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Kentucky's Local Food Systems Summit to Highlights Innovation
Kentucky Ag Connection - 03/04/2022

Harvesting inspiration and innovation is the theme of this year's Kentucky Local Food Systems Summit. The Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) is once again co-hosting the fourth annual event set for March 23, Commissioner of Agriculture Dr. Ryan Quarles has announced.

This event, set for 8 a.m.-6 p.m. EST at the University of Kentucky's Kroger Field in Lexington, brings together professionals and stakeholders who work on the front lines of growing our local food and farm economy for a day of workshops, networking, and conversations.

"The Kentucky Department of Agriculture and Kentucky Proud are excited to support the Kentucky Local Food Systems Summit for the fourth year in a row," Quarles said. "Last year, the conference was held virtually. We are so pleased it's back in person for 2022. The connections made at this event help push the conversation forward to advance agriculture in the state."

In addition to KDA, the organizing committee for this collaborative event also consists of representatives from The Food Connection at the University of Kentucky, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government's Bluegrass Farm to Table initiative, and Kentucky Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (KCARD).

"Bluegrass Farm to Table, an initiative spearheaded out of my Office of Local Food & Agricultural Development, co-launched this Summit four years ago and I'm thrilled to see it continue to grow and evolve," Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton said. "This summit is an incredible opportunity to bring together local food systems stakeholders from across Kentucky who are committed to learning and collaborating to strengthen our local food and farm economy in Kentucky."

"We are thrilled to be back in person for this event," said Krista Jacobson, University of Kentucky associate professor of Sustainable Agriculture and faculty chair of the Food Connection. "It is an incredible opportunity for fellowship and celebration of the great resilience and growth Kentucky's local food system exhibited, in spite of pandemic pivots and challenges. We look forward to sharing best practices and lessons learned as we work to build a just and equitable food system in which everyone has a seat at the table."

"The Kentucky Center for Agriculture and Rural Development is happy to support the Summit and elevate the conversation around local food systems because supporting local food farmers and rural economic development in Kentucky is at the core of our mission," said Olivia Vogel, Local Food project coordinator.

The 2022 Local Food Systems Summit is presented by American Farmland Trust and the Tallgrass Farm Foundation. Additional Summit sponsors include University of Kentucky Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition, Farm Credit Mid-America, The Dairy Alliance, Central Kentucky Ag Credit, Kentucky Agriculture Council, Marksbury Farm Market, Kentucky Proud, and UK Dining/Aramark.

For a full program agenda see below and for additional details about the 2022 Kentucky Local Food Systems Summit, please visit: http://foodconnection.ca.uky.edu/kentucky-local-food-systems-summit.

Registration is now open for the 2022 Kentucky Local Food Systems Summit. Tickets for the all-day event are $75. Those interested in attending can register and purchase tickets online at https://tinyurl.com/mvssvbd8.


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