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Local food summit set for May 15

April 12th, 2017

KPC News - The Star

A local food summit will be presented Monday, May 15, in Auburn by the Hometown Collaborative Initiative.

The summit will take place in the 4-H Exhibit Hall at the DeKalb County Fairgrounds on South Union Street. It is aimed to attract food “stakeholders” such as farmers, restaurant owners, distributors, food service managers and others.

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, WHAT of the Hometown Collaboration Initiative

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

“It’s going to be a very action-packed summit,” Payne said. “I think it’ll be a little bit of something for everyone.” Topics will include bringing farms to schools, “retooling your farmers market” and a local farmer who will talk about her path into retooling, Payne said.

The Hometown Collaborative Initiative has chosen rebuilding the local food system as its emphasis.

“We felt like we were in this really great agricultural community, but we don’t always have great connections,” Payne said. “There’s some sort of disconnect between consumers and the farmers, How can we make those connections possible, and then make local food more available to people here?“

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

Payne said invited people to follow the Auburn Development Advisory Committee Facebook Page at and the committee’s website at

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