2016 Maine Food Network Gathering Agenda shutterstock_224179468flip

Follow this link to register.


Agenda and confirmed presenters:

8:30 a.m.: Registration & add your organization to the Maine Food Atlas

9:15 a.m.: Welcoming remarks by Walt Whitcomb, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry.

Network Rap: Three places where networks are changing the food system

  • Farm to Institution New England: Riley Neugebaur
  • Food Solutions New England Network Member: Amanda Beal
  • Slow Money Maine: Bonnie Rukin
  • Brett Tolley, LocalCatch.org

Opportunity/Issue Jam Session: Panel presentations followed by Q&A and deliberation on next steps to support these areas.

  1. Workforce Development: Connecting workforce development programs that support food businesses
    1. ME Department of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry: Ashley Sears
    2. Maine Quality Center, Jim McGowan
    3. Northeastern Workforce Development Board, Joanna Russell
    4. Maine SeaGrant, Paul Anderson
  2. Diversifying the Marine Economy: Seafood beyond the lobster
    1. Island Institute: Nick Battista
    2.  Penobscot East Resource Center: Pat Shepard
    3. Gulf of Maine, Inc.: Tim Sheehan
    4. Sarah Rademaker: American Unagi
  3. Consumer Education: How do we encourage more people to choose Maine food more often?
    1. ME DACF: Jessica Nixon
    2. ME Wild Blueberry Commission: Nancy McBrady
    3. Gulf of Maine Research Institute: Jen Levin

12:00 p.m.        Networking Buffet Lunch – participants visit informational displays on tools and resources

Luncheon Keynote Speaker: U.S. Senator Angus S. King Jr.

1: 30 pm: Afternoon Educational Sessions (choose one):

  1. Engaging with Public Policy for Food Systems
    1. ME Farm Bureau: Alicyn Smart
    2. Natural Resources Council of ME: Ryan Parker, NRCM
    3. Bangor City Council: Ben Sprague
    4. Congresswomen Chellie Pingree’s Office: Emily Horton
  2. Food Sovereignty in Tribal Communities
    1. Alivia Moore, Penobscot Nation tribal member
    2. Janet Lola, Indian Township Food Pantry and of the Passamaquoddy Nation
  3. Careers in Maine Food: Options for starting a career in food systems
    1. Sustainable Food Systems Leadership Institute: Deb Bicknell
    2. ME Farm and Sea Cooperative: Dave Seddon/Ron Adams
    3. Maine Grocers and Food Producers Association, Shelley Doak
    4. Sodexo: Varun Avasthi

Wrap Up

Open Mic for attendees to share their experiences of the day and final thoughts

Closing remarks

4:00 p.m.: Formal gathering ends – attendees encouraged to stay for appetizers, cash bar, and live music by The Itinerant Visitors -see below for band details!

Bonus! The “Itinerate Visitors” are a 5-piece band featuring acoustic instruments and vocals.  Two guitars, a fiddle, a bass and percussion create the foundation of the music which includes interpretation of songs across a spectrum of time.  A blend of traditional, contemporary, folk, rock and originals will be shared in an enthusiastic mix of music including Dylan, the Dead, Van, the Beatles, and others.  Members include: Paul Anderson (guitar), Robert Roper (fiddle), Brian Norris (percussion), Bruce Cahill (guitar), and David Lewis (Bass).  The band was named by Helen and Scott Nearing based on a stanza from “The Maple Sugar Book”.

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