The 2014 Dane County Food Summit on Friday, October 24 was themed “Digging into the Local Food System: Be a Part of the Solution.” Over 100 community members, farmers, producers, organizers, city officials, students, and non-profit leaders attended this year’s Summit. Check out this news segment on the Summit from NBC 15.
The Food Summit featured a panel of notable speakers including Michelle Miller of UW-Madison Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems, George Reistad of Michael Fields Agricultural Institute, Dr. Monica White of UW-Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology, Chris Brockel of the FairShare CSA Coalition, and Andy Czerkas of the River Food Pantry. These speakers brought insights and inspiration that helped to fuel discussions throughout the day.
Morning and afternoon breakout sessions focused on the topic areas of Food Access, Food Justice, Food Production, and Food System Infrastructure. A “Food System Equity and Empowerment Lens” was introduced to allow small groups to critically evaluate and problem-solve around specific topics or challenges related to their session theme. Sessions were very hands-on and put the power to direct conversation with the participants, supported by discussion leaders and the Equity Lens. Major themes, “a-ha’s,” and suggestions for next steps were shared at the end of the day during a “Harvest” session, giving all participants a sense of the day’s discussions.
The Food Summit was held as part of National Food Day, a nationwide celebration and movement for access to healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. Hosts for the Food Summit included Dane County Food Council, Dane County UW Extension, and the City of Madison Food Policy Council.