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10/22/2013 4:29:00 PM
Local farm, food conference set for Nov. 2

Around the Table, a local food and farm conference offered by North Central Michigan College, will be held on Saturday, November 2 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Student Center cafeteria on North Central's Petoskey campus. Around the Table brings together farmers, food producers, chefs, restaurateurs, school food directors, health care providers and food lovers to learn how to put healthier local foods on our tables.

Keynote speakers from American Spoon Foods will discuss the importance of local foods to our economy. Panelists from City Park Grill, Grain Train, Coveyou Scenic Farm, Bill's Farm Market, North Central Café, Boyne City Schools, Taste the Local Difference and local farms will discuss opportunities and challenges in the local food market. The panel discussion will provide a chance for buyers, sellers and consumers of local foods to brainstorm ways to increase the availability of local healthy foods year-round.

Each participant will receive a free copy of Portrait of Emmet County's Farm Community, a collection of interviews and research conducted over the past year. The Portrait shows the history of Emmet County's farms, the changes over time and recommendations about ways to strengthen the agricultural economy and preserve our farms. The Local Food Alliance will present an award to the Local Food Hero of 2013. Facilitated sessions on building collaborations between farmers and markets, organic certification, CSAs, farm guilds, easy ways to eat local and other topics of interest will conclude the event.

Display tables for farmers and local food producers will showcase the best of local products. Resource materials listing local products, information and workshops will be included in the event package.

North Central Café, Grain Train Natural Foods Market and Crooked Tree Breadworks will provide refreshments. The cost is only $10/individual or $15/farm/family in advance or $20 at the door. Sponsors include Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation, Institute for Sustainable Living, Art and Natural Design (ISLAND), Grain Train Natural Foods Market, MSU Extension, USDA RMA, Local Food Alliance of Northern Michigan, Crooked Tree Breadworks and Michigan Land Use Institute.

For tickets or information, please see www.ncmich.edu/cce2 or call 231-348-6705 or 231-348-6708.

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