The purpose of this Regional Community and Economic Development Forum is to explore how to promote local food by discussing the challenges and opportunities in our local food economy.
9:30 AM Coffee and Networking
10:00 AM Welcome & Introductions: Karin Morris, Associate Director of Planning, DVRPC
Eat Local Montco: Montgomery County’s Local Food Promotion Strategy: Amy Verbofsky, Senior Planner, Office of Environmental Planning, DVRPC
Ms. Verbosfky will present this recently released strategy that seeks to strengthen county farms, bolster the health and quality of life of county residents, and implement the county's comprehensive plan, by promoting local food to county residents, institutions, and businesses. It analyzes the county's current agricultural and food system resources, acknowledging the challenges of local food production, distribution, and marketing, while at the same time making recommendations to strengthen local farms by linking local producers with local buyers, consumers, restaurants, and institutions.
Lancaster County’s Agritourism Guidelines and Their Impact: Dean S. Severson, AICP, Director for Community Planning, Lancaster County Planning Commission
Mr. Severson will discuss the County’s Guidelines for the Promotion and Development of Sustainable Agritourism Enterprises. He will discuss how agritourism enterprises help ensure the county’s family farms continue to prosper and remain sustainable in the future. He will also discuss the impacts of rural and farm-based businesses on the agricultural economy and landscape of Lancaster County.
Philadelphia as Hub of Innovation for Indoor Farming: Jack Griffin, Owner, Metropolis Farms; Founder, National Urban Farmers Association
Mr. Griffin will speak about his urban farming enterprise, Metropolis Farms, a vertical hydroponic farm on Columbus Boulevard in Philadelphia. He will also discuss starting the National Urban Farmers Association, to lobby government agencies to reverse state and national farm funding and labeling policies that discriminate against urban growers and hydroponics, and to help local and urban farmers build and expand their farms.
Market Development for Pennsylvania Craft Malt: Mark Brault, Owner and Chief Maltster, Deer Creek Malthouse
Mr. Brault will speak about starting the first commercial malthouse in Pennsylvania since Prohibition, as well as his work improving the supply chain for grain and malt via convening Philadelphia’s Annual Grain and Malt Symposium.
11:30 AM Discussion
The speakers will take questions and we will share strategies and ideas on what your community or organization is doing to promote local food production, distribution and new markets.
12:00 PM Adjournment and Lunch