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PDF Knowledge New England Food Hub Network: Exploring Options To Enhance Food Hub Collaboration & Increase New England Farm To Institution Sales
PDF Knowledge Value Chain Strategies for Source-Identified Minimally Processed Produce for the School Market
PDF Knowledge Tech Guide for Food Hubs
PDF Knowledge Findings of the 2017 National Food Hub Survey - Executive Summary
PDF Knowledge Findings of the 2017 National Food Hub Survey
PDF Knowledge A Manager’s Guide to Food Hub Finances - Worksheet
PDF Knowledge A Manager’s Guide to Food Hub Finances
PDF Knowledge Findings of the 2015 National Food Hub Survey
PDF Knowledge Beyond Beauty: The Opportunities and Challenges of Cosmetically Imperfect Produce Report #3
PDF Knowledge Running a Food Hub: Lessons Learned from the Field
PDF Knowledge Overcoming Obstacles to Local Frozen Produce
PDF Knowledge Running a Food Hub Vol 2: Business Operations Guide
PDF Knowledge Food Hub Benchmarking Study 2014
PDF Knowledge FoodWorks - A Vision to Improve NYC's Food System
PDF Knowledge Buy vs Lease Cost Comparison Tool
PDF Knowledge Food Hub Benchmarking Study Report 2013
PDF Knowledge Food Hubs: Solving Local
PDF Knowledge EATING OUR PEAS & CARROTS: Strategies for Expanding K-12 Access to Fruits and Vegetables Through Supply Chain Innovation and Investment
PDF Knowledge Hudson Valley Food Hubs Initiative Research Findings and Recommendations
PDF Knowledge 2013 National Food Hub Survey Report
PDF Knowledge Key Findings from the 2013 Food Hub Survey
PDF Knowledge North American Food Sector: A Roadmap for City Food Sector Innovation and Investment
PDF Knowledge North American Food Sector: Program Scan and Literature Review
PDF Knowledge Intervale Food Hub Producers Manual
PDF Knowledge Great Falls Food Hub Feasibility Assessment
PDF Knowledge Central Indiana Food Hub Feasibility Study
PDF Knowledge Grand Traverse Regional Market Feasibility Study
PDF Knowledge Report on the Olympic Crossroads Meeting
PDF Knowledge The Role of Food Hubs in Local Food Marketing
PDF Knowledge Community Economic Development Impacts of the Rutgers Food Innovation Center
PDF Knowledge Central Minnesota Food Hub Feasibility Study
PDF Knowledge RFP for a Food Aggregation Facility Study Project
PDF Knowledge Central Oregon Food Hub Feasibility Study
PDF Knowledge An Annotated Bibliography of Publications and Resources on Food Hubs and Values-Based Supply Chains
PDF Knowledge Food Hubs and Values Based Supply Chains: A Toolkit for California Farmers and Ranchers
PDF Knowledge A Practitioner's Guide to Resources and Publications on Food Hubs and Values-Based Supply Chains: A Literature Review
PDF Knowledge Regional Food Hub Resource Guide
PDF Knowledge Making Good Food Work Conference Proceedings
PDF Knowledge Understanding Local Food Transportation Costs
PDF Knowledge Building Successful Food Hubs: A Business Planning Guide for Aggregating and Processing Local Food in Illinois
PDF Knowledge Direct and Intermediated Marketing of Local Foods in the United States
PDF Knowledge Southern Wisconsin Food Hub Feasibility Study
PDF Knowledge Scaling-up Connections between Regional Ohio Specialty Crop Producers and Local Markets: Distribution as the Missing Link
PDF Knowledge The Common Market Feasibility Study
PDF Knowledge Vital Steps - A Cooperative Feasibility Guide
PDF Knowledge Values-Based Food Supply Chains: Strategies for Agri-Food Enterprises-of-the-Middle
PDF Knowledge Comparing the Structure, Size, and Performance of Local and Mainstream Food Supply Chains
PDF Knowledge Fresh Food Distribution Models for the Greater Los Angeles Region: Barriers and Opportunities to Facilitate and Scale Up the Distribution of Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
PDF Knowledge Values-Based & Value-Added Value Chains in the Northeast, Upper Midwest, and Pacific Northwest
PDF Knowledge Scaling Up: Meeting the Demand for Local Food
PDF Knowledge Innovative Strategies for Meeting New Markets
PDF Knowledge Community Food Enterprise: Local Success in a Global Marketplace
PDF Knowledge The Distribution of Local Food Through Consumer Cooperatives in the Northeast
PDF Knowledge Food System Infrastructure: Michigan Good Food Work Group Report
PDF Knowledge A California Network of Regional Food Hubs: A Vision Statement and Strategic Implementation
PDF Knowledge Food Hubs: The ‘Missing Middle’ of the Local Food Infrastructure
PDF Knowledge An Investigation into the Workings of Small Scale Food Hubs
PDF Knowledge Regional Food Hub Resources from USDA v1
PDF Knowledge Regional Food Hubs: Understanding Scope and Scale - Preliminary Findings - Public Markets
PDF Knowledge Regional Food Hubs: Understanding Scope and Scale - Preliminary Findings
PDF Knowledge Healthy Food Systems: A Toolkit for Building Value Chains
PDF Knowledge Ready to Grow: A Plan for Increasing Illinois Fruit and Vegetable Production
PDF Knowledge Local Food System Assessment for Northern Virginia
PDF Knowledge Regional Food Hubs: Linking producers to new markets


NGFN Conference | Albuquerque, NM | March 27-30, 2018


Community Driven Value Chains

Finances and Business Planning

Markets and Buyers

Networks and Partnerships

Proteins and Processing

Food Hub Operations 

Scaling Out and Scaling Up


Full Day Trainings

Half Day Trainings



Community Driven Value Chains

Hawaii Food for All

A vibrant community foods network in Hawai‘i upholds traditional culture, farming, fishing, and land stewardship practices against great odds, by working creatively to build long-term collaborations. A food bank plays a potent role by working with low-income farmers to direct fresh foods to low-income constituents and add value to traditional crops. A retired state health official fosters grassroots networks. A health center runs a farm and engages its clients in life-changing connections. These groups weave a statewide network that highlights the economic importance of building community-based food systems.

Ken Meter, Crossroads Resource Center; Kaiulani Odom, Kokua Kalihi Valley Health Center; Tina Tamai, Hawaii Good Food Network; Kristin Albrecht, The Food Basket


Small-batch food manufacturing as a catalyst for equity and access in the regional food economy

Building an inclusive, equitable regional food economy requires forging a network of collaborations up and down the supply chain able to address the complex challenges of seasonality, climate change, increasingly restrictive regulatory requirements, access to capital, and changing consumer demand. In this session, CommonWealth Kitchen, which operates Greater Boston’s nonprofit food business incubator and food manufacturing social enterprise, will provide an in-depth look at how it leverages its small-batch food manufacturing infrastructure and technical expertise to catalyze pivotal collaborations all long the supply chain. Specific focus areas will include: how CWK’s on-demand processing is diverting farm surplus and creating new market opportunities and revenue streams for regional farms and how CWK is forging partnerships with retailers, distributors, and anchor institutions looking for reliable sources of regionally-produced food throughout the year.

Slides: CommonWealth Kitchen ; Healthcare Without Harm

Jen Faigel, CommonWealth Kitchen; Amber Hansen, Healthcare Without Harm


A Community Based Approach to Developing Partnership with a Food Hub

Learn how to create nontraditional partnerships to achieve your food hub goals, whether these goals are economic development, farmland preservation, urban revitalization, rural development, heritage preservation, food security or developing regional food systems. In this session you will learn how two economically distressed counties in Western NC developed partnerships with a variety of local organizations to stymie the loss of farmers and farmland, and improve the economic situation faced by small farmers. Our unique approach to partnering with multiple organizations to develop a local food hub has proven to be very successful. This project is an example of collaboration involving multiple organizations including the local Sheriff’s department, County government, local school system, youth programs, local food bank, community gardens, land conservancies, community foundations, and North Carolina Cooperative Extension.

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Robin Smith, TRACTOR; Tres Manger, Yancey County Coop Extension; Adam McCurry, Farmer; Jamie McMahan, Yancey County Economic Development; Jeffrey Vance, Mitchell County Coop Extension


From Bullets to Banks: Preventing Colonizing Behaviors in the Food System

This workshop examines the history of colonization in the creation of the food system we have today including who owns land, water and resources as well as how agricultural workers are treated. By recognizing the history of colonization in the food system, we can examine ways that we unintentionally replicate colonizing methods in the food system work today. The panel consists of people in New Mexico whose families suffered under different systems of colonization over generations and illuminates subtle ways that nonprofits, funders, policy advocates and others repeat the patterns in modern times. The examples are drawn from New Mexico, which is apropos since the conference is located in New Mexico, but the lessons can apply everywhere. We will put forth an alternative vision in which self-determination is upheld over colonization and equity over racism.

Sayrah Namaste and Patrick Jaramillo, American Friends Service Committee and Beata Tsosie-Peña, Tewa Women United


Lightning Talks: Value Chains for Community Transformation

A lightning round of brief, highly visual presentations featuring 7 community-based organizations that are building equity, community wealth, connection and capacity through value chain approaches. This inspiring session will highlight and emphasize the creative strategies and partnerships forged by these organizations to strengthen and transform their communities through food.

Audrey Huntington, The Common Market; Annette Hiatt, Land Loss Prevention Project; Dalila Boclin, Community Foodworks; Elisa Munoz-Miller, New Orleans Food Policy Advisory Committee; Kaiulani Odom, Kokua Kalihi Valley Health Center; Nick Hernandez, Thunder Valley CDC; Raul Lozano, Valley Verde; Kelly Larsen and Rosario Maldonado, Windy City Harvest


Finances and Business Planning

Understanding and Financing Your Food Hub’s Working Capital Needs

Led by lenders from RSF Social Finance and Self-Help Credit Union, this workshop will focus on understanding and addressing working capital needs as critical to cash flow management. Through a hands-on exercise, participants will learn to calculate how much working capital a food hub needs and understand the difference between permanent and temporary working capital. We will also discuss financing tools to support you in managing your cash flow.

Darrow Isaacman-VanWertz, Commercial Lending at Self-Help; Meredith Storton, RSF Social Finance


Food Hubs and Lenders: Meeting in the Middle

This session will be a facilitated discussion between food hub managers and lenders to increase awareness of the issues inherent in the financing of food hubs, and to develop feedback to creditors on possible reforms to existing credit programs to better serve the needs of food hubs. Using fishbowl facilitation and small group discussions, the session participants will develop findings and recommendations on both operating and ownership capitol for food hubs, as well as experience with existing federal business financing programs. We will discuss both how food hubs can better approach credit institutions, and how lenders can better serve food hubs.

Scott Marlow, Senior Policy Specialist at the Rural Advancement Foundation International USA; Steve Saltzman, Healthy Food System Initiative, Self-Help


Intersection of Food Justice and Finance

Access to affordable, healthy, culturally appropriate food is a measure of resource allocation. With ownership of capital in the food chain being primarily white and male and with Black and Latino households more than twice as likely to be food insecure as White non-Hispanic households, food access is an issue of racial and economic equity. More paths for food system ownership, leadership and influence are needed for people of color. Combined with this fact is the reality that communities of color have faced persistent financial discrimination. While policies have been passed to protect consumers from redlining, unfair credit scoring systems and predatory loans, the practices continue. For this reason, the California FreshWorks program, a program at the Northern California Community Loan Fund (NCCLF), have enabled the development of innovative financial tools and approaches that to promote equitable access to healthy food and an equitable food system in California.

Esperanza Pallana; Cat Howard, Northern California Community Loan Fund


Book Smart: Using Benchmark Data for Better Bottom-Line Performance

Once the books are in order, it’s time to stop working IN your business and start working ON your business. Led by Erin Pirro and Gary Matteson of Farm Credit, this interactive workshop demonstrates how food businesses can use their financial statements to examine key performance indicators and identify opportunities as well as problem areas. Whether you’re a food hub manager owner or a community-based organizer, this workshop will provide the skills necessary to use benchmarking and analysis effectively to improve business performance.

View slides

Erin Pirro, Farm Credit East; Gary Matteson, Farm Credit Council


Hub Be Nimble, Hub Be Quick

Food hubs operate under various business models to suit the needs of their communities while determining their pathway to viability. You’ll hear from food hub operations who have continually refined their model (in a broad range of ways) to better address the needs of their value chain and operate more efficiently, all while being able to continually conduct businessness. Panelists will share how knowing your customer, what the customer values, how to deliver value at an appropriate margin to generate revenue, and setting sustainable business goals help lead the way to success.

Thomas Nelson, Capay Valley Farm Shop; Erica Christensen, Corbin Hill Food Project; Tracy Harding, Capay Valley Farm Shop; Teddy Gamache, Intervale Food Hub


Markets and Buyers

Making Local the Easy Choice: Wisconsin’s Farm to Institution Procurement Strategy

This session will share the results of Wisconsin’s Farm to Institution Procurement Strategy, a two-year USDA grant-funded project to align the supply and demand for local food in Wisconsin’s cafeterias. Workshop participants will learn about the project’s methods, key successes, and major challenges in developing supply chain pathways for five minimally-processed, locally produced products—applesauce, broccoli florets, fresh-cut carrot coins, potato wedges, and yogurt. Attendees will then workshop their own procurement strategies for the cafeteria settings in their region, and consider new partnerships that they may be able to leverage for long-term institutional food transformation.

View slides

Marie Wilson, Wisconsin Farm to Institution; Kymm Mutch, Wisconsin Farm to Institution


Grocery stores: Four, from-the-field strategies activating retailers to grow equitable, regional food systems

Billions of food dollars are spent every year at grocery stores in the United States. Yet many smaller independent stores, which are often the sole outposts of healthy food in urban and rural communities, struggle in an era of Wal-Mart and Amazon. Food systems advocates are increasingly partnering with traditional grocers on efforts that increase local food sourcing and healthy food access, while supporting the bottom line of participating stores. This interactive session will spotlight four interlocking strategies from the field including: SNAP produce incentives to boost the purchasing power of low-income families; financing and technical assistance geared to healthy food retailers; food hub connections to increase local sourcing; and innovations in online ordering and delivery to better serve hard-to-reach, vulnerable communities. Stories from the field will be followed by break-out sessions where participants can map out how to incorporate such grocery partnerships in their own communities.

View slides

Noah Fulmer, Fair Food Network; Jean Chorazyczewksi, Michigan Good Food Fund and Fair Food Network; Laura Edwards Orr, Red Tomato


Food Service Management Companies — Structures, Incentives, & Strategies for Collaboration

One of the main strategies for hubs and other social enterprise aggregators is to “scale up” operations by selling into institutional food service-specifically dining services at universities, hospitals, assisted living facilities, and the like. In this session get an insider’s view and a reality check on what is possible when working with institutions where dining is managed by a national food service management company. Presenters will describe the structure of managed institutional dining, including the role of Group Purchasing Organizations, and the pathways from farm to food service. Resources from a two- year farm-to-university initiative in North Carolina will be shared, along with practical advice and workable strategies to build relationships and market connections to institutional dining.

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Rebecca Dunning, North Carolina State University; Matt Rogers, Aramark


For the Love of Local: A Value-Chain Perspective on Making Local Sourcing Work

The key component of food value chains is the awareness that building and having transparent and trust-based relationships can produce positive outcomes for all parties. Or, in other words, partnerships create more value overtime than purely transactional relationships. In this panel discussion, Kristen Osgood, Regenerative Strategy Manager for Stern Produce, will discuss her experience building Stern’s local buying program, Arizona Fresh Together. As a formalized, stand-alone program, Arizona Fresh Together engages and involves farmers, foodservice operators, institutions and retail locations in effort towards building a robust local food system for Arizona. Allison Blansfield, Value Chain Manager for Sweetgreen, and Henry Catalan, COO of Jayleaf Farms, will share their experience engaging produce distributors to build value chains, and their journey in building a lasting partnership that has positively impacted both businesses.

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Allison Blansfield, Sweetgreen; Henry Catalan, Jayleaf, LLC; Kristin Osgood, Stern Produce


Farm to College: The Undiscovered Institutional Goldmine

While many think of “farm to school” and “farm to hospital” as primary institutional markets, the college and university market holds some of the greatest market potential for local food hubs. Although not all, many colleges have a combination of activist community members, a more flexible budget than public K-12 schools, and various dining facilities on campus, all which allow a way for hubs to start as small suppliers, and offer the potential of scaling up. In this session you will hear different perspectives on the college market. Farm to Institution New England has gathered, and will share, a significant amount of practical data from their region’s colleges, building a deep understanding of the market from the buyer’s side. Farm Logix is a highly successful supply chain management system that provides the infrastructure that facilitates farm to institution sales. They will share how they have been successful selling into colleges, and how that market is different from other institutional markets.

Linda Mallers, FarmLogix; Nessa Richman, Farm to Institution New England; Hannah Leighton, Farm to Institution New England


Networks and Partnerships

Wait! Do you really need to start a food hub?
Is starting a food hub the right strategy for strengthening your local food system? Does operating a bricks-and-mortar facility provide the best return on your investment? Can value chain coordination realize the same end to these needs? These are the issues that our food hubs panelists will address, and the theme of the questions that they’ll workshop with audience members. The panel will be moderated by Jim Barham, Agricultural Economist at the USDA, and will include a frank discussion of the failures and challenges faced by each of these food hubs. The reasons for each panelist’s continued success (be it perseverance, lucky breaks, wherewithal, or all three) will also be highlighted, including their provision of value chain services for their producer and market partners.

View Slides

Jim Barham, USDA Rural Development; Benjamin Bartley, La Montanita; Dan Hobbs, Co-op development specialist; Jillian Dy, Deputy Director of The Common Market Mid-Atlantic

Farmers’ perspectives on food hubs and value chains

Food hubs have grown in number and matured over the last decade as a way to aggregate, process and deliver regional food from small and medium-sized farms. Little is known, however, about what farmers’ experiences are as suppliers to these food hubs. This panel will explore this by sharing findings from a national USDA AFRI study that surveyed farmers nationwide about the perceived benefits and challenges they experienced participating in a food hub, their degree of dependence on the food hub and their views on the impacts of food hubs and value chains on the viability of their farms and farming practices. We will also hear directly from farmers and a food hub who will share their own experiences as suppliers (farmers) and buyer (food hub). The food hub will describe what they are doing or might do in the future to support their farmer suppliers.

View slides

Gail Feenstra, Deputy Director at the Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program (SAREP), UC Davis; Benjamin Bartley, La Montanita

Building Collaborative Networks for Food System Resilience

Learn about the Michigan GroupGAP Network and the Michigan Food Safety Workgroup, a highly collaborative & interagency network that has created statewide, on farm food safety training alternatives that are customizable to meet the diverse needs of historically underserved and beginning farmers in Michigan. The objective of this group is to create a replicable framework to increase market access for beginning and historically underserved farmers by providing them with training alternatives that are necessary for compliance with buyer requirements at food hubs and the Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Rule. Portions of this session will be delivered in Spanish to model the lessons learned in tailoring our programming to meet the needs of Spanish-speaking farmers in Michigan. Written or audio translation of this portion of the session will be provided no those who do not speak Spanish.

View slides

Jen Silveri, Filiberto Villa Gomez, Michigan Farming and Food Systems; Phil Britton, Michigan Group GAP; Filiberto Villa Gomez, Director, MIFFS Spanish Speaking Farmer Network; Evan Smith, Alden Services, Director

Getting Financially Naked

Sharing real business numbers makes us all nervous. We will share 4 real sets of financials from local food hubs. We’ll talk about what it means to really share and grow from sharing our numbers with a non-competing group of peers. Let’s discuss how building multiple groups of 20 non-competing Food Hubs and sharing everything in a structured format will enable our local supply chains to grow faster and stronger and will help our organizational managers to build and grow their operational and financial acumen.

Ted LeBow, Kitchen Table Consultants; Rebecca Frimmer, Kitchen Table Consultants

Partnering to Increase Farm Viability

Food hubs are only as strong as their farmer suppliers. Many food hubs missions include service to farmers who are at risk because of who they are or what they grow. But as businesses, food hubs have significant limitations in their ability to provide services that do not directly add to their bottom line. Farm service organizations provide assistance, but often lack the consistent interaction with producers that food hubs can provide. What is their responsibility and opportunity to provide technical assistance and address longer-term viability issues? This session will provide a discussion of the opportunities for and challenges of partnerships between farm services organizations and food hubs to serve farmers at risk. The group discussion will result in potential partnerships to test resources and provide support for strengthening assistance for farmers based in the concrete financial and time limitations of food hubs.

Scott Marlow, Rural Advancement Foundation International USA; Susie Marshall, Grow North Texas; Joe Schroeder, Farm Aid; Sandi Kronick, Eastern Carolina Organics


Proteins and Processing

Clearing Waters: Perspectives and Opportunities for Sourcing Regional Seafood

As more institutions, restaurants, and consumers turn to sourcing local protein, seafood is coming up as a great option in conversations around the food movement. Yet the landscape (or seascape) of seafood is often confusing, and “seafood” is but one word that represents many different fisheries, sea farms, and people across the country. This session is for anyone interested in broadening their depth and breadth of knowledge about the fishing and seafood industry in the US, as well as opportunities to source more seafood from various regions of the country. We will hear stories and examples from presenters about how they are working with regional supply chains to get more seafood into the marketplace. Part of the session will be devoted to small group conversations where we will dive into participant experiences and questions about sourcing regional seafood, with a focus on solutions, opportunities, and success stories.

Kyle Foley, Sustainable Seafood Program Manager at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute; Shayna Cohen is a Senior Consultant, Karen Karp & Partners; John Fallon, Director of Sustainability and Coastal Conservation for Audubon Nature Institute; Tyson Rasor, Fish and Food Program Manager at Ecotrust


Developing & Selling Innovative Value-Added Products for Farm to Institution Markets

Expand markets for local producers and increase access to healthy foods for community members who need it most by developing innovative and affordable value-added local food products for schools, hospitals and food banks. Learn the “how’s” and “why’s” of Farm to Institution through the experience of Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center, a nonprofit shared-use, fully-inspected food processing facility, in partnering with local institutions, producers and cooperatives to deliver minimally-processed produce and ready-to-eat products incorporating meats, grains and legumes, including the Montana Lentil Burger, beef-lentil crumble, breakfast bars for schools, a beef-lentil-mushroom “meatball”, and tomato sauce. Topics will include key lessons for all stages from identifying products and demand, recipe development and testing, equipment and packaging, cost and nutrition analysis, meeting food safety & regulatory requirements and market requirements (such school meal pattern requirements), developing key relationships, using MOUs and contracts, and even how to complete a Product Formulation Statement! Participants will also start thinking about the process and products that make sense in their community and discuss the role of institutions in building healthy communities through strong, equitable local economies and food systems.

Brianna Ewert, Mission Mountain Food Enterprise Center


Meat in the Middle: Designing and Growing a Value-Added Meat Program

A well-designed line of meat products can be a high-margin driver of food hub viability year round. However, as demand for the program goes, managing tension between scale, source, and certification is necessary to keep your organization’s values front and center. Join James Faison, Founder and President of Milton’s Local in Virginia, to explore how he grew his local meat hub from a start up to a regional grocery store staple. This session explore the nuts-and-bolts of value-added meat processing and lays out six areas of consideration: 1) setting appropriate objectives, 2) determining sourcing requirements, 3) setting price points, 4) establishing label claims, 5) choosing the right packaging, and 6) entering the right sales channels.

M. James Faison, Milton’s Local; Thomas Dollahite, Sweetgrass Beef Cooperative


Grain Value Chains

Even though grain is a significant part of most Americans’ diet, it has only be relatively recently that the local food movement has begun to work on nurturing grain value chains. In this session you will hear details about two very different, very successful grain value chains; one in a very rural area, one in a very urban area. Each story has a myriad of best practices that you can learn from when working in your own area.

Michelle Ajamian; June Russell


Food Hub Operations

Protecting Profitability and Scale through Holistic Strategic Planning

This is to introduce Food Hub operators, start-ups, and management employees about various strategies and objectives to achieve their overall strategic planning goals monthly, yearly, and multi-yearly. The goal of this presentation is to assist operators in protecting profitability by holistically responding to risk in the five special emphasis areas of production, marketing, financial, legal, and human resource management. Participants will look at the presenter’s Food Hub’s beginning, development and implementation as an example of best and worst practices when starting and scaling up.

Ron Williams


Logistics Make the World Go ‘Round

The session presents three technological solutions to food hubs’ logistical needs. Hear from a range of practitioners on tools they have developed to crack the code on getting products to the right place at the right time for the right price. Leaders from Iowa will demonstrate an application to help facilitate food hubs collaborating for shared transportation and warehousing. Farm Fare from Ohio will show us an application that allows farmers, hubs, and buyers to share information and transportation quickly and easily. TRACTOR from North Carolina will demonstrate their excel-based tool to track sales and inventory. Learn about applying these tools to take your hub to the next level!

Anuj Mittal, Iowa State University; Jason Grimm, Iowa Valley RC&D; Becca Smith, Tractor, Food and Farms; Robin Smith, TRACTOR Food and Farms; Cullen Namoff, Farm Fare; Laura Adiletta, Farm Fare


Culturally-Relevant Solutions for GAP Training and Auditing

Know you need to get GAP but not sure where to start? Are your growers resistant to GAP and confused about what is needed? Are you navigating cultural, language, and technological barriers? We’ve been there and gotten through it. Let us tell you how we did it.

Lindsay Gilmour, Organic Planet LLC


Letters to a Young Food Hub 

Five veteran food hubbers imagine they could go back in time to their younger selves, and give advice to make their path easier and more successful.

Grace Mandarano, 100km Foods Inc.; Thomas Nelson, Capay Valley Farm Shop; Haile Johnston, The Common Market; Angel Mendez, Red Tomato; Karen Salinger, Veritable Vegetable; Rich Pirog (moderator), Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) at Michigan State University


“Everything you (n)Ever Wanted to Know about FSMA”

Steve Warshawer; Sophia Kruszewski, National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition


Scaling Out and Scaling Up

Scaling Up Good Food Value Chains

This session brings together 4 national leaders that have helped to scale up Good Food Value Chains in their respective regions. FamilyFarmed, Greenmarkets, Local Foods, and the Santa Monica Farmers Market each has developed unique programs to expand sales of sustainable local food with a strong focus on ensuring that farmers receive fair compensation for their products. It will also look at ways these organizations help to expand access to good food.

Jim Slama, CEO of FamilyFarmed; Laura Avery, Santa Monica Farmers Market; Marcel Van Ooyen is the CEO of Grow NYC; Andrew Lutsey is founder and CEO of Local Foods


Spawning & Replicating The Redd on Salmon

Ecotrust and The Redd will lead a fun think-tank meets collaborative panel around the creation of cohort businesses where multi-party stakeholders, creative financing and equity are at play. The Redd on Salmon street is a catalyst for designing a regional food system that provides financial, social and environmental benefits to the same communities who depend on these systems for food. Situated on two city blocks in the heart of Portland, the Redd seeks to rebuild a scale of producers and connect the supply to institutional demand. The space offers right-sized processing and distribution infrastructure for these rural producers and urban entrepreneurs, creates a container for collaboration among diverse players, and provides a gathering space for convening, like NGFN, to advance thought leadership on food system reform. Together we are catalyzing the emergence of a post-industrial food system – one that is prosperous, nutritious, equitable, restorative and delicious.

View slides ; View handout

Emma Sharer, Operations Manager, The Redd on Salmon Street


Equity in value chains: practical strategies for community economic development

This session will highlight innovative and practical methods for embedding equity into the development of regional value chains. Join the Corbin Hill Food Project, the Center for Social Inclusion, USDA Rural Development, and the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, for a discussion on applied strategies of furthering equity across the value chain. Presenters will provide a brief overview of best practices, feature several illustrative examples, and engage the audience in discussion to examine the linkages between organizational sustainability, economic development, and equity. Participants will also be given the opportunity to engage with one another around challenges and barriers they face in this regard and brainstorm potential solutions. The impacts of highlighted approaches, including those related to agriculture and nutrition linkages, population health, and rural-urban connections will also be described. Please join us as we explore and discuss methods to align both a mission based approach, with economic needs and realities.

View slides

Erica Christensen, Corbin Hill Farms; Alex Cordova, USDA; Rachel Spencer, USDA


Urban-Rural Connections for Economic Development

Hear “economic development” and many people picture a ribbon-cutting ceremony at a warehouse, factory, or store. But what does economic development really look like? What does it take to launch and sustain successful food-based economic development projects that meet the needs of diverse groups with divergent priorities? Practitioners from rural, peri-urban, and urban perspectives will discuss strategies for effective regional food economy development, how to define ‘success’, and how equity and transparency will be crucial to developing sustainable urban-rural economic connections that benefit farmers, eaters, and everyone in between. You’ll walk away with useful tools and perspectives no matter where you live or what your region’s food economy looks like, and be inspired to tackle the toughest problems in regional food economy development.

View slides

Molly Riordan, City of Philadelphia; Sue Beckwith, Texas Center for Local Food; Todd Erling, Hudson Valley Agriculture Development Corp

Full Day Trainings

Training Boosts Efficiency and Equity: Where Do I Start?

This Full Day Training will build the capacity of managers in food businesses to assess their operations to identify where clearer standards for staff/volunteers can improve efficiency and resiliency, and create effective training and evaluation systems. Competent and engaged staff are key to any successful operation, but too often work processes are unclearly defined and training and evaluation of staff lack focus. The result is frustrated managers and staff, and ultimately a less successful business or community organization. This training will cover the five essential components of an effective staff training system. Each participant will define an area of operations that needs attention. We will work through identifying outcomes and competencies, as the basis for training and evaluation. In the afternoon, we will create some effective training activities to assure transfer of good ideas into practice back home.

View slides ; Handouts (ZIP archive)

Peggy da Silva, Principal, Consulting for Community


Partnering With Purpose

A hands-on workshop in building stronger and more equitable local food systems by facilitating collaboration between the various food systems actors and engagement with the full breadth of local communities. Goals: Provide skills to food system leaders in facilitating collaboration between sectors in their communities, including those directly involved in food systems work and the many partners needed to support them. The workshop will provide experiential tools that leaders can bring home to their communities, as well as problem solving and discussion about the challenges of convening effectively. Foster community engagement to inform and resource food systems work, for deeper and more equitable impact on the ground. The workshop will introduce participants to the Radical Inclusion model of community engagement, including community mapping to ensure that no one is left out of planning, and opening dialogues with previously marginalized groups in ways that feel meaningful and safe for them.

Vicki Pozzebon, Principal, Prospera Partners; Ellen Shepard, CEO, Community Allies; Keegan King, Owner, Mount Taylor Organic Farm at Acoma Pueblo


Fearless Fundraising – It’s All in the Preparation

We get involved in a food hub or value chain business because we want to make the world a better place, then we realize that we need money be profitable. It’s at this point that fear sets in, then a grind of conversations that result in no money. The purpose of this training is to shift this dynamic completely. Anyone can raise money when they are thoroughly prepared to present a compelling business model and ask the right people for the right kind of money for the right reason. Participants in this training will leave knowing exactly what they need to do to raise money. This includes business models that work for food hubs and value chain businesses, their breakeven scale and capital requirements, the best sources and uses of capital, and a detailed to-do list for all of the documentation needed for a lender or investor.

View slides

Tera Johnson, Director, Food Finance Institute, UW Extension


Food Policy Councils and Food Hubs: Bringing the Community Together

This training will focus on the practical application of food policy for food hubs, beginning with a guide into the world food policy and how food hubs and food policy councils can work together. Participants will gain practical skills on how to engage your local food policy council and how these councils can be an essential vehicle for community engagement to make your food hub stronger, more impactful, and sustainable.

Mark Winne, Senior Advisor, Center for a Livable Future; Susie Marshal, GROW North Texas; Susanne Girdner, Georgia Organics; Tricia Kovacs, USDA/AMS



Half Day Trainings

Funding, Financing and Ownership: Creating Community Well-Being through Regional Food Systems

Explore how regional food systems can be developed to enhance community well-being in the context of New Economy thinking, and to determine the funding, financing and ownership approaches that can be used to achieve the goal. The workshop will give examples of current partnerships that are supporting regional food systems development, the importance of establishing those partnerships and how the correct business structure can enhance their potential.

Warren King, President-Food Commons Fresno Community Corporation; Karen Schmidt, Fresno Food Commons Trust; John Katovich, Cutting Edge Capital; Jamie Harvie, The Food Commons


Promoting Local Food Systems through Value-chain Exploration and Mapping: An Interactive Workshop

West Central Missouri Community Action Agency recently launched a Community Development Corporation focused on community wealth building in rural Missouri. A key tool in our work is value-chain exploration and mapping of market opportunities. It helps our underserved, under-resourced rural communities chart the territory between them and market demand for goods and services they might provide, such as local food. The process identifies assets and opportunities as well as interested parties and potential investors. In this interactive workshop, we will introduce and practice value chain exploration as a method for stimulating practical conversations and collaborative action. We will discuss how we are using these tools in our food systems work and other sectors, such as tourism. Participants will have the opportunity to apply these tools to their own projects, and get feedback from peers and presenters.

Patty Cantrell, Director of Community Wealth Building, West Central Missouri Community Action Agency; Melissa Levy, Principal, Community Roots LLC; Katie Nixon, Food Systems Specialist, West Central Missouri Community Action Agency


Crop, Chop, Change: How food hubs innovate, differentiate, and profit with a kitchen

Commercial kitchens provide food hubs with a powerful platform for revenue diversification, advertising, education, advocacy, and lead-generation to support their core competencies of buying and selling local produce. Diverse programming in nonprofit food hub The Good Acre’s onsite kitchen serves to foster and scale relationships with buyers from consumers to institutions. This workshop will dive into the how and why of each core program offering, including culinary trainings for professionals in foodservice, family and consumer sciences (FACS), and medicine/public health; farm share (CSA) sampling/demonstrations; public/private/corporate cooking classes; and kitchen rental for food businesses, including local sourcing support and TGA’s ag-centric food business accelerator (Maker to Market, with Lakewinds Food Co-op). Finally, they will discuss the potential for commercial kitchens/food hubs to process seconds/gluts into value-added food products, providing hunger relief solutions that advance food equity and access without relying on write-offs from farmers.

Emily Paul, Director of Programs, The Good Acre; Nick Mabe, Logistic and Sales Director, The Good Acre; Rhys Williams, Executive Director, The Good Acre


Navigating strategic food system change: A road map for community food and agriculture plans

Communities across the country are seeking to improve their vibrancy and vitality through meaningful connections that strengthen food systems, sustain local farms, improve access to healthy food, and increase community prosperity. In this training, you will develop a road map to spur, strengthen, and maintain diverse community engagement for meaningful change. First learn about innovative food system plans at various scales from cities to states. Then facilitators will walk you through the different stages of a food plan including defining the scope, creating a timeline, identifying strategic partnerships, and developing an engagement plan for your own community. You will be provided a workbook with templates and examples which will become your own road map. Finally, panelist will share how you shift gears from planning to implementation and provide guidance about the process, tools, funding, and resources that led to successful impact in their own communities.

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Pam Roy, Executive Director, Farm to Table; Blake Angelo, Manager of Food Systems Development, City and County of Denver; Dawn Thilmany, Professor, Colorado State University; Becca Jablonski, Assistant Professor, Colorado State University


The “And” in Brand: Brand Building, Marketing and Culture Change

This workshop, led by Red Tomato, will cover the basics of brand-led organizations, business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketing, transparency in the supply chain, and use of both physical and digital resources to reach your audiences. We will explore what it means to build a brand that supports farmers and food hub values, and how effective brand marketing can help address challenges in the supply chain. In the second part of the session, we will be joined by voices from the culture world and Southwest region to move beyond ‘the brand’ to exploring what it means to shift culture. Drawing on examples from native cultures and other movements, we pose this question to attendees: how can we leverage our collective marketing resources—all of the great stories we have to tell and the beautiful images, video and sounds we use to tell them—in ways that help to change the larger culture toward support for local food and good food values?

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Sue Futrell, Director for Marketing, Red Tomato; Gideon Burdick, Marketing and Development Manager, Red Tomato


Merging Values and Value

Articulating and integrating a values-based mission into the practical, day-to-day work of running a food hub is a challenging task. Drawing on published frameworks of diverse economies and ethics of care, this workshop will guide participants through their own process of crafting a care-centered framework to guide both the mission and operations of their enterprise. Using examples from in-depth studies of three food hubs, we will explore how a care-centered economic framework helps guide the integration of ethical and financial values in food hub planning, management, and operation. Participants will then work through a step-by-step development of a care-centered strategic framework for their unique operations and community context. This framework can help inform future planning efforts, the development of essential and strategic partnerships, and guide operational decision making that best meets the long term vision and core competencies of the food hub.

Dr. Lilian Brislen, University of Kentucky; Sara Pennington, Community Organizer

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