Over 175 community leaders from over forty communities across Arizona are coming together for the Rural Policy Forum August 8th and 9th to address the challenges facing the state's rural communities. While guests learn and share best practices on issues like job creation, youth retention, destination marketing, and funding community development, they will be treated to locally-sourced lunches from Cave Creek-based caterer, Bruce Brown Catering, who went the extra mile to incorporate local foods into the menu for both days of the forum.
Local food producers used in the Rural Policy Forum's catering include Pinnacle Farms, Double Check Ranch, Duncan Family Farms, Bella Fresh, Fossil Creek Creamery, Souvia Tea, McClendon's Farms, Schreiner's Fine Sausage, Hickman's Eggs, Shamrock Farms, Matador Coffee Roasting Company and Wildflower Bread Company.
"While it takes some extra effort to work with multiple vendors, we are always happy to support local food producers," said Bruce, who visited multiple farmers markets this week in preparation for the Forum. "In fact, we are seeing more and more requests to use local foods in our caterings and we are excited to be connected to more local producers," he remarked as we waited in line to purchase the local veggies.
Kimber Lanning, Executive Director of Local First Arizona, commented that the decision to go local is not only easy, but necessary. "We made a choice to go as local as possible with our catering so we can ensure more of our money stays in the state of Arizona to re-circulate,"she said. "This was an easy decision, and it is essential we continue to put our local food producers first when planning large scale events such as this. Bruce Brown really did a great job and we were happy to make the connections needed to make this as local as possible." The Rural Policy Forum and Bruce Brown Catering will provide nearly 600 meals to all of the guests over the two-day conference.