Local Food System and Policy Expert Mark Winne Selected as 2nd Annual “GrowRIVERSIDE” Conference Premier Keynote

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Mark Winne, a national expert in community food policy and systems, will be the keynote speaker at the GrowRIVERSIDE conference in June. The conference will promote the latest policies, programs and ideas about developing and sustaining local food programs in cities across the U.s.

Mark Winne

This year’s conference is all about harvesting the fruits of last year’s event.

Organizers of the 2nd Annual GrowRIVERSIDE Conference: The Future of Local Food today announced Mark Winne, a nationally recognized expert in community food policy and systems, as the opening keynote speaker for the three-day event.

Presented by Seedstock in partnership with the City of Riverside, the conference is scheduled for June 11-13 and is designed to foster the growth of a sustainable local food and agriculture system that benefits the community, environment and economy within Riverside and serve as a template for communities across the country.

“With his past food policy experience and present service as a senior advisor to the Food Policy Networks Project at the Johns Hopkins University Center for a Livable Future, Mark is uniquely qualified to help usher Riverside's local food movement development into its next phase,” said Robert Puro, Seedstock co-founder and GrowRIVERSIDE conference organizer. “This year’s conference is all about harvesting the fruits of last year’s event and advancing the ideas, policies and real action steps for local food systems in Riverside and in other cities.”

For 40 years, Mark Winne has worked as a community food activist, writer, and trainer. From organizing breakfast programs for low-income children in Maine to developing innovative national food policies in Washington, DC, he has dedicated his professional life to enabling people to find solutions to their own food problems as well as those that face their communities and the world. Co-founder of a number of food and agriculture policy groups including the City of Hartford Food Policy Commission, the Connecticut Food Policy Council, End Hunger Connecticut!, and the national Community Food Security Coalition, Winne helped organize and subsequently chaired the Working Lands Alliance, a statewide coalition working to preserve Connecticut’s farmland. He is a founder of the Connecticut Farmland Trust, served as a member of the United States delegation to the 2000 World Conference on Food Security in Rome, and is a 2001 recipient of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary’s Plow Honor Award. From 2002 until 2004, Winne was awarded a Food and Society Policy Fellowship, a position supported by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.

From 1979 to 2003, Winne served as executive director of the Hartford Food System (HFS), a private non-profit agency that addresses food and hunger issues in the Hartford, Connecticut area. During his tenure with HFS, he organized community self-help food projects to assist the city’s lower income and elderly residents. Winne’s work with the Food System included the development of commercial food businesses, Connecticut’s Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, farmers’ markets, a 25-acre community supported agriculture farm, a food bank, food and nutrition education programs, and a neighborhood supermarket. Presently, he writes, speaks, and consults extensively on community food system topics including hunger and food insecurity, local and regional agriculture, community food assessment, and food policy as well as supports the Community Food Security Coalition through policy communication and food policy council work.

Generously supported by title sponsor Kaiser Permanente, the multi-day GrowRIVERSIDE conference will address an array of topics in addition to food policy, including: increasing local sustainable food production using economically viable urban farming business models and innovative growing technologies; creating new farming enterprises and food businesses; and, investigating various local food sales channels.

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. 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.

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Denis Wolcott
The Wolcott Co.
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Robert Puro
Seedstock
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The Wolcott Company
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