2019 Community Food Systems Conference Registration Opens in September

Wednesday, August 21, 2019 // Kristen Irvin

New Entry and our national conference host partner, Georgia Farmers Market Association, along with a dedicated nationwide committee, are excited to present the 2019 Community Food Systems Conference, held December 9-11 in Savannah, Georgia. This conference connects food systems enthusiasts, farmers, educators, food policy makers, and students with opportunities to engage and interact with one another. We seek to empower attendees to take on shared organizational challenges facing regional and national food systems issues. The conference will also create the opportunity to connect with community-based practitioners on food security, social justice, and sustainable agriculture.

We are proud to announce our 2019 Keynote Speaker, Michael Twitty. Our planning committee sought to invite a speaker who would uniquely foster the conversation on food in the U.S. South, while incorporating history and culture. As author of The Cooking Gene:  A Journey Through African American Culinary History in the Old South, Twitty provides us with ‘a new type of roadmap for how to use genetic sleuthing, family oral history, heirloom recipes, and documentary evidence to discover where their African ancestors came from, what they ate, and how they helped to feed and still feed Americans.’ (Johnisha Levi, Program Manager, OLDWAYS)

Last year’s keynote, Winona LaDuke, made a meaningful impact with a hefty call to action, and we know Twitty will continue the conversation and drive for equity in food systems.

I was very grateful for the opportunity to attend the 2017 Community Food Systems Conference. Speaker Winona LaDuke however was the highlight for me. She taught me a new word, “decolonize”. I’d never heard it before. The minute she used it to describe her personal and national goal, it resonated deeply. It’s exactly what I’d been trying to do in my role as a youth developer teaching my youth some balance of nature and living in a capitalistic USA, but I didn’t have the vocabulary to explain it succinctly or to distill into one word. That changed me. I found many allies in spreading food justice, teaching culinary skills and achieving sustainable food behaviors at and after the conference. The conference is integral in bringing people together who otherwise would never know about each other.

David Bartolomi, Youth Development Director

Family Cook Productions http://familycookproductions.org/

Together hosted with Georgia Farmers Market Association, we are excited to welcome our veteran and new participants to our 2019 Community Food Systems Conference. Thank you all for being part of this journey with us! Registration opens in September.

Follow us! Stay tuned here and on social media for more announcements, like the scholarship application and registration launch (#communityfoodsystems2019 and @NewEntrySustainableFarmingProject)


Learn more about our past Conference Impact Report here and our 2019 Conference here.

Want to make a difference? Contribute to our SCHOLARSHIP FUND to support individuals and grassroots organizations with tiny budgets who want to attend but have limited resources.


Continue on for more testimonials from 2017 Community Food Systems Conference attendees:

As the ED of the Pittsburgh Food Policy Council, I was THRILLED to receive support to participate in the Community Food Systems Conference in 2018. There I was able to participate in a national training with my FPC peers and meet and learn from and with people from across the country. As we've embarked on a food action planning process for Allegheny County, PA and the development of a statewide food policy council, I was especially excited to learn first-hand accounts from Maine to California about how others have done this important work to build food democracy. I am thankful for having had this opportunity.”

Dawn Plummer, Executive Director

Pittsburgh Food Policy Council https://www.pittsburghfoodpolicy.org/


The CFS conference was a transformative experience. Being able to attend with a delegation from the DC region, thanks to support from the Chesapeake Foodshed Network, allowed us to bring ideas from all over the country back to our region. The speakers, information sessions, and working meetings all opened my eyes to different methods and ways of thinking about the food access work we do in a broader context. I look forward to the next gathering and would recommend the experience to anyone who wants a conference experience that is focused on action.”

Philip Sambol, Vice President for Operations

Good Food Markets http://www.goodfoodmarkets.com/


“I had a really fun time at the conference in Boston. It was so cool to see many other people there doing the same thing that we do in Minnesota. It was very fun to perform and connect with people who actually listen to [our song] “Grow Food”. If I have a chance to do it again I would.”


Aaliyah Demry, Youth Intern of Appetite for Change


I attended the pre-conference field trip that toured Red's Best Seafood. I'm the Executive Director of Food Roots, a 501c3 community food system organization based on the north Oregon coast. The opportunity to explore a little bit of what folks at Red's Best have been doing with their fisheries; aggregating, promoting and selling seafood was inspiring. Food Roots has been exploring ways to increase our engagement with and support for our local fishing community and have since partnered with other north coast Oregon organizations to do a series of Shop at the Dock events which bring visitors and community members to tour the commercial docks at the Port of Garibaldi; learn of opportunities to purchase local seafood, seasonality, challenges and successes of our local fisheries industry, tour a cannery, watch a live albacore tuna filet demonstration, and get a chance to sample a seafood recipe prepared by a local chef. Food Roots has also since opened a local food retail shop out of its office space and have been working to incorporate some seafood products into the storefront.”

Lauren Sorg, Executive Director

Food Roots http://www.foodrootsnw.org/