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​​​​​​​​​​​Indiana Local Food Summit set for October in Indianapolis

By Keith Robinson

People working on local food initiatives in their communities can learn more from experienced practitioners and meet with their peers during Purdue Extension's Indiana Local Food Summit in Indianapolis.

The daylong program will be held 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST Oct. 6 at Ivy Tech Culinary Center, 2820 N. Meridian St.

Purdue Extension is committed to fostering a statewide network of food systems and providing technical assistance for a range of community food systems practitioners, said Jodee Ellett, local foods coordinator for Purdue Extension.

"This event is an excellent opportunity for participants to learn, network and share about their work and experience in local food systems development," she said. "We expect everyone to leave with a stronger network of peers, new knowledge on food systems and the inspiration to continue this work in their communities."

The program is for those working in farm-to-school programs; school and community gardens; food hubs; food access and food insecurity programs; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; Women, Infants and Children program; and economic development. It also is for chefs, food service directors, farmers, consumers, elected officials, food entrepreneurs, and city and county leaders.

The morning will focus on food councils, farm-to-school programs, food hubs, healthy food access and food business training, and include a presentation by keynote speaker Rich Pirog, director of the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems.

There will be afternoon sessions on "Getting Started in Farm to School," cooperative business models, creative purchasing of local food for institutions and restaurants, and others.

Lunch will be catered by Ivy Tech Culinary students and include a menu of locally sourced food. Tours of the Ivy Tech Culinary facility will be offered during the day as well as an evening urban agriculture Harvest Gathering in Indianapolis.

Early-bird registration of $30 includes materials, beverages, snacks and lunch. The registration fee after Sept. 15 increases to $40. Registration online is available at http://bit.ly/2auKtoD.

The event is made possible by the state Legislature's AgSEED funding to Purdue University to support Indiana agriculture and rural development.

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