PVGrows Forum Feb 2011 (Holyoke)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

 

Please join us for the semi-annual networking event for anyone working to build a healthy Pioneer Valley Food System.

Background  Since 2008, PVGrows has convened 6 times. We have identified gaps in the Valley food system, hosted guest speakers from other food systems, launched three Working Groups, and convened a Steering Committee.          


The meeting will include an interactive session, Making Local Food Available to Everyone: Whose Job Is It? We live in one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world, yet there are many neighborhoods in our valley where fresh food is hard to find.  At the same time, many local farmers struggle to survive even as they sell into the emerging market for local food.  What role can each of us play in making healthy and affordable food accessible to everyone in our community?

Also on the agenda: networking, a working lunch, and a special session from 1-2pm on Local Food System Financing.

 

Cost: FREE, including lunch ($5 lunch donation encouraged).

Registration Deadline: Mon, Feb 14.

Location: Mill 1, Open Square, Holyoke, MA Directions  (Please note that the location has been moved. It was formerly the Food Bank.)

Who comes?  PVGrows is where diverse interests come together— from farmers & food processors to distributors, retailers, marketers, shoppers, and eaters.

Our members are affiliated with organizations dedicated to everything from farm support to policy & planning to education,  community organizing, and more.

Click for a list of organizations represented at previous meetings.

           

 

Agenda

9:00 COFFEE, TEA, AND PASTRIES

9:30 WELCOME AND PVGROWS OVERVIEW (The PVGrows Steering Committee)

10:00 STRUCTURED NETWORKING

Get to know who’s who in the Pioneer Valley Food System, and meet the people you need to meet! 

10:30 GROUP DISCUSSION

MAKING LOCAL FOOD AVAILABLE TO EVERYONE: WHOSE JOB IS IT? 

We live in one of the most productive agricultural regions in the world, yet our valley is home to many neighborhoods where fresh food is hard to find.  At the same time, many local farmers struggle to survive even as they sell into the emerging market for local food.  What role can each of us play in making healthy and affordable food accessible to everyone in our community?

This will be an interactive session, facilitated by:

  • Diego Angarita, Food Systems Organizer, Nuestras Raices
  • Catherine Sands, Director, Fertile Ground; Co-Evaluator, Holyoke Food & Fitness Policy Council

11:30 WORKING GROUPS

This is where the collaborative work of PVGrows gets done.  Hear about each Working Group, and choose which one you’ll join for today’s lunch.

  1. Infrastructure Finance
    • Margaret Christie, Special Project Director, Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA)
    • John Waite, Director, Franklin County CDC
  2. Farmland Preservation
    • Kari Blood, Forever Farmland Initiative
  3. Food Access & Community Health
    • Katie Stebbins, Mass Mentoring Partnership
  4. OR, Start a new Working Group…

 

12:00 LUNCH

Working Groups each host a table.

12:50 CLOSING

1:00-2:00 SPECIAL SESSION (optional)

LOCAL FOOD SYSTEMS FINANCING:

A BRIEFING ON THE PVGROWS LOAN FUND

PVGrows is part of a growing national effort (sometimes called “Slow Money”) to attract new investment dollars to local farm & food businesses.  One of our Working Groups recently launched the $1 million PVGrows Loan Fund.

In this informal discussion, you’ll have the chance to ask the PVGrows lenders and investors about the loan fund and to explore other investment tools that could be developed in the Pioneer Valley. 

  • Jeff Rosen, Finance Director, Solidago Foundation
  • Tom Willits, Lydia B. Stokes Foundation
  • Jim Oldham, Director, Equity Trust
  • Michael Abbate, Western Massachusetts Enterprise Fund
  • John Waite, Director, Franklin County Community Development Corporation

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