Congressman Mark Takano Slated as Luncheon Keynote for Seedstock’s “Grow Riverside” Sustainable Agriculture Conference

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U.S. Representative Mark Takano was just announced as the opening day speaker for a major conference addressing a growing desire by cities to promote and support sustainable urban agriculture. Registration is open for the March 19-20 event in California.

Seedstock today announced Congressman Mark Takano (CA-41) as the opening day luncheon speaker for the “Grow Riverside: Citrus and Beyond!” conference. The March 19-20 event, to be held at the Riverside Convention Center, will assist cities in examining and developing solutions to reconnect with their agricultural roots as well as evaluate potential economic and public health benefits of sustainable urban agriculture.

Representative Takano presently serves on the House Veterans' Affairs and the Science, Space and Technology committees. Prior to being elected to Congress, Takano spent 23 years as a high school teacher in the Inland Empire and more than 20 years on the Riverside Community College Board of Trustees. The Congressman, an advocate of “slow food” - an international movement founded by Carlo Petrini in 1986 - will share his perspective on this fast food alternative and the quest to preserve traditional and regional cuisine through the farming of plants and seeds characteristic of the local ecosystem.

“The progressive sustainable urban farming innovations to be presented at this event will prove an invaluable asset to Riverside and its environs,” said Congressman Takano. “I am greatly impressed with the forward-thinking leaders of this historically rich agricultural region and look forward to witnessing the future success of the collaborations that are certain to be generated as a result of the Grow Riverside conference.”

Conference participants interested in establishing their own small “slow food” urban farming interests are encouraged to attend the March 20 afternoon presentation: “From Start to Finish: Setting up an economically viable operation on a 1 - 2 acre plot.” The panel will feature faculty from UC Riverside Cooperative Extension, including: Milt McGiffen, Cooperative Extension Vegetable Crops Specialist & Plant Physiologist; Peggy Mauk, Director of Agricultural Operations Cooperative Extension Specialist, Subtropical Crops; and, Etaferahu Takele, County Director/Area Advisor Farm Management/Agricultural Economics.

Organized for the city of Riverside by Seedstock co-founder Robert Puro, the conference has been formulated as a model for cities looking to enhance local agriculture. For additional information pertaining to the event, ticket prices, panels, program speakers, and registration, please visit

About Seedstock
Seedstock is a social venture that fosters the development of robust and sustainable local food systems through consulting services and the use of a variety of tools, including the news and information blog Seedstock ( ) and live events. Seedstock works with government agencies, municipalities and all private sector stakeholders to create a sustainable food ecosystem of innovation, entrepreneurship and investment.

About the City of Riverside
The City of Riverside made the navel orange a symbol of bounty and a household staple in California. 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 city’s total acreage is designated for agricultural use, unparalleled for a Southern California city of its size. Riverside’s growers, local government officials, and residents are at the forefront of innovation as a city devoted to sustainable local agriculture.

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