Community Food Systems Conference 2017

December 5 - 7, 2017 - Boston Park Plaza Hotel

Exploring the intersection of food security, social justice, and sustainable agriculture

We are grateful to all of our sponsors, exhibitors, presenters, steering committees, and attendees for helping make the 2017 Community Food Systems Conference a success!

The 2019 conference will take place in Savannah, GA December 9-11, 2019! 





View slides from some of our 2017 workshops here.



Thank you to our sponsors:





Exhibitors & Additional Supporters:


Food Solutions New England   |   Progressive Asset Management - Boston  |  North American Food Systems Network  |  Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development  |  Agricultural Justice Project  |  Farm to Institution New England  |  Chelsea Green Publishing  |  Gaining Ground  |  The Livestock Institute of Southern New England | Univeristy of California Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology Apprenticeship Program

Conference Overview

New Entry Sustainable Farming Project's Community Food Systems Conference will address common underlying themes between food security, social justice and sustainable agriculture including obstacles in urban and rural environments and fostering community empowerment to create and sustain resilient local food systems. 

We will provide space for conversations around promoting, facilitating, and supporting self-reliance; breaking down barriers to racial justice; connecting communities to their food sources; and impacting communities at the local and regional level through sustainable food production.

The conference will bring together leaders in, and advocates of, food security, sustainable agriculture and social justice movements to discuss their range of perspectives, how these areas overlap, and how to support one another’s work.

We expect 500 attendees from the fields of community food security, social justice and sustainable agriculture. Early bird discount and scholarship opportunities will also be available.

Conference Highlights

  • Keynote and plenary sessions on food security, social justice and sustainable agriculture.
    • Keynote speaker (pictured below, left): Winona LaDuke, award-winning environmentalist and political activist working and residing on the White Earth reservation in Northern Minnesota; founder of White Earth Land Recovery Project and the Indigenous Women’s Network; and active author and speaker
    • Plenary panelists (pictured below):
      • Malik Yakini, Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Detroit Black Community Food Security Network
      • Aleya Fraser, Farmer & Educator, founder of Black Dirt Farm Collective
      • Suzanne Adely, Northeast Regional  Organizer at Food Chain Workers Alliance, a lead organization of the HEAL Food Alliance
      • Moderated by Andy Fisher, Co-Founder of the Community Food Security Coalition and author of Big Hunger

 Winona LaDuke


Pictured left to right:   Malik Yakini  |  Aleya Fraser  |  Suzanne Adely  |  Andy Fisher

  • 50+ workshops, lightning talks, and networking sessions focused on food justice, policy, best practices, experiential education, sustainability, economic development, building community, and promoting access to healthy food in underserved communities.
  • Exhibit hall for leading non-profit, academic, business and government organizations in the community food field.
  • Field trips to see community food systems work in action at various Boston-area organizations.
  • Pre-conference trainings and forums geared toward targeted audiences for delving deeper into specific food systems work.
  • Meals featuring locally-grown foods and a reception at Boston Public Market.

Workshop presentations spanned the following topics:

Community Partnerships / Farm-to-All / Food Justice / Movement Building / Social Enterprise / Policy / Measuring Impacts / Labor / Youth

Conference Agenda  |  Pre-Conference Sessions & Field Trips  |  Workshop Lineup  |  Reception Information

2017 Steering Committee

Karen Bassarab, Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future  |  Helen Dombalis, National Farm to School Network  |  Andy Fisher  |  Former Director, Community Food Security Coalition  |  Regina Ginyard, Black Urban Growers  |  Grace Henley, International Rescue Committee  |  Michelle Horovitz, Appetite for Change  |  Erika Inwald, Domestic Fair Trade Association  |  Gabi Mora, formerly The Food Trust  |  Anne Palmer, Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future  |  Josh Sibicca, Colorado State University  |  Karen Spiller, KAS Consulting  |  Lacy Stephens, National Farm to School Network  |  Tes Thraves, Center for Environmental Farming Systems  |  Cecily Upton, Food Corps  |  Gail Wadsworth, CA Institute for Rural Affairs  |  Hli Xyooj, Hmong American Partnership

2017 Local Host Committee

Jess Bloomer, Groundwork Somerville  |  Simca Horwitz, Massachusetts Farm to School  |  Mackenzie Sehlke, Boston Public Market Association

This conference is supported in part by USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture.