UNCW to host local foods conference
February 2, 2012By Samantha Freda
Feast DownEast, also known as the Southeastern North Carolina Food Systems Program, will hold its second annual regional conference on Friday, February 3 at UNCW’s Burney Center.
This year the theme of the conference is “Bridging the Gap – Bringing Local Farmers to Market.”
“We are trying to build and support systems that will make it easier for those who purchase food to buy from local farmers and fishermen; whether it is an individual, a restaurant or for an entire school district,” said Jane Steigerwald, SENCFS director and conference organizer in a press release.
In partnership with various local grassroots organizations and community leaders, Feast DownEast works toward a sustainable local economy by supporting and marketing local farms. The organization assists small farmers in finding a market for their products, and also aims to increase the amount of fresh local groceries to area restaurants, schools, college campuses, hospitals and other institutions.
The intent of this conference is to promote buying relationships between farmers and local buyers and provide small farmers and fishermen additional knowledge and skills to help their businesses grow.
Workshops will be held throughout the day on subjects including organic farming practices, composting, aquaculture, hydroponics, farm business planning and marketing and seasonal menu planning.
The conference aims to address the prevalent issues in establishing a successful local food economy, mainly by assisting to create enough supply to match the demand and providing consumers with local, fresh food. UNCW is the lead agent for SENCFS, which is headed by co-founding executive director Dr. Leslie Hossfeld.
The event will be held at the UNCW Burney Center from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Farmers, fishermen and local food buyers may register online for the conference at www.feastdowneast.org or contact Jane Steigerwald at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. The conference is free and open to the public and is limited to 250 participants. Farmers, fishermen and institutional buyers will have priority in registration.