Pre-Conference Sessions and Field Trips

2017 Community Food Systems Conference - Boston

Pre-Conference Events and Field Trips on Tuesday, December 5th

Registration is closed.


Pre-Conference 1: Apprenticeship Learning Network – Annual Gathering

Date: Tuesday, 12/05/2017
Location: Boston Park Plaza Hotel
Full day (details below)
Cost: $75.00 per person (lunch included)

The New Entry Sustainable Farming Project is excited to bring together an extraordinary group of people to celebrate the launch of the Apprenticeship Learning Network and the progress our partners have made over the past year. During this pre-conference gathering, we’ll explore the challenges ahead and opportunities for expanded action, plus highlight efforts underway to strengthen support for Apprenticeship Training programs across the country. We are building new connections to empower programs and farm and ranch mentors to improve their practical training skills and enhance next generation farmer outcomes.

9 am – 5 pm; Lunch will be provided
Farm and Ranch Apprenticeship Training Programs will convene for a day of learning, networking, and information sharing.  Topics for the day will include interactive discussions covering:
• Legal Structures for on-Farm/Ranch Labor and Learning
• Strategies for Building a Successful Apprenticeship Program
• Outreach and Recruitment to Find the Best Candidates
• Developing Apprenticeship Curriculum
• Establishing Expectations and Effective Communications with Apprentices
• Feedback, Assessment and Evaluation of the Apprenticeship Program
• Farm/Ranch Mentor - Professional Development Opportunities and Needs
• Career Services and Ongoing Support for Apprentices
• Policy Innovations, Funding, and Research Needed to Support Field-Based Learning
• Open Space – to determine topics of interest to attendees

6 pm - Dinner on Own; possible meet up for drinks (TBD).

Program Contacts:

Jennifer Hashley, Director, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project   

Brianna Bowman, National Programs Manager, New Entry Sustainable Farming Project

Pre-Conference 2: Food Policy Councils SOLD OUT!
Presented by leaders of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future Food Policy Networks Project

Date: Tuesday, 12/05/2017
Location: Boston Park Plaza Hotel
Full day (details below)
Cost: $75.00 per person (includes lunch)

Join the Food Policy Networks Project for a day of conversation and reflection on the state of food systems policy across multiple levels of government: local, state and federal. The number of food policy councils (FPCs) and interest in food systems policy has been growing communities and states across the U.S. Changes in national priorities and state elected officials, an expanding abyss between urban and rural areas, swings in the agricultural market due to human and natural causes, and emphasis on racial and economic injustice all impact the ability of food policy councils and others to achieve policy change.  During this preconference workshop, attendees will discuss challenges and successes of FPCs, explore the relationships and opportunities for local and state FPCs to work together, learn about a new tool to assess the capacity of an FPC to work on advocacy and policy, and grow their connections with peers in their movement.

10:00 – 10:45 am Welcome and Introductions
10:45 – 12:00 pm Panel Discussion on Challenges and Successes of Food Policy Councils
12:00 – 1:15 pm  Panel Discussion on the Politics and Policy of Food in the Bay State (brown bag lunch)
1:15 – 1:30   Break
1:30 – 3:00 pm   Break-out Sessions

1. Relationship between state and local FPCs
2. Get It Toolgether: An Evaluation Toolkit for Food Policy Changemakers

3:00 – 3:15 pm   Break
3:15 – 4:45 pm  Break-out Sessions

1. Good Food, Good Laws: Local Policies
2. The Role of Local and State FPCs in Federal Policy

4:45 – 5:00 pm  Closing and Reflections


Pre-Conference 3: Racial Equity Training SOLD OUT!

Date: Tuesday, 12/05/2017
Location: Boston Park Plaza Hotel
Full day (details below) – 10am-4pm
Cost: $100.00 per person (includes lunch)

In this session we will cover some background information about structural racism in the food system, how it manifests today, the work people are doing to dismantle racism in our food system, what we can do as individuals to combat it, with some self-reflection and action steps for moving ahead.

VISIONS Incorporated offers workshops for groups and individuals. They allow intensive work within a model that makes clients feel safe, invested, and engaged throughout.

The process addresses each of the following levels:
• Personal (attitudes, beliefs, opinions)
• Interpersonal (behaviors, treatments, and relationships)
• Institutional (policies, practices, and systems)
• Cultural (values, norms, and expression)

Workshop Goals

  • Learn about structural racism and other forms of oppression and how they manifest in the food system
  • Engage with analytical tools to identify oppression at the 4 levels in your work and problem solve ways to address it
  • Learn relational tools to work across differences and addresses challenges
  • Learn about the work other people are doing to dismantle racism in our food system

Workshop Outcomes

  • Leave with a set of racial equity tools that you can use when making a decision or facing challenges
  • Personal/organization next steps to apply what you’ve learned/explored

Workshop Outline

  • Intros
  • Guidelines
  • Racism in the Food System Timeline Activity
    • connecting history to present day
    • framing around supremacy vs. equity
    • levels of oppression
  • Historically Included and Excluded Identities–  Oppression and Intersectionality
  • Modern Racism,  Unconscious bias, and Internalized Oppression
    • identify problematic behaviors and explore alternatives
  • Racial Equity Tool and Application to your work
  • What is happening to dismantle racism in the food system
  • Next Steps and Closure


Pre-Conference 4: Chefs & Restaurants: Leaders in Community Food Systems

Date: Tuesday, 12/05/2017
Location: Mei Mei Boston – 506 Park Drive, Boston, MA 02215
1:30pm - 4:30pm
Cost: $50.00 per person (lunch included)

A pre-conference forum for chefs, food service workers, restaurateurs, concerned diners, and advocates for fairness in the industry.

Advance registration required!

Forum Goals

• Build momentum and collective strength among restaurants and industry advocacy organizations towards a unified agenda by inspiring each other, building relationships, having critical conversations, sharing practical tools, and creating common definitions.
• Communicate the impacts chefs are having in their communities, learn about community food security strategies chefs and restaurateurs can engage in to achieve those impacts, and examine new ways to measure impact.
• Encourage restaurants to think strategically and deeply about community food systems work and examine the role of community food security strategies to affect systemic change in the industry.
• Facilitate partnerships and collaboration between community food projects and restaurants.
• Cultivate a group of leaders to plan next steps to continue the momentum toward a national strategy and shared learning opportunities.
• Discuss opportunities to support all food service industry workers to grow as leaders.

Read more about the host restaurant, Mei Mei, and chef/co-owner, Irene Li, here.

Moderated by Yamila Ruiz, Legal Organizer, ROC United - Boston

Featured Panelists:

Irene Li, Mei Mei  |  Katrina Jazayeri, Juliet  |  Jason Bond, Bondir  |  Ellie Tiglao, Olio Culinary Collective

Related Topics
Racial Justice | Food security | Wage discrimination | Gender inequity | Immigration | Culinary Justice | Sustainability | Transparency | Leadership

FIELD TRIPS – Tuesday December 5th

Field Trip 1: The Power of Food! Community-Led Food Systems Change and School Garden Programming in Dudley, Presented by City Sprouts and The Food Project

8:00am – 2:00pm
Cost: $50.00 per person (includes lunch)
Explore the dynamic interplay of a host of initiatives in this Boston neighborhood that cares deeply about food, with CitySprouts and The Food Project. Learn from The Food Project about the Dudley neighborhood's resident-led food systems planning process and the innovative initiatives it has inspired around community-owned distribution systems, securing land for growing, and improving school meals. Learn from CitySprouts about its work with pre-kindergarten through grade eight public schools to build their capacity to integrate gardens as an instructional core-curriculum resource for teachers, an effective and engaging means for food education for students, and a unifying center to strengthen school communities and family involvement. Includes visits to a variety of neighborhood and school garden sites (exact itinerary dependent on weather), and a discussion over lunch from a locally-owned business.

Field Trip 2: Red's Best Fish Pier Tour & NAMA Fish to School, Presented by Red’s Best, Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA) and Up Island Regional School District

8:00am – 2:00pm
Cost: $50.00 per person (includes lunch)
In this field trip participants will have the opportunity to visit a center of the local fishing industry at the Boston Fish Pier. First, visit Red's Best, an innovative company aggregating, processing, and distributing fresh seafood from multiple small boats. Then visit the Boston Public Market for a discussion with NAMA about the critical policy issues impacting local fishing communities and hear from one public school chef who is helping support these communities and increase access to healthy foods by incorporating fresh fish into her school menus. Jenny Devivo, Head Cook of the Up Island Regional School District in Martha's Vineyard, will share her easy and delicious school recipes and finish with a tasting of the day's catch.

Field Trip 3: Urban Food Manufacturing & Urban Youth-led Farming, Presented by CommonWealth Kitchen and Groundwork Somerville’s Green Team Youth Corps

8:00am – 3:30pm
Cost: $50.00 per person (includes lunch)
Tour nonprofit culinary incubator CommonWealth Kitchen’s (CWK) state of the art shared kitchen facility in Dorchester. Learn about small-batch food manufacturing and food entrepreneurship, including the challenges and rewards of expanding into institutional markets. Meet some of CWK’s talented and hardworking food entrepreneurs, sample food products made on-site, and join our conversation about the importance of food manufacturing in urban neighborhoods. Then tour South Street Farm, a youth led community farm in Somerville, and learn about Groundwork Somerville’s focus on growing culturally relevant crops to serve the community through the subsidized Somerville Mobile Farmers Market. They’ll discuss efforts to design the farm as a learning hub for community workshops by building infrastructure that demonstrates a variety of creative approaches to growing food in an urban environment, including a passively heated greenhouse, a solar powered rainwater catchment irrigation system, vertical growing trellises and more.