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Food summit will promote locally grown food

May 15th, 2017

KPC News

We are pleased to see a local food summit “on the menu” for Monday in Auburn.

Serving up the summit at the 4-H Exhibit Hall at the DeKalb County Fairgrounds on South Union Street is the Auburn Hometown Collaborative Initiative Core Team.

The summit is part of the Purdue Extension Rebuilding Your Local Food System program.

Panelists and speakers will share information about existing local food systems and discuss how the Hometown Collaborative Initiative core team might work to make the local food system more robust as part of their Capstone Project.

It is a community-wide event with a special focus on attracting food “stakeholders” such as farmers, restaurant owners, distributors and food service managers.

The event will begin at 3 p.m. with a panel discussion and networking.

“We would then like the community to join us for a locally sourced community meal, networking and discussion on local foods beginning at 5 p.m., with dinner at 6,” said Sarah Payne, of the Hometown Collaborative Initiative.

The goal is to offer “a large, community-wide event where people can come and engage and learn and network,” said Jodee Ellett, local foods coordinator for the Purdue Extension Service in Indiana.

Topics will include bringing farms to schools and farmers markets.

“We felt like we were in this really great agricultural community, but we don’t always have great connections,” Payne said. The goal is to better connect local farmers and local consumers.”

“We’ve talked about changing consumer values, the relocalization of food systems and what we can do to start a project in the community to rebuild the local food system,” Ellett said.

For more information and to register go to: indianahci.org/blog/auburn-hci-local-food-summit/

At 5 p.m. there will be a mini-market with a number of local farm vendors.

Following, dinner will be roundtable discussions about the Auburn and regional food system.

Ellett’s active support of locally grown food began in in 1993. In 2010, she started Gener8 Farms in Ellettsville, growing vegetables and selling at the Bloomington Community Farmer’s Market. Her children, who are eighth generation Ellett, were a driving force for the community-based model of farming where member families participated in the planting, harvesting and maintenance of the farm over the growing season.

Ellett started her position as the local foods coordinator for Purdue Extension in 2013, focusing on rebuilding local food systems in Indiana and providing hands-on community development, programming, education and outreach for individuals, groups and communities looking to elevate their local food initiatives and innovation.

The Hometown Collaborative Initiative, which began this year in Auburn, is intended to help communities of 25,000 or fewer people develop a new generation of local leaders; promote the launch, survival and growth of small businesses and entrepreneurs; or enhance the natural and physical assets of their hometowns.

The program typically lasts 12-24 months and concludes with the development of a capstone project developed by the community.

The Hometown Collaboration Initiative is administered by the Office of Community and Rural Affairs in partnership with Ball State University’s Center for Community Economic Development, Purdue University’s Center for Regional Development and Purdue Extension.

We hope many people take advantage of this smorgasbord of food information and networking opportunities.

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