Fans of farmers and farm-grown food, there’s a two-day conference that should certainly be added to and circled on your wall calendar. The seventh annual Arizona Food & Farm Forum is happening Tuesday, April 28, and Wednesday, April 29, and the conference is wide open to farmers, food and restaurant entrepreneurs, 4-H members and FFA students, and supporters of local food.
The 2020 forum will offer workshops, live cooking demonstrations, a bus tour of Laveen and south Phoenix-area farms, and local food networking opportunities. Confirmed keynote speakers are Blue Sky Organic Farms owner Sara Dolan, Native American Culinary Association founder and Executive Chef Nephi Craig, and executive director of the Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture Institute, Lilian Hill.
The theme of the two-day farm conference is, “Celebrating Heritage and Planning for the Future,” meaning the event will highlight three areas of interest.
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“Planning for the Future” focuses on policy changes, highlighting agriculture workforce development, urban farmland conservation, and funding community food systems. “Indigenous Foodways” offers a discussion with the American Indian Farmers’ Panel, food as medicine, and adopting Sonoran Desert crops. Finally, “Growing a Food Business” will focus on topics like building farm brands, climate change, and revenue streams.
“Phoenix is committed to achieving a healthy, sustainable, equitable, and thriving food system and has recently completed a 2025 Food Action Plan that includes various strategies and actions that address food insecurity, urban agriculture, land use, job creation, and the contribution of the entire food system to our local economy,” Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego says in a press release. “We are excited to host the Arizona Food & Farm Forum in South Phoenix to showcase the rich agricultural history of the area, its assets, and value to the development of a resilient food system for future generations.”
The 2020 AZ Food & Farm Forum is April 28 and 29 at the Corona Ranch & Rodeo Grounds, 7611 South 29th Avenue in Laveen Village. Early bird tickets are $69 for both days or $49 for one day before March 15. Full-price tickets are $99 for two days or $59 for one day starting March 16. Tickets for young farmers, ranchers, and students are $40 for both days, $20 for one.
For tickets and more information, visit the Good Food Finder AZ website.