“Grow Riverside” Conference to Examine Economic, Community Benefits of Local Sustainable Agriculture in Urban Areas

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March 2014 Conference in California to Explore Solutions to Establish Local, Sustainable Food Sources; Cities Across the U.S. Can Receive the Latest Insights and Expertise into How Best to Increase Food Production in a Sustainable Way within Urban Environments

Grow Riverside: Citrus and Beyond!, slated for Wednesday and Thursday, March 19-20, 2014, will reconnect the City of Riverside to its agricultural roots as well as provide a template for other cities interested in identifying the economic and community advantages of local sustainable farming.

The objectives of the conference, to be held at the Riverside Convention Center, will define opportunities for food production within Riverside’s environs, explore solutions to sustainably increase local food in an economically viable manner, and develop practical next steps to leverage the area’s rich agricultural assets.

“One of society’s burgeoning challenges is the need to establish local, sustainable food sources,” said Seedstock co-founder and Grow Riverside event organizer, Robert Puro. “The conference seeks to foster innovation and entrepreneurship in sustainable agriculture by uniting citizens, growers, advocates, government officials, and other major stakeholders to forge new partnerships and, ultimately, develop creative solutions to building and expanding local urban agriculture.”

Keynote addresses and panel discussions will afford conference attendees the opportunity to explore a variety of topics, including: Building a Local Agriculture Future; Developing Economically Viable Small-scale Farming Solutions; Health and Community Benefits of Local Food; Funding the Future of Farming; Citrus and Beyond; The Local Food Landscape; Urban Farming; and, Forming a Local Food Alliance.

“Our conference, although designed with the city of Riverside in mind, can be a model for any and all cities looking to enhance local agriculture and assist growers and farmers in their success,” said Councilmember Chris MacArthur, who represents Riverside’s historic greenbelt area. “We encourage farmers, entrepreneurs, food service businesses, city planners and all other interested parties to join us and share their innovative ideas at the conference.”

For additional information and to purchase early bird tickets, please visit http://www.growriverside.com.

About Seedstock
Seedstock is a social venture focused on innovation and sustainability in agriculture. Through the use of a variety of tools, including the news and information blog Seedstock (http://www.Seedstock.com) and live events, the company promotes agricultural startup companies, university research, urban agriculture initiatives, and farmers employing innovative new techniques and approaches.

About the City of Riverside
The City of Riverside made the navel orange a symbol of bounty and a household staple in California, and today the City maintains more than 1,000 acres of citrus groves. As Riverside continues to grow, so does local pride for the City’s rich agricultural history and consumer demand for healthful local foods. A full 11 percent of the total acreage of the city is designated for agricultural use, unparalleled for a Southern California city of its size. Riverside’s growers, local government officials, and residents are eager to be at the forefront of innovation as a city devoted to sustainable local agriculture.

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Denis Wolcott
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