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First Annual Florida Local Food Summit [FL]

  • East End Market Orlando, FL (map)

Attendees will receive technical assistance and networking opportunities to grow all areas of the local food system from field to fork and beyond, in order to mobilize their communities for positive change.

On Friday, attendees can choose to participate in three educational tracks.

The goal of the Organic Agriculture Track is to learn about organic production and beyond the field including policy, organic certification, farm justice, and farmers market opportunities. This track is for both beginning farmers and those interested in learning about holistic, sustainable farming practices.

People are drawn to be small farmers for many reasons.  The Foodpreneur Track will help attendees conceptualize or truly define their farm’s model as well as refine the tools and processes needed to be a natural farmer. The afternoon will be spent discussing unique crop options and how to bring products to market.

Permaculture Design is an approach that integrates the wisdom of natural systems into human projects. This can be done at every scale of human endeavor. On this track participants explore how to achieve this with local food systems on farms and homesteads, foodsheds and local economies, and in urban spaces.

Saturday’s activities offer attendees the opportunity to dig deeper into the components of our State’s food system and how we as stakeholders can nurture a more sustainable and resilient local food economy.

The keynote speakers for the Summit are Jean-Martin Fortier and CheFarmer Matthew Raiford.

Jean-Martin founded Les Jardins de la Grelinette, an internationally recognized micro-farm known for its high productivity and profitability using low-tech, high-yield methods of production. A leading practitioner of biologically intensive cropping systems, Jean-Martin has more than a decade’s worth of experience in organic farming.

CheFarmer Matthew Raiford is a sixth generation farmer, the Executive Chef of Little St. Simons Island and co-owner of Gilliard Farms, LLC.  Gilliard Farms works with the earth to provide wholesome, organic produce for tables across our region.  For them, organic farming is not a trend but rather a tastier way of balancing people’s nutritional needs with the needs of the environment. 

Additional educators include:
Marty Mesh, Executive Director of Florida Organic Growers
Emily Rankin, Founder and Owner of Local Roots: Farm to Restaurant Distribution & Farm Store
John Rife, Founder and Owner of East End Market
Sarah Waring, Executive Director with the Center for an Agricultural Economy
Mario Yanez, Executive Director of Earth Learning

 Early bird registration ends September 15th.

To learn more about the Summit including the educators and speakers, or to sponsor, please visit the Summit website at

Earlier Event: September 20
One USDA Learning Session [GA]
Later Event: October 7
Fundraising Supper [KY]