2015 Arizona Food & Farm Finance Forum Program Announced

 

The details are in place for the 2015 Food and Farm Finance Forum to be held in January in Clarkdale. Registration is OPEN !

Registration includes entry to both days of the event, and breakfast and lunch on both days (We're happy to feature four meals from local Verde Valley restaurants on both days). If you would like to stay overnight in the area during this event, we have many suggestions for local hotels and bed & breakfasts here. You can also check out many local restaurants, bars and tasting rooms here.

Don't forget to follow the event on Facebook for frequent updates.

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Thursday and Friday, January 15 & 16 Clarkdale Clubhouse in Clarkdale, Arizona Host: The Town of Clarkdale PROGRAM 

 

clarkdalelogo2THURSDAY, JANUARY 15: 8:00am-4:30pm

7:30am - 8:30am: REGISTRATION 8:15am - 9:45am: BREAKFAST (Auditorium)

8:30am: WELCOME & FORUM AGENDA (Auditorium) Town of Clarkdale Vice Mayor Richard Dehnert Kimber Lanning, Local First Arizona

8:45-9:45am MORNING PLENARY (Auditorium) Food & Farm Collaboration & Building Coalitions – Collaboration on a regional and statewide scale is key for successes in building the local food movement. Join the conversation on “Competition v. Coopetition.” We’ll discuss ways local producers, purchasers, food entrepreneurs and other groups can break down barriers to working together to build value chains and a stronger local food system in Arizona. Kimber Lanning, Local First Arizona: Kimber Lanning is an entrepreneur and economic specialist who works to cultivate strong, vibrant communities and inspire a higher quality of life throughout Arizona. Lanning is actively involved in fostering cultural diversity, economic self-reliance and responsible growth for the Phoenix metropolitan area. In 2003, Lanning founded Local First Arizona, a statewide, non-profit organization dedicated to raising public awareness of the economic and cultural benefits provided by locally owned businesses. She works with city and state policymakers to create a supportive environment for entrepreneurs of all sizes. She works to inform, educate, and motivate consumers to support local enterprises, and encourages public policy that enables locally owned and operated businesses to thrive. vickiVicki Pozzebon, Prospera Partners: Vicki is the owner and driving catalyst behind Prospera Partners, LLC, a consulting firm practicing bold localism, with a passion for local economic development. In 2012, Vicki helped found Delicious New Mexico with partner Kate Manchester, for the Rio Grande Community Development Corporation. Delicious New Mexico is a statewide organization working to grow the local food industry through the support of local food business and consumer education. She remains Delicious New Mexico’s Chief Foodie and visionary leader.

9:45am-10:00am: BREAK

10:00am-11:30am: BREAKOUT SESSIONS

There will be three tracts for Breakout Sessions 1. Outreach / Marketing 2. Entrepreneurship / Business Development 3. Aggregation and Distribution / Food Hub Model Exploration

1. Identifying Your Market (Men's Lounge)

This session will break down the different types of markets for local food producers. Panelists will share strategies for identifying and diversifying a portfolio of distribution markets. The Q&A will help participants develop strategies for the best markets based on who your customers and your business model. RJ Johnson, Blue Sky Organic Farms: Rj Johnson is Chief Marketing Officer, Sales Manager and Public Relations Manager at Blue Sky Organic Farms, with responsibilities ranging from marketing programs and brand management to overseeing the test kitchen, recipe development and the farms educational programs. Rj also is the co-owner of Urban Table “a working chefs market” and Specialty Foods Company and runs his own consulting business for all aspect of the food business from seed to spoon. Notable in his three years at Blue Sky Farms would be double-digit sales increases in each year, massive CSA membership growth and Blue Sky Organic Farms name now being synonymous with quality organic food in the valley. His most recent projects involved a strategic partnership with Whole Foods Markets and Peddlers Son Produce and Provisions. Rj holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin and graduated with honors from The Culinary Institute of America Greystone in Napa Valley CA. Paula Woolsey, Cellar Door Unhinged: Paula Woolsey is the co-owner of Cellar Door Unhinged, helping Arizona wineries in the fields of sales, marketing and business operations. Her newest project is launching Old Town Cottonwood's first urban winery, Revelation Wines, due open to open in 2015. Moving to the state in 1988, her experience in the Arizona wine industry spans over 20 years, working in various areas of the business as a wine educator, cellar master, fine wine specialist, wine sales manager and director, wine shop owner, restaurateur and hotelier. Prior to Cellar Door Unhinged, she was director of sales for Arizona Stronghold Vineyards and national sales manager for Caduceus Cellars and Merkin Vineyards, expanding the reach of Arizona wines to over 36 US markets, Canada and Australia. Jonathan Netzky, Tepa Burger & Local Alternative, Inc: Jonathan founded and operates Local Alternative Foods, the local food focused value-added manufacturer of Tepa™. Local Alternative Foods and the Tepa product line tie his background in engineering systems with his lifelong passionate enthusiasm for good food.

2. Planning for Expansion: Assessing & Managing Risk (Ladies Lounge)

How do producer scale up while at the same time strengthen farm operations? How does a farmer know when to add 20 acres? How do producers know what to grow, and how much to produce? Learn answers to these questions and more from agribusiness experts who have successfully grown their local food enterprises. Kelly Young, University of Arizona/Maricopa County Agricultural Extension Office: Kelly Murray Young has been an Assistant Extension Agent for the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension in Maricopa County since 2010.  Her research emphasis is on weed control in nursery containers and evaluating non-traditional leafy greens for summer production.  She teaches classes to landscape and nursery professionals, Master Gardeners, farmers and homeowners on a variety of topics relative to the landscape, garden and farm. Kelly was born and raised in Maricopa County and graduated from Arizona State with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and a Master’s degree in Botany. Sara Scoville-Weaver, International Rescue Committee: Miss Scoville-Weaver came to the IRC-Phoenix in 2011 and has worked as the Microenterprise Program Coordinator since June 2013. Her academic and professional background has focused in the fields of community development, start-up ventures, renewable technologies and the use of geographic information systems (GIS) to aid non-profits. She has worked as an active refugee loan financer and business technical assistance mentor to the New Roots farming team for the past year and a half and holds degrees from the George Washington University and Pennsylvania State University. A Phoenix native and third-generation Arizonian, she is proud to play a small part in the creation of a healthier, small-business friendly state." Justin Brereton, Yavapai College Agribusiness Instructor: Justin Brereton earned his Plant Science undergraduate degree in 2000 from the University of Arizona. He worked in Arizona’s Horticulture Industry as an irrigation design/estimator, nursery manager, and grower until 2005. From 2005-2010 Justin taught agriculture at the high school level and dual credit classes with Yavapai College. He earned his Master’s in Education in 2008 from Grand Canyon University. In 2010, he accepted a position as faculty at the Chino Valley Agribusiness Campus. Justin teaches agribusiness classes such as Horticulture (AGS 250,252), Water Management (AGS 274), Soils (AGS 105) Plant Biology (BIO 103, AGS 103), Environmental Biology (BIO 105,ENV 105), and is also now teaching classes in the area of viticulture (grape growing). He teaches Hydroponics for the Home and Organic Gardening in the summer. Justin has a passion for growing native plants, gardening, teaching and spending time outdoors with his family. Sandy Sanchez, Deputy Director, USDA Risk Management Agency: Sandy Sanchez, USDA-Risk Management Agency: Sandy Sanchez has been the Davis Regional Office, Deputy Director since 2012 and has worked with the Risk Management Agency (RMA) for over 13 years.  The Davis Regional Office supports and administers the federal crop insurance programs in five states: AZ, CA, NV, UT, and HI.  Sandy’s professional background includes, educating farmers about the benefits and features of crop insurance, reviewing policies and regulations in the regional states, and assisting with the implementation of new programs.

3. Making Food Hubs Profitable (Auditorium)

Food hubs are a popular topic of conversation in the local food scene nationwide, but how can these models be made profitable? We’ll explore ideas from those who have experience working on and making plans for developing this model in the Southwest and Virginia. Panelists will discuss place-based challenges and other issues that come with building a food hub in our desert state, as well as opportunities to increase profits for a food hub or similar business model. Mike O’Connor-Masse,  Chino Valley Farms and Yavapai County Grown: Mike O’Connor-Masse has farmed in Yavapai County, Arizona for 18 years.  Originally from Iowa farm country, he remained in Arizona to complete his education, earning a Bachelor’s in Finance from Arizona State University.  He followed that with 15 years in accounting and computer systems management.  Seeking a change in lifestyle and priorities, he and his family relocated to Northern Arizona, where they started Chino Valley Farms and most recently YC Grown Farmers and Ranchers Cooperative, the only officially recognized Food Hub in Northern Arizona. Anthony Flaccavento, SCALE, Inc.: Anthony Flaccavento has been a commercial organic farmer for over 20 years, and has launched and managed farmers markets, producer networks, and multi-farm CSAs. Anthony’s experience with food hubs started in 1999 and 2000 when his organization, Appalachian Sustainable Development, planned and built the first food hub in the Appalachian region, called Appalachian Harvest. He has provided research, feasibility studies, action plans and business plans, and on-site technical assistance from rural West Virginia, to Minneapolis and the South Bronx. At present, Anthony is working with partners in western North Carolina, the Arkansas Delta and Minneapolis on a wide range of farming, food hub and food system issues. He is also under contract with the National Good Food Network to co-develop and implement a food hub curriculum and training course. Anzia Bennett, Agri-Cultura Network: Anzia Bennett is the Program Director of La Cosecha CSA, a multi-farm community supported agriculture project organized by the Agri-Cultura Network in the South Valley of Albuquerque, New Mexico. La Cosecha CSA is dedicated to supporting local growers and making local food affordable and accessible for all. Anzia has a Masters in Public Health from the University of New Mexico and spends most of her time in the kitchen.

11:30am-11:45am: BREAK

Flaccavento211:45am-1:15pm: LUNCH KEYNOTE (12:30pm-1:15pm) - ANTHONY FLACCAVENTO of SCALE, Inc. (Auditorium) Anthony is an organic farmer near Abingdon, Virginia. He has been working on community environmental and economic development in the region for the past 27 years. In 1995, he founded Appalachian Sustainable Development, which became a regional and national leader in sustainable economic development. Anthony left ASD in December, 2009 to found SCALE, Inc, a private consulting business dedicated to catalyzing and supporting ecologically healthy regional economies and food systems. SCALE works with community leaders, farmers, foundations, economic development agencies and others in Appalachia, Iowa, Michigan, New Mexico the Arkansas Delta and other communities. Anthony has received a number of awards and honors for his work in recent years, including the Ford Foundation Leadership for a Changing World Award, and selection by Blue Ridge magazine in 2009 as one of Central Appalachia's most important agents for positive change. He was a Kellogg National Food and Society Policy Fellow during 2007 and 2008, and a Fellow with the Business Alliance for Local, Living Economies (BALLE) in 2010/2011. SCALE, Inc. - www.ruralscale.com

1:15-1:30PM: BREAK

1:30pm-3:00pm: BREAKOUT SESSION 2

1. Branding & Marketing for Farms, Farmers Markets, CSAs, Agribusinesses and Local Food Purveyors (Ladies' Lounge)

Local food entrepreneurs are busy and often lack the time or capacity for successful marketing campaigns. Yet marketing and developing your brand is critical for success, and equally important for growing the local food movement. Participants in this workshop will learn about successful marketing strategies for various food enterprises. The panel of experts will share best practices and strategies you can do on your own, and will help to develop priorities for when resources and time are limited. Jared McKinley, Edible Baja Arizona: Jared is a writer, botanist, passionate urban gardener & pop culture impresario. In 2013, he was part of the founding team that created Edible Baja Arizona, a bi-monthly publication that celebrates the foodways of Tucson and the borderlands and whose mission is the creation of a strong and sustainable local foods economy. He is passionate about changing how the media represents the borderlands. Steve Russell, Local First Arizona Foundation: Steve is a Phoenix, Arizona native. He graduated from Arizona State University in 2011 with his BA in Sociology and BIS in Psychology & Communication; he also recently completed a term of service with Public Allies, Americorps. It was during this tenure that he was first placed with the Local First Arizona Foundation (LFAF), to support food initiatives, such as the Farm to School program and generating blog content. He has stayed on full time with LFAF, coordinating local food initiatives, including: industry events, an internship program, a bi-monthly statewide local food publication, and development of Good Food Finder, LFAF’s recently acquired local food database. Vicki Pozzebon, Prospera Partners: Vicki is the owner and driving catalyst behind Prospera Partners, LLC, a consulting firm practicing bold localism, with a passion for local economic development. In 2012, Vicki helped found Delicious New Mexico with partner Kate Manchester, for the Rio Grande Community Development Corporation. Delicious New Mexico is a statewide organization working to grow the local food industry through the support of local food business and consumer education. She remains Delicious New Mexico’s Chief Foodie and visionary leader. Maya Dailey, Maya’s Farm at South Mountain: Maya Dailey, Master Farmer at Maya's Farm has spent the last 10 years bringing her knowledge and love of farming, along with her passion, strong value system and hard work ethic to build a successful certified organic farm in urban Phoenix. Maya believes that this small farm engages the community and creates cross collaboration with other local food entrepreneurs; and that it stands for policy change that supports and enhances a healthy, sustainable and accessible food future. Maya's Farm participates in valley-wide public markets, a seasonal CSA and open market at the farm. The farm holds seasonal classes, tours and workshops that aim to educate consumers about the nutrition, flavor, freshness and biodiversity of small farms, and the ability to change the way we grow access and distribute food, all while implementing clean and safe organic practices.

2. Access to Capital (Auditorium)

Many small operations struggle to find the capital to purchase equipment, seeds, land and other assets that would allow them to expand operations. Likewise, local food advocacy organizations are challenged in finding the funding they need to expand the local food system. Learn about lending programs from local banks, regional microloan programs and other financial institutions, as well as current grant opportunities with the USDA that can help provide the capital needed to take the next step toward success. Trever Hall, Farm Credit Services Southwest: Trever Hall’s roots run deep in Arizona. He is a fifth generation Arizona cattleman and co-owner of Hall Ranches near Springerville. Trever is Vice President & Portfolio Manager for Farm Credit Services Southwest in Tempe.  With a total of 12 years of experience with the Farm Credit System, he currently manages a loan portfolio of over $300 million which consists of dairies, farms and livestock operations. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Arizona Cattle Growers’ Association. Jeff Hays, USDA Rural Development: Jeff Hays is the Rural Development Coordinator for USDA Rural Development, serving across Arizona connecting rural communities and service providers to funding and assistance. Jeff is entering his 30th year of work in rural America spanning all facets of community development.  Initially with USDA RD in Arizona, Colorado and California and then as non-profit Executive Director in Coachella, CA and now back in Arizona. Jeff earned his master’s degree in Public Administration at California State University (San Bernardino)in 1997 and his baccalaureate in Agri-Business at Truman University in Kirksville, Missouri (1984). Jeff served three terms as a California Governor’s appointee to the Colorado River Regional Water Quality Control Board  and as a Gaming Commissioner for the Cabazon Band of Mission Indians.   Jeff has also served on multiple community service boards focused on rural services. Eric Marcus, Sustainable Economic Development Initiative: Eric Marcus serves as the Executive Director of the Sustainable Economic Development Initiative (SEDI), a public/private partnership that works with businesses, government, and educational institutions to develop smart growth policies, foster and support small businesses, and promote sustainability education. SEDI's mission is to promote sustainable economic prosperity in northern Arizona through ecological health, social equity, and a resilient economy. Dan Beach, Maricopa Center for Entrepreneurship: Beach has more than 25 years’ business development and entrepreneurial experience, and has served as a trusted business advisor to entrepreneurs and growing business; specializing in marketing, branding, business processes and metrics and the transition from great idea to established company. As executive director, he will focus on fostering Maricopa’s locally-owned business community and accelerating startups and local reinvestment. From identifying potential entrepreneurs to assisting existing businesses to community outreach to startup funding, Beach will provide front-line support for Maricopa’s talented, educated and technically-skilled professionals. Ron Epperson, Verde Valley Regional Economic Organization: Ron is the Founder and Managing Director of Intellectual Energy LLC, an intellectual property consulting firm focused on helping companies capture value from their IP. Intellectual Energy has deep IP expertise in strategy, licensing, commercialization, capital raising, mergers & acquisitions, valuation, enforcement and litigation. Intellectual Energy's clients range from Fortune 50 multi-nationals to early stage start up companies. Jason Kepler, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS): Jason is a Program Specialist for USDA’s NRCS in Phoenix, Arizona. He was born and raised on a 5th generation family farm in rural western Nebraska that currently raises wheat, corn and sunflowers. Jason holds a degree in Agricultural Engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After college he worked for the Nebraska Department of Natural Resources where he served as the state’s coordinator for the Republican River Basin working on multiple water issues and interstate river compact litigation. After nearly three years in the position, Jason’s sense of adventure called and he packed up and headed to Arizona. While no longer on the family farm, Jason remains passionate about his work with America’s farmers and ranchers. Through his job and on his own time Jason works diligently to preserve and promote America’s spectrum of agriculture in addition to conservation of our natural resources and wildlife. Shawneen Stevenson, Farm Loan Manager and State Outreach Coordinator, USDA Farm Service Agency: Shawneen is a Farm Loan Manager for USDA Farm Service Agency and also serves as the agency’s State Outreach Coordinator for Arizona.   Shawneen is responsible for the administration of FSA’s Farm Loan Programs in Pima, Pinal, Maricopa, Yuma and La Paz Counties within the state. Her primary goals as the State Outreach Coordinator are to educate the public of FSA programs and services and to increase program participation from potential and current, small, beginning, socially disadvantaged and underserved producers. Shawneen is headquartered in the FSA Pinal County Service Center in Casa Grande, Arizona and has been with USDA Farm Service Agency since 1996. Sara Scoville-Weaver, International Rescue Committee: Miss Scoville-Weaver came to the IRC-Phoenix in 2011 and has worked as the Microenterprise Program Coordinator since June 2013. Her academic and professional background has focused in the fields of community development, start-up ventures, renewable technologies and the use of geographic information systems (GIS) to aid non-profits. She has worked as an active refugee loan financer and business technical assistance mentor to the New Roots farming team for the past year and a half and holds degrees from the George Washington University and Pennsylvania State University. A Phoenix native and third-generation Arizonian, she is proud to play a small part in the creation of a healthier, small-business friendly state."

3. Aggregation & Distribution Logistics (Men's Lounge)

Aggregation, trucking, storage, and distribution are all key parts of creating a food hub. But where should warehousing and storage happen? How much space is needed? Should trucks be purchased or leased? And what are the best strategies for aggregation and distribution? This panel will take a look at these infrastructure issues and discuss best practices for each, then will work with the audience to develop strategies and deliverables for forming an Arizona food hub. Ashley Schimke, Arizona Department of Education / Farm to School: Ashley Schimke is an education program specialist at the Arizona Department of Education (ADE), Health and Nutrition Services. Specializing in Farm to School and School Garden Program development, Ashley works to provide access to local food for use in school meals. She graduated from Arizona State University with a BS in Dietetics and a minor in business. Anzia Bennet, Agri-Cultura Network: Anzia Bennett is the Program Director of La Cosecha CSA, a multi-farm community supported agriculture project organized by the Agri-Cultura Network in the South Valley of Albuquerque, New Mexico. La Cosecha CSA is dedicated to supporting local growers and making local food affordable and accessible for all. Anzia has a Masters in Public Health from the University of New Mexico and spends most of her time in the kitchen. Nina Yozell-Epstein, New Mexico Farm to Table: Nina Yozell-Epstein is the Farm to Restaurant Director at the nonprofit, Farm to Table, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Nina has over a decade of work experience as a leader in the food and farming field in New Mexico, and worldwide. She pioneered Santa Fe;s Farm to Restaurant program taking it from concept to incubation to fruition over the last four years. The program connects small to mid-sized farmers to area restaurants and various food service establishments, facilitating farmer trainings, educational marketing and local produce sales and distibution. Ted Ferkenhoff, Local Alternative, Inc.: Ted Ferkenhoff is Process Engineer for Local Alternative, Inc. and a manufacturing and logistics consultant. He has over 25 years experience in manufacturing operations, and domestic and international logistics. At Local Alternative Foods, Ted is combining his passion for great local food with his knowledge of production and distribution processes to grow the value-added food processing capabilities available in Arizona.

3:00PM - 4:30PM: FUNDER NETWORKING SESSION / FOOD OPPORTUNITY FORUM (Auditorium): Local food entrepreneurs are invited to join a speed dating networking session where participants have an opportunity to meet with funders and other resources. This session will allow the group to further explore opportunities for finding the resources to expand their businesses, and to make personal connections that will help long-term business viability.

4:30PM - END OF DAY ONE

4:15PM - 5:00PM: OPTIONAL TOUR OF THE SOUTHWEST WINE CENTER AT YAVAPAI COLLEGE. At 4:15pm there will be an optional trip to Yavapai College in Clarkdale (5 minutes away from forum) for a Tour of the new Southwest Wine Center, with Yavapai College Director of Enology Michael Pierce Yavapai College Verde Campus 601 Black Hills Drive, Clarkdale

Four-Eighttastingroom4:30pm-5:30pm: OPTIONAL SOCIAL HOUR at FOUR EIGHT WINEWORKS  Four Eight Wineworks 907 Main Street, Clarkdale **THERE WILL ALSO BE A NORTHERN ARIZONA YOUNG FARMERS MIXER AT 5:30PM AT FOUR EIGHT WINEWORKS IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THE SOCIAL HOUR FOR THOSE INTERESTED. Verde Brewing Company will be pouring local beer!

6PM - DINNER ON YOUR OWN IN VERDE VALLEY - check out some of these amazing local restaurants, and wining and entertainment options!

 

FRIDAY, JANUARY 16: 8AM-3PM

8AM-9:45AM - BREAKFAST & MORNING ROUNDTABLE ARIZONA AGRIBUSINESS FEATURE (Auditorium) Bill McDorman, Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance / Sustainable Arizona: Bill McDorman is Executive Director and co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance (RMSA), a new non-profit seed conservation organization serving the Rocky Mountain West. He was previous director of Native Seeds/SEARCH in Tucson. Bill founded 3 seed companies and co-founded several non-profits including the Sawtooth Botanical Garden in Hailey, Idaho. He is author of Basic Seed Saving which he wrote in 1994. He and his wife Belle Starr, former Deputy Director of NS/S and co-director of the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance created an innovative week-long training called Seed School, the educational center-piece of RMSA. The course has graduated over 600 Seed Citizens since its inception in September of 2010. Bill is a passionate and knowledgeable presenter, inspires his audiences to connect deeply with the world in which they live and REJOIN THE RITUAL OF SEED SAVING. Belle Starr, Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance: Belle Starr is co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance, an organization created to assure a diverse and abundant supply of seeds for the Rocky Mountain West. Starr is the former Deputy Director of Native Seeds/SEARCH, a 31 year-old seed conservation organization. Starr along with her husband Bill McDorman developed the ground-breaking seed saving program, Seed School. Seed School, now in its 5th year is the flagship educational program of the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance. Starr was co-producer of the seminal sustainability event, SolFest in Northern California for several years. She has an extensive background in publicity and media relations, grant writing, and community organizing. Jonathan Netzky, Tepa Burger & Local Alternative, Inc: Jonathan founded and operates Local Alternative Foods, the local food focused value-added manufacturer of Tepa™. Local Alternative Foods and the Tepa product line tie his background in engineering systems with his lifelong passionate enthusiasm for good food. Jim McManus and Tina Bartsch, Walking J Ranch: Jim McManus and Tina Bartsch own and operate Walking J Farm, a diverse, sustainable farm nestled in the watershed of the Santa Cruz River Valley in southern Arizona - a true polyculture farm specializing in grassfed beef, pasture-raised pork, and organically grown produce. They believe in the health of their soils as the foundation of the health of their animals and plants. Jim and Tina share an interesting perspective of a start-up small family farm operation, forging partnerships with local ranchers, creating internship programs, and the day to day triumphs and challenges of farm life, direct marketing and attending farmer's markets. Deborah Patt, Desert Diamond Distillery: Deborah Patt has been married to John Patt since 1987, they are co-owners of Desert Diamond Distillery (the oldest craft distillery in AZ) with John's parents, Peter & Marianne Patt.  Deborah Patt has a BA in Computer Science from Memphis University, and made a life decision to get her MRS and MOM before exploring business options.  Deborah's background in various businesses such as estimating for Walt Disney World Studios and the Core of Engineers, as well as working for small local business entrepreneurs over the years has helped her cope with helping run a small family centric business.  She helped open and manages the remote tasting room located in Cottonwood, AZ, which is Arizona's first remote tasting room for craft spirits.

9:45AM - 10:00AM: BREAK

10:00AM-11:30AM: BREAKOUT SESSION 3

1. Developing the Producer / Buyer Relationship (Men's Lounge)

For producers, developing relationships with and working with buyers can be intimidating. For buyers, finding consistent and sufficient quantities of supply can be an added challenge of its own. Where can the two meet in the middle and work together to grow the local food system? Join this dialogue to discuss how to best work with the other half of the food system. Paul Moir, SLO Restaurant Group: Proper Meats + Provisions Owner Paul Moir is no stranger to the restaurant industry, having wet his feet with a pizza delivery job at the age of 16 before signing on for stints in restaurants across California, Colorado and Arizona.  His name now synonymous with some of northern and southern Arizona’s top drinking and dining establishments, Moir launched Flagstaff favorites Brix in 2006 and Criollo in 2009, before taking his talents south to Tucson to open Proper in 2013. At Proper Meats + Provisions, Moir plans to both increase the meat production angle of Arizona’s local food system and help supply his existing restaurants with top-quality, traceable meat for consumer consumption. Patti Marrs, The Orme SchoolPatti Marrs is a self-taught “foodie” and environmentalist. Recognizing that food is at the center of everything, she has chosen it as her tool for activism. Patti’s is driven by her primary goals to heal soil, the environment and educate a new generation. Using food as the carrot (so to speak) she pursues these objectives by serving others food that is fresh, clean, whole, and fair, Patti is known to stop at any number of farms on her commute to the kitchen to serve the freshest, most nutritious food possible, this also puts the dollars in the hands of the growers. Patti currently pursues her passion as the Director of Food Service at the Orme School, an international boarding school in Mayer, Arizona, where she leads her team in preparing meals from scratch for 100 people 3 times a day in a true "Farm to Table" fashion.  Patty Emmert, Duncan Family Farms: Patty Emmert is the Specialty Crop Manager for Duncan Family Farms, a certified organic farm specializing in leafy greens and specialty vegetables. Their growing operations are located in both Arizona and California. Since joining the farm in 2010 her main responsibility has been to develop a distribution platform for the farm’s Specialty Vegetable crops, increase brand identity, develop a marketing program for the farm and community outreach programs and oversee the business development and sales for their Specialty Vegetable crops. Additionally, Patty completed a 3 year term as Director for Slow Food Phoenix which is a non-profit organization that supports good, clean and fair food and was a previous US Delegate to Terra Madre in Turin, Italy. She sits on the Farm to School Advisory council for the state of Arizona. Her dedication is deeply rooted in building vibrant local food supply systems and making sure that everyone has access to healthy, fresh food. Tami Hitt-Wyant, Humbolt Unified School District: Tami Hitt-Wyant has been in school nutrition for 5 years.  She serves as Director of Food and Nutrition for the Humboldt Unified School District in Prescott Valley, Arizona.  An Alabama native, after high school Tami moved to Montana and graduated from the University of Montana with a degree in Recreation Management.  She then moved to Arizona and spent many years working in upscale catering where she developed a passion for nutrition.  Tami returned to school to complete a dietetics degree at Central Arizona College.  She now holds credentials as a Dietetic Technician, a School Nutrition Specialist and a Certified Food Safety Professional.  However, most importantly she is a mother to a 5 year old and a 5 month old.

2. Connecting the Dots: How Government and Policies affect Arizona’s Local Food Economy (Ladies' Lounge)

There are a variety of resources available throughout Arizona that are working to make a more the business environment for producers and local food businesses more productive and successful. Learn about how elected officials and government entities, and other organizations are working to provide regulatory guidance, economic opportunities and develop policies that will expand opportunity in the local food sector. Art Babbott, Coconino County Commissioner / Flagstaff Farmers Market Director: After serving six years on the Flagstaff City Council, Art Babbott was elected in November 2012 to represent District 1 on the Coconino County Board of Supervisors. As a small-businessman running the Flagstaff Community Markets, Art believes in planning for the future responsibly to encourage economic development in a fiscally responsible manner. Equally important to Northern Arizona residents and Art is ensuring our forests are properly maintained and in good health, while encouraging smart federal and public land management. The two-term former City Council member has also worked to address regional water policies and federal land issues. Art has helped to pair the public and private sectors to promote local and regional economic development, such as the County has done, forming partnerships with the Flagstaff Extreme Adventure Course, the Pepsi Amphitheater and North Pole Experience at Ft. Tuthill County Park. Katrin Themlitz, Sedona Community Farmers Market: Katrin is German by descent, grew up in London and sailed with her parents across the Baltic, North Sea, English Channel, Bay of Biscay and Carribean.  From a life on the sea, she moved to the desert southwest and has been living here for the last 20 years where the wide open spaces remind her of the ocean.  Katrin's favorite grandmother who had a great green thumb comes from South of Kaliningrad where her side of the family had a large diversified working farm that can be traced back in her family for 300 years.  As head of the Farmers Market, Katrin is active in community education on local foods, food systems development food and food security initiatives in the region.  Currently she is working on coordinating the first USDA Group GAP Certification in AZ for small and mid scale farmers in Northern Arizona. She is showing how Group GAP can be a building block for marketing, branding and distribution and can assist the individual farm with building economy of scale.  Katrin is a guest speaker at NAU and Yavapai College on the topic of Community Based Sustainable Agriculture. Paul Katan, Yavapai County Health Department: Paul Katan is the Health Policy Manager for Yavapai County Community Health Services. Working as part of the Health in Arizona Policy Initiative (HAPI), Paul partners with local organizations to “make the healthy choice the easy choice” through policy and systems change. Paul draws on over-a-decade of experience in community health promotion, focused on improving health through community design. Paul’s current projects include: partnering with local government to promote health through transportation planning; as well collaborating with local Ag stakeholders to increase access to and availability of nutritious food. He also serves as a board member of the Prescott Farmers market Braden Kay, City of Orlando, FL: Dr. Braden Kay is one of the first doctoral graduates from Arizona State’s School of Sustainability in Arizona. Braden pursued this doctorate in order to become a national expert in creating livable and sustainability communities in urban America. Braden has developed a strong record as a sustainability researcher, and practitioner. During his time in Arizona, Braden served on Mayor Greg Stanton's sustainability advisory board, the Roosevelt Row Community Development Corporation, and was a project manager of the Roosevelt Row Growhouse and Valley of the Sunflowers projects. He is a graduate of the Sidwell Friends School in Washington, DC, Carleton College (MN), and the Teach for America program. He now serves as the City of Orlando Sustainability Project Manager in the Office of Sustainability and Energy with a focus on strategic solid waste programs, urban forestry, and urban agriculture initiatives.

3. Food Hub Business Model Exploration (Auditorium)

Producers and local food buyers across Arizona are currently exploring the idea of building a food hub. But what does the successful food hub business model actually look like? We’ll hear from experts who have built food hubs and other creative agribusiness models. We’ll weigh the pros and cons of cooperatives, nonprofits, for profit food hub models and more. The Q&A session will also offer the opportunity to ask our experts about other unique forms a food hub can take. Anthony Flaccavento, SCALE, Inc: Anthony Flaccavento has been a commercial organic farmer for over 20 years, and has launched and managed farmers markets, producer networks, and multi-farm CSAs. Anthony’s experience with food hubs started in 1999 and 2000 when his organization, Appalachian Sustainable Development, planned and built the first food hub in the Appalachian region, called Appalachian Harvest. He has provided research, feasibility studies, action plans and business plans, and on-site technical assistance from rural West Virginia, to Minneapolis and the South Bronx. At present, Anthony is working with partners in western North Carolina, the Arkansas Delta and Minneapolis on a wide range of farming, food hub and food system issues. He is also under contract with the National Good Food Network to co-develop and implement a food hub curriculum and training course. Maynard James Keenan, Merkin Vineyards / Four Eight Wineworks: Arizona resident since 1995, former West Point cadet/soldier, co-founder of international recording acts Tool, A Perfect Circle and Puscifer, as well as the founder of the first winemaking co-op in Arizona, Four Eight Wineworks. “I Made My Way here from Ohio/Michigan via Boston and Los Angeles.  My intuition serves me well. Having already dove headfirst into this venture, I found out from a distant relative that wine making is in my blood. My great grandfather, “Spirito” Marzo, had vineyards and made wine in Venaus, Italy, just North of Turino in Piemonte.  My tastes in wine reflect this history. It’s even apparent in my choice of home. Clearly I and my fathers are one.” Chris Mazzarella, Las Milpitas Farm & the Community Food Resource Center at the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona: Chris Mazzarella has been doing food security and justice work with the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona for 6 years. His work is based out of the Food Bank’s farm and has helped him form a deep understanding of issues faced within, and a connection to, the agricultural community in Southern Arizona. The Community Food Resource center, the department in which he is based, works on behalf of low-income communities to create long term, systemic solutions to poverty and hunger. Chris has recently been working with community stakeholders to form a food hub for Tucson and Southern Arizona. Alexandria Wright, Yavapai College’s Regional Economic Development Center: Alexandria M. Wright is the director of the Yavapai College Regional Economic Development Center which produces regional economic and policy analysis, workforce demand studies, entrepreneurial educational services, private sector training, and programs for Native American economic development.  Ms. Wright holds graduate degrees in regional economics and policy analysis specializing in rural economic development, labor analysis, sustainable development indicator design, and Tribal capacity building.  She has published in the field of regional policy making and community indicators for development.  Her most recent work includes economic impact studies using multiplier analysis for public institutions and private businesses to determine return on investment for publicly subsidized projects.

11:30am-11:45am: BREAK

11:45AM-12::45PM: LUNCH

Gary-by-Dennis-Moroney-225x30012:00pm-12:45pm: KEYNOTE - GARY NABHAN of University of Arizona (Auditorium) "A Tale of Two Food Systems - A Comparison of Financial Models working in Arizona and New Mexico's Local Food System" Gary Paul Nabhan, University of Arizona: Gary Paul Nabhan is an internationally-celebrated nature writer, food and farming activist, and proponent of conserving the links between biodiversity and cultural diversity. He has been been honored as a pioneer and creative force in the “local food movement” and seed saving community by Utne Reader, Mother Earth News, New York Times, Bioneers and Time magazine. As the W.K. Kellogg Endowed Chair in Sustainable Food Systems at the University of Arizona Southwest Center, he works with students, faculty and non-profits to build a more just, nutritious, sustainable and climate-resilient foodshed spanning the U.S./Mexico border. He was among the earliest researchers to promote the use of native foods in preventing diabetes, especially in his role as a co-founder and researcher with Native Seeds/SEARCH. Gary is also personally engaged as an orchard-keeper, wild foods forager and pollinator habitat restorationist working from his small farm in Patagonia, Arizona near the Mexican border. He has helped forge “the radical center” for collaborative conservation among farmers, ranchers, indigenous peoples and environmentalists in the West.

1:00PM-3PM: AFTERNOON WORK SESSION (Auditorium), Facilitation by Dr. Braden Kay: In this session, we will invite all participants from the forum to come together and discuss next steps and potential paths for moving forward with building different food-related investments in Arizona. With a heavy emphasis on setting goals, deliverables and action items, it is our hope that the graduates of this program will become the catalyzing force that builds a better food system in Arizona.

3PM - Close of Conference