reach business viability. In this training you will gain an understanding of basic sales tools and challenges and their impact on your food hub. We will discuss sales budgeting and forecasting.

Reduce Error, Retain Staff:  Five Steps to an Effective Training System

Presenter: Peggy daSilva

This workshop will build the capacity of managers in food businesses to develop effective staff training systems.  Competent and engaged staff are key to any successful operation, but too often their training is unplanned, incomplete or unclear.  The results can be disastrous. This training will cover the five essential components of an effective staff training system. Each participant will work on his/her own most needed operational function (eg. Sales, inventory control, warehouse, etc.) learning key components and applying them to her/his own situation. At the end of the training, each participant will have a framework on which to build “back home.” 

Getting the Business Model and Financials Right: Critical Success Factors for Food Hubs

Presenter: Tera Johnson

A half day session which digs in deep on the critical financial hurdles that must be obtained in hubs, the unique financial challenges (especially cash flow, break-evens, meeting lender requirements, and scale factors) that hubs face in order to become financially stable, successful and independent of grant support. Primarily targeted to principals managing and operating hubs, the session will also benefit funders, lenders, non profits, and foundations--in seeing the critical needed for hubs to be financially stable. Using the real financial hurdles and conditions of the Wisconsin Food Hub Cooperative, we will offer unique insights into the financial hurdles and the range of management options to overcome them in a variety of food hub business models.


Concurrent Sessions - Grouped by "Track"

By session.

  • Session 1: Wednesday @ 3:30 pm
  • Session 2: Thursday @ 10:30 am
  • Session 3: Thursday @ 1:30 pm
  • Session 4: Thursday @ 3:15 pm
  • Session 5: Friday @ 10:30 am

Core Hub Functions 

Food Hubs as Business Incubators

Presenters: Robin Morris, Davita Louie, Caleb Zigas, Sarah Waring, Evan Smith 

Food hubs connect food producers to markets. The hubs represented on this panel are focused on the fact that suppliers are businesses that must be successful for the hub to succeed, and moreover, for the local food system to thrive. Learn how these hubs are providing consulting, infrastructure and other services as a core service, and the impacts that model has had.

Slides: Whole Session Slides | Back to Top

School Food: A Growing Market for Food Hub

Presenters: Karen Haliford, Sara Hovertor, Sapna Thottathil

Participants will gain valuable insight into the K-12 public school market and learn firsthand about the opportunities and challenges schools face in sourcing and serving regional food. Participants will leave with an understanding of school food contracts, nutrition requirements, regulations impacting what schools can buy and serve, and processing services that school food staff often need. Session attendees will leave with a roadmap for how to enter this market and support school districts across the country in their work to provide more healthful, regional and sustainable food for our nation’s schoolchildren. This session will be of particular interest to producers, processors, distributors, and advocates of good school food.
The Economics of Small Scale Processing

Presenters: Jim Hyland, Chelsea Katz, Brandon Seng, TJ Smith 

"Frozen local" seems like a great solution to season extension and new market access - but is it financially feasible? When and how? This session will explore the strengths and challenges of a variety of approaches to small-scale processing, using both financial analysis and operational context. A panel of food hub operators from across the nation will draw from their own experiences addressing this critical need in food system development. 

Why Food Hubs Fail

Presenters: James Barham, Margaret Bau, Sasha Feldstein, Caesar Layton, James Matson 

A detailed look at specific case studies of food hubs failing. Learn what mistakes they made and how to avoid the same.

Slides: Jim Barham | Back to Top

Production Planning for Aggregators

Presenters: Amy McCann, Dave Prather, Lisa Reeder, Stefan Schwartz

In this workshop, we will share experiences from food hubs that work with their producers to forecast supply and demand. We want to encourage producers to shift from selling what they have on a short-term basis to planning their sales offers based on known demand. This workshop will also address both the potential challenges involved in production planning at various stages as well as applicable solutions, available tools, and best practices from practitioners. Panelists will also provide real life applied examples of strategies and their impacts, and how planning has impacted food hub viability.

Cutting Edge Hub Models


Supporting a Diverse Group of Farmers through a Food Hub Cooperative

Presenters: Mariela Centeno, Tara Roberts-turner, Yimmauj Yang

Cooperative sourcing and distributing food has a long history. This session will share successful co-op models, including multi-stakeholder cooperatives, a new innovation in food hub development.  Rather than one class of members such as farmer-producers coming together to cooperatively aggregate, market and distribute product, a group of stakeholders form an organization to reflect the interdependence of interests of the multiple partners. The model can be particularly useful in developing sustainable food systems.


A Survey of Some Emerging and Cutting Edge Food Hub Models

Presenters: Halie Johnston, Tom McDougall, Warren King, Dan Hobbs, Dave Rand

Over the past several years the Food Hub sector has experienced tremendous growth. Across the country these good food enterprises are stimulating rural economies, incentivising sustainable production, supporting small farmers, and ensuring that healthy affordable produce is available to their respective communities. There still remains work to do however, particularly around integrating small and sustainable farmers into the value chain, incubating good food businesses, strengthening food hub collaboration, and ensuring consumers have access to local and regional products. Join as we discuss several emerging food hub models from across the country that seek to address these challenges and continue moving the dial forward.

Slides: Halie Johnston Tom McDougall Warren King Dan Hobbs Dave Rand | Back to Top

Building Success of Food Hubs Through the Cooperative Experience

Presenters: Roberta Severson, Jonah Fertig, Peggy Fogarty

Food hubs, regardless of business structure face challenges in aggregation, processing, marketing and distribution of products already experienced by farmer marketing cooperatives that have historically engaged in similar activities. Geared towards food hub managers and staff and producers, the marketing cooperative experiences in sourcing and distributing member product will be shared. Technical advisors will learn why business structure matters through a comparative review of various legal business structures for food hub development along with the various types of cooperatives such as producer, worker owner, purchasing/shared services, and consumer cooperatives. Multi-stakeholder cooperatives are a new innovation in food hub development. Rather than one class of members such as farmer-producers coming together to cooperatively aggregate, market and distribute product, a group of stakeholders form an organization to reflect the interdependence of interests of the multiple partners. The model can be particularly useful in developing sustainable food systems.

Slides: Roberta Severson Peggy Fogarty | Back to Top


More Profit, Less Stuff

Presenters: Angel Mendez, Amelia O'Rourke-owens, Leslie Schaller, Sarah Tyree

One major challenge for many food hubs is financing and maintaining the infrastructure needed for a "traditional" food hub. Several innovative hubs have found ways to reduce the amount of infrastructure they own or lease, lowering overhead significantly. Perhaps as you grow your hub you will find that you can leverage resources and services like these hubs have, to their great success.  

SlidesAngel Mendez, Amelia O'Rourke-owens, Leslie Schaller | Back to Top


Supply and Demand: Exploring the Relationship Among Incubator Farms and Food Hubs

Presenters: Brianna Bowman, Robin Chanin, Susan Pavlin

Learn how incubator farms, cooperative farms, and food hubs can partner to build the regional supply chain and achieve common goals of enhancing the availability of and access to good food.  This session will highlight the collaborative effort taking shape between Global Growers’ land-based training and Common Market Georgia’s food hub to serve Georgia-based producers and consumers.



Growth and Efficiencies

Managing Your Mid-Life Crisis: Business Development Strategies Beyond the First Million

Presenters: Caesar Layton, Jen Krondon, Michael Schenck, Stephanie Stuckey Benfield 

Getting older can be tough. As start-up growth begins to level off and our businesses approach maturity, we face new challenges and create new opportunities. The short-term questions that used to define our daily operations (“Can we get enough supply, customers, and cash to keep rolling?”) are replaced by long-term questions (“Can we create a healthy company culture that retains staff, attracts investment, and champions our values?”) that can be a lot harder to answer. Facilitated by Cultivate Ventures, this panel explores the middle stages of business development through the success stories and growing pains of food hub operators from around the country.

Finance to Grow a Healthy Food Hub

Presenters: Kate Danaher, Sandi Kronick, Alexis Luckey, Fanco Naccarato, Steve Saltzman

Learn about three hurdles to success for food hubs observed by Carolina Self-Help. "Junk Food Debt," "The IT Gap," and "The Anchor Customer Paradox" are conundrums that could plague any food hub. Learn about these concepts on your path to understanding how to carefully navigate them.

As Local Goes Mainstream, What Is Your Food Hub’s Real Value Proposition?

Presenters: Nicole Mason, Erika Block, Laura Edwards-orr, Diana Endicott 

As mainstream market adoption grows, however, food hubs face risks from both external and internal pressures. This will be an interactive, frank conversation about the shifting landscape, with questions to help you focus on your organization's real value proposition in order to succeed in the evolving food economy. Learn how some of the most established hubs have expressed their value to producers and buyers, and some thoughts on the future of their businesses and the sector in general.

Scaling While Maintaining Core Values

Presenters: John Fisk, Michelle Franklin, Dennis Jennisch, Bu Nygrens, Evan Smith 

Can you get big, and still maintain your core social and environmental values? This directed conversation with some of the larger, for-profit hubs at the conference will address this question head-on, and unflinchingly.

Creating an Emotional Connection - Why Branding is so Important for Food Hubs

Presenters: Ryan Kimura, Sandi Kronik, Nicole Mason, Tom McDougal  

Having great product isn't enough in the competitive world of produce. We'll discuss why thinking of your business and a "brand" is so important to success.  What steps can you take to build loyalty in order to inspire customers to act as brand ambassadors and trusted advisers?


Maintaining Values 

Strategies to Incorporate a Racial Equity Lens in Your Hub Operations

Presenters: Amber Bell, Ben Burkett, Mike Curtin, Haile Johnston, Quiana Mickie

 We will take a careful look at all major hub operational duties and discuss how racial equity could be addressed, including in hiring, sourcing, distributing, marketing, etc. This session will provide hubs with concrete strategies to increase incorporation of racial equity throughout their operations.


Stimulating more sustainable production

Presenters: Cody Hopkins, Sophia Kruszewski, Ben Maddox, Dave Payne, Tina Prevatte 

How can a hub use market forces to work with producers to encourage more sustainable production practices? This session will display some innovative strategies being used successfully across the country.

Food hubs serving low income communities: innovative strategies for moving food to price sensitive and resource constrained buyers

Presenters: Dan Black, Noah Fulmer, Hannah Mellion, Quiana Mickie

Food Hubs plays a critical role in distributing fresh local fruits and vegetables to consumers, particularly those in low income and under-represented communities. This panel will highlight several initiatives targeting economically constrained households, and discuss the role of food hubs in increasing affordable access to local food products. Representatives will discuss models such as grocery retail-incentive programs, the distribution of weekly vegetable shares, as well as institutional purchasing partnerships, displaying the innovative methods being utilized to get healthy food to the people who need it the most.
Opportunities for Working with Small Farmers

Partners: Benjamin Bartley, Michael Frazier, Dave Prather, Lisa Reeder, Michael Schenck

 Small-scale farmers who are interested in entering the wholesale market NEED the aggregation and distribution infrastructure of food hubs. Although there are real costs to hubs in logistics when working with small and very small producers, there are also great advantages. This session will explore ways that hubs and small farmers can mutually benefit by working together.

Slides: Session |Back to Top

Food Banks as Food Hubs

Partners: Kim Hanson, Roy Rollison, TJ Smith, Kathryn Stickland 

This session will explore innovative food banks implementing ‘food hub’ activities to carry out their core mission of furthering food security. Food banks, while having a long history of serving the most vulnerable in their communities, have typically done so through providing those in need with emergency food and meals. Join as we discuss these emerging strategies used by food banks and their impacts in addressing the root causes of hunger in their respective context.


Mitigating Risk 


Understanding hazard, risk and risk-based food safety regulations:

Presenters: Omar Oyarzabal 

Understanding the terms hazard, risk, outcome, hazard analysis, risk assessment and risk-based food safety programs are extremely important for food personnel, especially those working in food hubs, which are often dual-jurisdiction facilities (inspected by FDA and USDA). The Food Safety Modernization Act brings some technical challenges by requiring the application of “preventive controls” in risk-based food safety programs. This session will discuss these important terms using an engaging approach, where participants will use mobile devices and play dice and Jenga games. The terms hazard, risk and outcome will be discussed first to then discuss the terms hazard analysis, risk assessment and risk-based food safety programs in the second part of the session.

Food Safety Modernization Act Regulatory Update:

Presenter: Lauren Handel 

This workshop will provide an update on FSMA regulations affecting food hubs, including who will need to comply and by when; how the rules will affect food hubs, their suppliers and buyers; and what hubs should be doing now to prepare.

Introduction to GroupGAP
Presenters: Audrey Draper, Kaley Grimland 
Coming into compliance with the wholesale buying community's demand for third party food safety certification can be difficult, confusing, and costly for small-scale and diversified growers. To address this barrier to growth, USDA AMS has developed a new group certification option that allows growers to work together and with their local food hub to improve food safety certification outcomes. This introductory session will introduce the USDA GroupGAP Audit Program and help food hubs better understand their changing role in food safety.

Slides: Session | Back to Top

Understanding and Mitigating Legal Liabilities

Presenter: Lauren Handel 

This session will cover potential areas of liability, including product liability, insurance considerations for food hubs, and using contracts to mitigate liability. We also will explore the idea of risk/liability sharing between a hub and growers, how that might work, and what obstacles could cause problems for hubs trying to take on some of their suppliers' risks.


Money: Financing and Finances


A Food Hub's Guide to Financing:

Presenter: Darrow Isaacman-VanWertz and Alex Linkow

Led by Good Food financing experts Darrow Isaacman-VanWertz and Alex Linkow, this intro session will provide participants with an overview of debt v. equity capital and the different kinds of lenders and financing organizations. Participants will discuss the pro's and con's of different capitalization strategies as well as tips and best practices for securing financial support.

Managing Your Balance Sheet Towards a Financially Healthy Hub (level: intermediate)

Presenter: Robin Morris 

The session will show how accurately managing your hub's balance sheet can lead to thoughtful long-term decision-making. An accurate balance sheet is a necessary condition for an accurate profit and loss statement, as well as an accurate cashflow statement. Using an engaging presentation you will see how errors in financial accounting can lead to a poor understanding of your business, as well as be given techniques on how to keep your balance sheet accurate. This is a nice companion to the "Fun with Metrics" session.

Fun with metrics:  An Interactive Journey Through Evaluating and Improving Your Food Hub's Finances

Presenter: Savanna Lyons

This interactive session will demonstrate how food hubs can make better use of their own financial data to lead them to key operations decisions.  As a group we’ll dissect financial statements from an imaginary food hub experiencing commonplace struggles.

Innovations in Financing

Presenters: Alex Linkow, Franco Naccarato, Steve Saltzman, Kate Danaher

As the market for Good Food continues to grow nationwide, so too does the need for food system financing within the sector. Led by food system innovators including Kate Danaher, David Beck, and Franco Naccarato, this session will explore more advanced topics in food system financing, including layer capitalization strategies, leveraging grants against loan, securing loan guarantees, and securing PRI and other mission-driven investment.

Unleashing the Power in Your Records: Using Financials To Strengthen Your Hub (level: beginner):

Presenters: Erin Pirro, Gary Matteson

Led by representatives from Farm Credit, participants in this beginner-friendly financial workshop will not only learn to better know and love their income statement and balance sheet, but how to recognize patterns and key ratios enabling food hub operators to make smarter and more effective operational decisions. Using examples gleaned from Farm Credit’s extensive experience in regional food systems, this session will explore the theory and practice of financial record keeping as applied to effective food business management.

Value Chain Coordination 


Fireside Chat: What Can Food Hub Networks Learn from Other Values-Driven Business Networks

As business sectors expand and formalize, many independent businesses organize to form trade associations and networks in order to increase efficiencies, advocate for policies or aggregate power in the marketplace. The food hubs enterprise community, encompassing food hubs in all their various models and forms, is beginning to explore the question of how to develop effective and equitable business networks, notably in order to work with larger and institutional food buyers. Efforts like the Michigan food hub network, Common Market’s GA affiliate, Rocky Mountain Farmer’s Union and FairAcre Traders demonstrate an active exploration into network models. The food hub enterprise community can learn from hearing more detail on these particular cases and/or exploring the math and mechanics of how analogous values-driven business networks have launched, grown and matured. This session seeks to unfurl the key issues and dive into the good, the bad and the ugly of business network development.

Slides: Fireside Chat | Back to Top

Appalachian Food Hub Network

Presenters: Rosemary Roe, Leslie Schaller

The session will share the approach and evaluation framework of the Appalachian Food Hub Network comprised of 8 food enterprise centers and food hubs working in collaboration to increase healthy food access in under-served townships and villages in rural southeastern Ohio.

Southeastern Food Hubs: Working Together to Build a Regional Food Economy

Presenters: Carrie Furman, Tamara Jones, Susan Pavlin

Challenges of supply chain development, sourcing, logistics coordination and even sales strategies can be approached most effectively in the context of a regional food system. Therefore, the primary goal of this session is to coordinate activities among managers, local food supporters (buyers and NGOs), and producers to strengthen the southeast food system while building capacity within individual hubs.

How Land Grant Universities Can Help Regional Food Hubs Succeed

Presenters: Gwenael Engelskirchen, Gail Feenstra, Caroline Krejci, Savanna Lyons, Rich Pirog

Land grant universities are in a unique position to mobilize an array of resources towards sustainable food system development. Learn about programs at three land grant universities in providing an interdisciplinary approach to food hub viability.

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