University of Louisville to host Farm to Campus Conference on Friday

by Conner Forrest on January 19, 2012

Educators curious about ways to bring local food to their campuses will have an opportunity to ask questions and brainstorm with others at a conference tomorrow.

The Farm to Campus Conference is a collaboration between the University of Louisville, Metro Government’s Farm to Table initiative, and the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. It aims to bring together educators and vendors of local food with universities who want to localize their food offerings. Farm to Table spokeswoman Sarah Fritschner says the goal of the conference is to get people talking about local food on college campuses.

“We don’t think that we’re going to have 138 people walk out of U of L going, ‘everything is different now,’” she said. “But we hope that this starts the conversation about bringing local food onto their campuses.”

This will be Louisville’s first conference focused solely on building connections between universities and local food providers. Fritschner says solutions to common problems aren’t always easy to come by.

“The barrier, in many instances, is the system itself. We have systems to get food from Chile to Louisville, and from California to Louisville; but we don’t have a system to get it from Scott County to Louisville,” she said.

The conference includes a keynote by Mark Bomford, the director of the Yale Sustainable Food Project. Representatives from local food-using distributors like Papania’s, Sysco Louisville, and Creation Gardens will also be the event to discuss their success using local foods.

The conference will be held at the Floyd Theater on the University of Louisville’s Belknap Campus. Online registration is already closed, but Fritschner says anyone who is interested can attend.

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