2023 Virtual Food Policy Council Forum, "Cultivating Community: Investing in Food and Farm Businesses"
The 2023 forum aimed to increase awareness of the Community Food and Farm Grant (CFFG). The forum featured a panel who shared about the impact of the grant, challenges working in the local food system, the importance of connecting small businesses to local resources, and how investing in food and farm businesses strengthens communities. Panelists included: Anna Hankins, Over the Moon Farm and Flowers, Grant Recipient; Marlén Mendoza, Emprendimiento Latino 5M, Co-Founder; Sara Puffer, El Azul, Grant Recipient.
Welcome from Supervisor Jon Green, introduction from Giselle Bruskewitz, Food Policy Council Chair, and presentation from Emily Roberts, Field to Family Operations Manager. Panelists discuss the role of food hubs, how policies can increase farm to institution sales, and how to build relationships between producers and purchasers. Panelists include: James Nisly, Local Producer & Food Hub Manager; Marlie Wilson, Chicago Food Policy Action Council; Michael Graham, University of Iowa Dining; Teresa Wiemerslage, ISU Extension & Outreach.
Welcome from Supervisor Pat Heiden and introduction from Keshia Fields, Inclusion and Equity Specialist. Guest speakers share stories about limited access to culturally relevant food, challenges associated with starting food businesses, and the power of relationships. Guest speakers include Hải Huỳnh, Coralville City Council member and Community Projects Coordinator at Coralville Community Food Pantry, and El Sadig and Barbiker from Black Diamond Halal Meats with supporter Ed Williams.
2020 Food Policy Council Forum, "Land Access and Beyond: How can the Johnson County Historic Poor Farm support beginning and current farmers?"
Welcome from Supervisor Pat Heiden and introduction from V Fixmer-Oraiz, Johnson County Historic Poor Farm Project Manager and CEO and Founder of Astig Planning. A regional farmer panel shares stories about land access and community resources. Panelists include: Dayna Burtness, Nettle Valley Farm; Zach Couture, Global Greens LSI; Alfred Matiyabo, Africando Products; Derek Roller, Echollective Farm.
Michelle Kenyon, Field to Family Director, presents a keynote address about building connections in our community-based food system.
A panel of local meat producers discuss their operations, their products, challenges, and opportunities for the future. Panelists include: Dennis and Lisa Hebl, David Irkl, and Nick and Jenny Koster, Turkey Foot Farm.
A panel of specialty crop producers discuss their local farm products and current challenges facing direct to consumer farmers. Panelists include: Carmen Black, Sundog Farm and Local Harvest CSA; Kyle Tester, Wilson’s Orchard; Colleen Bringman, Bringman Family Farms; Katie Biesendorf, Farm Worker at Muddy Miss Farms and Dirty Face Creek Farm.