Conversation with the Region on Local Food & Agriculture

Featuring Keynote Speaker: Commissioner Ryan Quarles, Kentucky Department of Agriculture

Date and Time: Friday, December 8, 2017, 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Site: The New Bluegrass Stockyards, 4561 Ironworks Pike, Lexington, KY 40511

The Conversations with the Region series continues with an important discussion on Local Food & Agriculture. The 10:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. conference will include lunch from Derae & Friends (Hayden’s Stockyard Eatery). Full conference registration is only $35, or include Bluegrass Tomorrow Membership and full registration for only $50.

The purpose of the discussion is to raise awareness of key food and agriculture related issues in the Bluegrass Region, answering the questions: Where are we? What are our primary challenges? How do we compare to other similar markets?

There have been numerous meetings of stakeholders over the past several years but some believe little has been accomplished to address local food. There are many different groups that have seen the benefit of jumping on the “local foods” bandwagon and defining it to meet their objectives. Our challenge is to look at reality, look at it regionally, and try to bring an all-inclusive framework to the issue and to reach consensus on future objectives and strategies.

Who should attend: local and state government officials, farmers, providers/co-ops,county extension agents and key stakeholders and decision makers involved in food and agriculture and local foods, restaurant owners, suppliers, and other community leaders, business & chamber leaders. Also, board members and stakeholders in the following organizations are encouraged to attend: KY Dept. of Agriculture, University of KY College of Ag & affiliated programs, Kentucky State/EKU and other regional college Ag Depts., KY Center for Ag & Rural Dev., Bluegrass Tomorrow, Bluegrass Greensource, Woodford Forward, Fayette Alliance, Bluegrass Land Conservancy, Bluegrass Area Development District, Kentucky Farm Bureau, KY Cattlemen’s Association, and many others.

Working Agenda

9:30 a.m. Registration & Coffee
10:00 a.m. Welcome, Comments & Introduction of Partnering Organizations & Guests.
10:15 a.m. – Noon Opening Session –a series of 4 panel discussions, providing an overview and situation assessment of where we are:
        • State of KY Initiatives/Issues and Community Efforts
        • KY Universities, Colleges & Schools
        • Community Efforts: Farmers and Providers
        • Retailers/Restaurants
Noon – 12:30 p.m. Networking Lunch
12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. Working Group Breakouts Discussions
        • Group A – Local Foods Market Share
                – Relationship with Retailers and Restaurants
                – How to make Surplus goods pay
                – How to manage supply/Demand
        • Group B – Resources for Producers
                – What is available?
                – How to best use what is available,
                – What is not available that is needed.
        • Group C – Regulatory and Funding
                – Loans and Banking
                – Food Safety
                – Land Use
                – Environmental
        • Group D – Educating Consumers
                – What drives consumer food choice habits?
                – Current activities/advertising to promote local,
                – What needs to be done to better promote our local products?
                – What role does digital media play and how can it be used to better advantage?
1:45 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. Working Group Discussions Continued (move to a new discussion)
        • Group E – Institutional and Statewide Resources
                – What are large institutions contributing through purchasing and promotion/what are their programs/incentives?
                – What would be stronger/more effective working arrangements?
                – What financial incentives already exist at state level?
                – What types of innovative financial incentives could be implemented at the state level?
        • Group A- Local Foods Market Share 
        • Group B- Resources for Producers 
        • Group C- Regulatory and Funding
        • Group D- Educating Consumers
2:00 p.m. – 2:15 p.m. Break
2:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Reports, feedback, conversation.
3:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Wrap-up Keynote Presentation:  Commissioner Ryan Quarles
Next Steps, Adjourn

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