FOOD ACTIVISTS FROM ACROSS WISCONSIN WILL CONVERGE IN LA CROSSE AT FOOD SUMMIT ON JANUARY 12 AND 13, 2017

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On January 12-13, 2017, The Wisconsin Local Food Network (WLFN) will hold its 11th Annual Summit at the Radisson Hotel in La Crosse, Wisconsin convening stakeholders from across the Wisconsin food system for learning, networking, and community building.

WLFN is a network of individuals and organizations that works towards a Wisconsin food system that supports a strong food infrastructure that helps local communities and businesses thrive, sustainable farms of all sizes, and affordable access to healthy locally grown food for ALL Wisconsin residents. With a long-standing partnership with UW-Extension and other food and agriculture groups, WLFN is the leading coalition of food advocates in the state.

The Summit, held annually since 2007, brings together community organizers, agency staff and advocates, educators, students, local food producers, processors, distributors, businesses, and eaters to learn, network, and help shape our local food systems.

Click here if you would like to see the e-news with all the details including the Pre-Summit Vernon County / Viroqua Experience, the La Crosse Food Tour on Thursday morning, the reception, networking dinner, opportunity to network with and converse with local food leaders from five (5) states, and things like carpooling and seeking or offering room shares.

In past Summits, WLFN has introduced concepts of Open Space, Networking, and Collective Impact throughout the schedule, encouraging participants to come together to discuss key issues surrounding the Wisconsin food system and to think creatively about how we can come together to collectively shape a strong, equitable food system.

This year’s closing general session will be a Wisconsin Food System Convergence. This will be a forum to solicit input from food system stakeholders on how to create a sustainable, good food movement throughout our state. The Convergence will build on all the great work that has been done in the past, and through a modified process of Appreciative Inquiry, will seek to chart a coordinated path forward. Join us to share your input on how to more effectively work together to build a food system that makes it easy to grow, sell, access, and eat healthy food for all people in Wisconsin.

“We are very excited for the closing general session,” said Kathleen Hein, WLFN Board Chair. “It will bring together the work we have done together over the last decade and start to chart a course forward for the next 10 years to engage more people and spark more connections throughout the state.”

“For those who have felt things may have moved too slowly in the past as it relates to action, we’ve heard you and the Convergence is our promise to ensure work between Summits,” said Angela Rester, former WLFN Board Director and currently managing WLFN. “The Wisconsin Healthy Food Systems Alliance partnered with us this year and have given an extra boost to ensuring next action steps between Summits.

Early bird registration rates are available until midnight CST Wednesday, December 21 and discounts are available for farmers and students (high school, technical college, and other higher learning institutions). Registration scholarships are also available for anyone wishing to participate but hasn’t the means or all of the means to do so. To register for the conference or to learn more about WLFN, please visit the Wisconsin Local Food Network website at https://wilocalfood.wordpress.com/summits/summit-2017/.

Volunteers are needed to serve as room hosts and monitors, set-up and take-down, support for IT needs, registration, and new this year, we need about 20 folks to serve as table moderators during the Convergence.  If you would like to learn ways that you can be engaged as a volunteer at the Summit or to help spread the word, please contact Angela Rester at wilocalfoodnet@gmail.com or 262-488-4747.

GOOD FOOD AWARDS OPENS ENTRY PERIOD JULY 1-31

Oil Announced as Tenth Category

San Francisco, CA (July 1, 2013) – The Good Food Awards—the first national initiative to recognize American craft food producers who excel in both taste and sustainability—kickstarts the fourth year of its quest to find America’s best food producers. July 1 marks the official launch of a coast-to-coast call for entries of beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confections, pickles, preserves, spirits, and (a brand new category) oils. A blind tasting with Paul Bertolli, Michael Bauer, Wall Street Journal Columnist Kitty Greenwald and 150 other food movement leaders will determine this year’s 100 winners, who will be showcased in San Francisco at a special one-day Good Food Awards Marketplace at the iconic CUESA Ferry Plaza Farmers Market on January 18, 2014.

The Awards epitomize the country’s Good Food zeitgeist, showcasing food crafters of all sizes who consciously root their business in the principles of taste, authenticity and responsible production. With new business opportunities and national visibility directed at the Good Food Award winners each year, businesses report significant sales increases—in two particularly successful cases, winners reported increases of 400%. Since its inception three years ago, the Awards have grown 40% annually and we anticipate 2000 entries and representation from all fifty states this year. A new partnership with Slow Food USA promises to support this growth and speaks to shared values of promoting Good Food:

“In all corners of the country, community food systems are birthing new enterprises often paying homage to disappearing traditions. The Good Food Awards shares Slow Food’s passion to elevate the dignity of creative labor in food,” says Slow Food USA Executive Director Richard McCarthy.

“With the proliferation of Good Food around the country, we are especially focused on reaching out to historically underrepresented states: Mississippi, Oklahoma, North and South Dakota, Alaska, Alabama, Louisiana, Missouri. So many unique food traditions are just waiting to have a spotlight shined on them,” commented Good Food Awards Director Sarah
Weiner.

NEW THIS YEAR: OILS

In further Good Food news, the awards have answered a national call to honor the diverse oils being made right here on American soil from olives, nuts, seeds and avocados. From Delicata squash seeds to rich southern pecans to the fruity of extract 0f the tiny Mission Olive brought to California by Spanish missionaries, we’re seeking out the best of this category that forms the foundation of a healthy, delicious kitchen.

SPONSORS

The Good Food Awards would not be possible without the continued support of its many partners. We would like to specially thank our Founding Partners Whole Foods Market, as
well as the San Francisco Ferry Building, Williams Sonoma, Bi-Rite Market, the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, Veritable Vegetable, Greenleaf, The Hub SoMa, Dominic Philips Event
Marketing and CUESA for their generous support.

HOW TO ENTER

From July 1-31, 2013, food producers are invited to enter in ten categories: beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confections, oils, pickles, preserves, and spirits. Winners—selected from each region of the United States—are chosen based on the sustainable production criteria for each category as well as the results from the blind tasting
with 150 judges.

To enter, fill out the basic online entry form by July 31 at http://www.goodfoodawards.org. A $60 processing fee for each entry covers sorting, transportation and storage, and is waived for
the first entry submitted by all Good Food Merchants Guild members. The Guild, another Seedling Projects initiative, is an ongoing association of businesses interested in
supporting the principles of Good Food. Members receive an array of benefits including unique opportunities to market their products to target audiences of consumers and retail
buyers. For a full list of benefits and how to apply, please visit goodfoodmerchantsguild.org.

All entrants to the awards must certify that their submissions meet the category-specific criteria outlined on the entry form. Entrants are invited to mail samples for the blind tasting in September, and finalists participate in a vetting interview to further elaborate on how they meet their category’s criteria.

ABOUT THE GOOD FOOD AWARDS

The Good Food Awards celebrate the kind of food we all want to eat: tasty, authentic and responsible. Now, in its fourth year, awards will be given to winners in ten categories: beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confections, oils, pickles, preserves and spirits. The Good Food Awards Seal, found on winning products, assures consumers they have found something exceptionally delicious that also supports sustainability and social good. The Good Food Awards Gold Seal designates winning products that go beyond the Good Food Awards sustainability criteria and use 100% certified organic ingredients.

Good Food Award winners will be announced on January 17, 2014 in San Francisco at a ceremony that brings winners and their families together with the nation’s leading chefs, buyers, food movement leaders and media. On January 18, 2014, Good Food Award-winning products will be showcased at a 30,000-person public marketplace in collaboration with the San Francisco Ferry Building and the CUESA farmers market.

Winners also receive a Good Food Awards seal to place on their product all year long, as well as connections to a network of national buyers who seek out foods that meet the holistic Good Food Awards criteria. Find specific entry criteria and more information at: http://www.goodfoodawards.org.

ABOUT SEEDLING PROJECTS

The Good Food Awards is organized by Seedling Projects in collaboration with a broad community of food producers, chefs, food writers and passionate food-lovers. Seedling Projects, a California public benefit corporation, is led by Sarah Weiner and Dominic Phillips, who have united their diverse skills to support the sustainable food movement. Through focused events and strategic models, it engages the public in finding better ways to feed our communities. Find more information at: http://www.seedlingprojects.org.