Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) August 20, 2014
Attendees of Seedstock’s 3rd Annual Sustainable Agriculture Innovation Conference will get a sneak peak at Los Angeles’ first multi-faceted food production business incubator for local entrepreneurs along with a tour of a blossoming 1.5-acre high school campus urban farming operation in Pasadena and a visit to a shipping container farm in the L.A. Art District.
The field trip, an excursion into the wide-ranging diversity of sustainable urban agriculture, will kick off Seedstock’s “Reintegrating Ag: Local Food Systems and the Future of Cities” two-day event on Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014.
In the Lincoln Heights area of Los Angeles, a former 56,000-square-foot industrial building is undergoing major renovations to ultimately house L.A. Prep, an accelerator for small food producers who have outgrown their startup spaces. The project, which broke ground this summer, will have its first tenants taking occupancy in early 2015.
“L.A. Prep will deliver space, community and a suite of services for small food business unlike anywhere else in the country,” said L.A. Prep partner and Food Centricity CEO Michel Algazi. “Food Centricity, a business accelerator focused on early and growth stage food companies, will provide business support and other key services to help tenants succeed.”
The space also will serve as home to L.A. Kitchen, the vision of Robert Egger, founder of D.C. Central Kitchen, a similar nonprofit organization in Washington, D.C. Since its founding 25 years ago, D.C. Kitchen has prepared more than 25 million meals for low-income and at-risk individuals. L.A. Kitchen will serve a wide cross section of programs, emphasizing partnerships that support senior centers, after-school programs and drug treatment facilities.
Ten miles northeast of Lincoln Heights, in Pasadena, the efforts of a dedicated team of volunteer teachers and students to grow, distribute and cook healthy foods have come to fruition. Three years ago, the John Muir High School agricultural group began converting a portion of their campus into an urban farm. Today, teens can complete community service or internship graduation requirements by enrolling in classes at Muir Ranch. There they grow a variety of flowers, vegetables and fruit that are included in weekly Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) boxes as well as school cafeteria lunches.
The third stop on the field trip will be to The Container Yard, a mixed-use creative space available for special events, retail sales, filming, and home to one of the few container farms in the United States. Equipped with a hydroponic system, the high-volume crop production unit made from an upcycled shipping container enables the farmers to grow and supply unique agricultural products for local restaurants and farmers markets.
“The innovation demonstrated by L.A. Prep, Muir Ranch and The Container Yard brings sustainable urban agriculture to a new level,” stated Seedstock co-founder Robert Puro. “They are remarkable examples of responding to societal needs via unfettered creativity. Each offers support, sustenance and hope where once there existed a void.”
On Day 2 (Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014) of the conference, attendees will convene at the UCLA Anderson School of Management in Los Angeles for a series of panels and breakout sessions that will address the definition, economic impact, role, long-term benefits, challenges, and solutions associated with the development of a vigorous local food system. Program presenters will explore the reintegration of agriculture into cities, the commercial potential of controlled environment agriculture - from hydroponics to aquaponics, policy to bolster local food systems, how local food production can break through the industrial agriculture model, financing local agriculture entrepreneurship and more.
The deadline to purchase tickets at the “early bird” rate ends Wednesday, September 10. For additional information pertaining to the event, ticket prices, program speakers, and registration, please visit: http://seedstockconference.eventbrite.com.
Seedstock is a social venture that fosters the development of sustainability and innovation in agriculture through consulting services and the use of a variety of tools, including the news and information blog Seedstock (http://www.Seedstock.com) 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.