2017 Farm & Food Leadership Conference

Farm & Food Leadership Conference – Historic Downtown McKinney

Farm & Food Leadership Conference Overview

If you are interested in learning more about sustainable farming and local products you need to attend the 2017 Farm & Food Leadership Conference. You will have the opportunity to connect with others who are passionate about this cause. Furthermore you will be making a difference in the farming industry for the future of local agriculture. This event will give you the opportunity to focus on policies and regulations that affect our farms and local foods. You will be given the tools and information needed to develop sustainable agriculture. This event is not only for farmers, we strongly encourage anyone working in the food industry, local business owners, and nonprofit advocates to attend. Each attendee will gain the knowledge to support and participate in the local and sustainable food movement.

Farm & Ranch Freedom Alliance

 

What To Expect

This is the first time in 11 years that the Food & Farm Conference has been located in North Texas.

-You can expect in depth workshops to help farmers and producers with practical solutions such as how to form a successful co-op and food safety for produce growers.

-You will hear top speakers on a variety of topics including nutrition, sustainable sourcing at restaurants and retailers, food waste, water policy, farm support programs, GMO’s, food freedom, and more.

-Fred Kirschenmann, President of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, and Distinguished Fellow at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture will be speaking over multiple topics.

-You will have the opportunity to network with fellow individuals that share the same passions.

-You will have the option to attend an on-farm dinner, prepared by Harvest Seasonal Kitchen from food grown by local farmers.

Register Here

Schedule

Sunday, Sept. 24: Pre-Conference Workshops | Heard Natural Science Museum

Monday – Times subject to change

9 a.m.: Welcome

9:15-10:15 a.m.: Keynote by Fred Kirschenmann

10:30-noon: Session 1:

  • Activism at the local level
  • Climate change: Looking past the “cause debate” to build resilient systems
  • Access to government resources for small farmers
  • Co-op Q&A

Noon-1:30: Lunch is on your own, with five farm-to-table options on the Square, plus numerous other eateries and shops to visit.

1:30-2:45 p.m.: Session 2

  • Effective legislative advocacy
  • Seed diversity
  • Growing sustainable grains
  • Farmers’ Market Q&A

3:15-4:30 p.m.: Session 3

  • Farm Bill, corporate mergers, and the news from DC
  • Activating your microbiota for health
  • How do we sustain Farm-to-Table?
  • Food Policy Board networking session

6 p.m.: Farm-to-Table Dinner at Pure Land Organic Farm, McKinney, Texas

 

Tuesday – Times subject to change

8:30 – 9:30 a.m.: Plenary session with Alan Lewis

9:35 – 10:35 a.m.: Session 1

  • GMO Basics
  • Wild foods: A guide to foraging
  • Opportunities for young farmers and military veterans

10:55 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.: Session 2

  • The latest news and developments with GMOs
  • Protecting pollinators
  • Farmer’s markets … what’s working and what’s not
  • Fermentation demonstration

1:210 – 1:40: Lunch is on your own, with five farm-to-table options on the Square, plus numerous other eateries and shops to visit.

1:40-3:10 p.m.: Session 3

  • Water and the future of our food
  • Food access: how do we get good food to more people?
  • Revenue streams for small farmers
  • Cooking demonstration

3:30-4:45 p.m. Session 4

  • Texas legislative update
  • Home gardening
  • The outlook for local brewers & distillers

4:45 p.m.: Closing

Harvest/Ricks Team

An Interview With Rick Wells: Harvest – Ricks Chophouse – Water Boy Farms

-History

The first time Rick remembers being interested in the service industry was at the age of 12 after his parents bought a restaurant. With Rick’s father being a football coach, he says he would have followed in his father’s footsteps if it weren’t for the family owned restaurant. After graduating college Rick started working with Bennigans and Sambuca opening up restaurants all across the country. He was educated on how to evaluate markets and project success for new locations.

Water Boy Garden

In 2003 Rick and his wife decided to buy some land in Lucas, build a home, and settle down. They wanted to give their children the opportunity to grow up on a farm looking up at the stars at night in awe of this beautiful place we call home. This farm is now Water Boy Farms, which supplies Harvest and Rick’s Chophouse with fruits, vegetables, and honey. In 2004 Rick was thinking about making a job change from the corporate world to something more community involved. After doing a little homework he decided McKinney was going to be the center of his universe, and he started Rick’s Chophouse.

Inside Ricks Chophouse

Rick’s Chophouse was the first restaurant he opened in McKinney, and after receiving the philanthropist of the year award in 2012 Rick was humbled and wanted to continue investing in his community. One statistic that stuck with him was “for every dollar you spend in a community $0.70 stays local.” He had a new goal in mind focused on the community and surrounding area. Rick wanted to fully stock his restaurants with locally grown products; this is where Harvest comes into the picture. After taking two years to evaluate and plan, Harvest was opened and in full swing, using local materials and recycled products to build this one of a kind restaurant.

Inside Harvest

-Current and Future Business

With around 40 farms to stock Harvest including Ricks personal Water Boy Farms, Harvest is known for its fresh and organic ingredients. The farm is run by Master Gardener and Executive Chef Andrea Shackelford, along with employees of Rick’s Chophouse and Harvest as a team effort to serve fresh local ingredients.

Water Boy Farm Vegetables

Each employee at Harvest and Rick’s Chophouse is put through an extensive hiring and training process in both restaurants! The restaurants run on “a one heart culture” meaning that each person is bigger than himself or herself and apart of a community that invests in each other. Rick has a very strong passion for this community!

Water Boy Honey

The two things Rick loves most are education and food, and with 1 school already and another on the way and 2 restaurants it is obvious that the Wells family has a bright outlook on the future of McKinney. Rick has so much in store for this community that goes far beyond his lifetime. The work Rick is doing right now will last for 100’s of years to come in this beautiful North Texas Town.

Water Boy Farms

Petals Entry

Petals – A Boutique Floral Shop in Plano, TX

Love Your Life and Express Your Style With Petals Boutique Floral Shop!

Petals boutique is a delightful shop with a sophisticated and quite delicious atmosphere. This flouriest has gorgeous orchids, lovely vases and, beautiful flowers from around the world.Petals Boutique

Opening in 2001, Petals has been crafting beautiful bouquets for the Plano and Dallas area. Gift givers, event planners, and brides to be, looking for advice from an experienced staff are welcome at Petals. This one stop shop has a little something for everyone. If your looking for that unique gift no one else will have, stop by the boutique and find that something for every occasion. This Christian based family owned business prides themselves on friendly service, professionalism, loyalty and trust worthiness.

Flowers

“In our cooler you will always find the best quality flowers, processed with care by our staff each day.  Speak with one of our talented professional staff members and we can help you create that perfect arrangement for that someone special.” The merchandise in their store is personally picked out by the professional staff as if it was going in their own home. Stop by and see for yourself! Your experience is one you won’t forget and that will keep you coming back to visit again and again.

Statue

The creative design team offers a unique artistic approach to floral artistry. From traditional elegance to the latest trends, the designers at Petals personalize every aspect for your wedding, wedding reception, corporate events, showers, etc. Big or small, they can help you come up with that perfect touch to top off your special occasion. Petals can also provide a weekly service for your home, office or as a gift that keeps giving!