Good Food News| March 14, 2019

Good For The Earth at the Good Food EXPO

by Bob Benenson, FamilyFarmed

The Good Food EXPO got its start in 2004 with a strong focus on farmers, and it has never lost its focus that all the benefits attributed to Good Food start at the farm — as these panels at the Good Food Trade Show on Friday, March 22 underscore (times and room locations at the UIC Isador and Sadie Dorin Forum are provided). The EXPO is presented by Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois; tickets for the Trade Show can be found on the Good Food EXPO site. 

Regenerative Agriculture: Improving Soil, Capturing Carbon

Erin Meyer, Dietitian and Owner, Basil’s Harvest (moderator)
John Steven Bianucci, Director of Impact, Iroquois Valley Farms
Mallory Krieger, Farmer Training Manager, The Land Connection
Harold Wilken, Owner, Janie’s Farm and The Mill at Janie’s Farm

12:15-1:15 p.m., Room D

This panel features organizations that are promoting regenerative agriculture to grow food, restore farm resilience and biodiversity, protect the environment, and create opportunities for communities. 

Harold Wilken is a pioneering organic grain farmer in east-central Illinois. He was the subject of a recent Good Food News article and was also quoted in an article about regenerative agriculture that is part of the Good Food Insights series, a partnership of FamilyFarmed, New Hope Network and SPINS. Photo: Bob Benenson/FamilyFarmed

Farm to Table: Keeping It Real

Mitchell Davis, Chief Strategy Officer, James Beard Foundation (moderator)
Dustin Allen, Owner, Edge Restaurant
Casey Cora, Media Director, Frontera Farmer Foundation
Greg Gunthorp, Owner, Gunthorp Farms
Dave Rand, Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer, Local Foods
Amy Randazzo, Owner, Grani’s Acres

12:15-1:15 p.m., Room E

This panel explores how restaurants and farmers can build their relationships, design seasonal menus, tell why eating local food is better — and ensure diners that they are keeping farm-to-table real.

Hemp Renaissance

Liz Rupel, Policy Organizer, Illinois Stewardship Alliance (moderator)
Rachel Berry, CEO, Illinois Hemp Growers Association and Farmer
Mike Harshfield, President & Chief Operating Officer at BLMG Holdings LLC
Stuart Herman, Senior Consultant, HG Horticulture Consulting
Jarintzy Lua, Hemp Cultivator and Researcher

1:30-2:30 p.m., Room D

In 2018, Illinois became the 38th state to legalize industrial hemp, and the federal government legalized commercial product of hemp products in the new farm bill. Learn about opportunities to launch a new cash crop, navigate production, and prepare for the challenges ahead.

City in a Garden: Chicago and Urban Farming

Harry Rhodes, Executive Director, Growing Home (moderator)
Laura Calvert, Executive Director, Advocates for Urban Agriculture
Eliza Fournier, Urban Youth Programs Director, Chicago Botanic Garden
Micheál Newman-Brooks, Project Manager of Urban Agriculture, City of Chicago, Department of Planning and Development

1:30-2:30 p.m., Room E

Thriving farms have risen in Chicago, but the high cost of land and environmental factors thwart some promising growers. This panel features leaders who are working to help urban farmers overcome obstacles.

The Growing Demand for Better Grain

Greg Wade, Head Baker, Publican Quality Bread (moderator)
Rachel Bernier-Green, Owner, ‘Laine’s Bake Shop
Sandra Holl, Executive Chef & Co-Founder, Floriole
Ellen King, Co-Owner & Director, Hewn
Julie Rowin, M.D., Clinical Private Practice
Gilbert Williams, Owner, Lonesome Stone Milling

2:45-3:45 p.m., Room D

Demand for better grain and flour among bakers, distillers, brewers, food processors, and consumers is rising. This panel features users and advocates talking about opportunities and challenges in this fast-rising sector.

Greg Wade, head baker at Chicago’s Publican Quality Bread and two-time James Beard Foundation nominee for its Outstanding Baker Award, will moderate the Good Food EXPO panel on The Growing Demand for Better Grain. Photo: Bob Benenson/FamilyFarmed

Patience is Virtue in Organic Conversion

Jackie Davis-Slay, Director of Public and Private Partnership, USDA National Resources Conservation Service
Adam DeGroot, Sales Manager, DeGroot Farms
John Steven Bianucci, Director of Impact, Iroquois Valley Farms
Harold Wilken, Owner, Janie’s Farm and The Mill at Janie’s Farm
Leilani Zimmer-Durand, Vice President of Educational Initiatives, Midwestern BioAg

2:45-3:45 p.m., Room E

Conversion to organic farming can provide farmers with growth and greater financial viability as market demand increases, but it is hard work. This panel of experts shares best practices.

The Road to Safe and Reliable Food Sources

Will Madden, Co-Founder, Whole Brain Consulting (moderator)
Leslie Fowler, CEO & President, FarmLogix
Brandon Hernandez, Co-Founder, Whole Brain Consulting
Jamie Moore, Director of Sourcing and Sustainability, Parkhurst Dining

4-5 p.m., Room D

Experts on this panel provide an overview of processes that food businesses should follow to ensure a safe local food supply for foodservice locations.

Mind Your Ps: The 4 Ps of Wasted Food Solutions

Stephanie Katsaros, Founder & President, Bright Beat
Douglas Bradley, Vice President of Culinary, Savor…Chicago, McCormick Place
Brendan Kitt, Food Resources Development Manager, Greater Chicago Food Depository
Andrew Klink, Site Manager, Midwest Organics Recycling
Jennifer Nelson, Program Manager, Seven Generations Ahead

4-5 p.m., Room E

This panel will highlight findings and outcomes of The Illinois Wasted Food Solutions Task Force and teach the audience how to “be the change” of reducing waste.

If you dig our farm-forward programming, please go to the EXPO ticket page where you can buy tickets for the Good Food Trade Show that opens the EXPO on Friday, March 22, and pre-register for the free Good Food Festival on Saturday, March 23.


Good Food News


Bob Benenson


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