Thursday, May 5, 2016

K-State symposium to focus on food production, security in urban areas

OLATHE, Kan. – Growing food in the heart of the city where fresh produce can be surprisingly scarce is the focus of a conference June 22-25 in Olathe, Kansas.

Kansas State University’s 2016 Urban Food Systems Symposium will be hosted at the K-State Olathe campus. Presentations by several of the world’s foremost urban food systems experts on food production and distribution in cities, as well as nutrition and human health, are at the heart of the symposium.

Featured speakers include Julian Cribb, Julian Cribb & Associates, addressing “The Age of Food,”and Nancy Creamer, North Carolina State University distinguished professor of sustainable and community-based food systems, speaking on “Building a Local Food Economy in North Carolina.”

Food systems analyst Ken Meter will present “The Long Tradition of Urban Agriculture in the U.S. – and its Future,” andSarah Taylor Lovell, associate professor of landscape agroecology at the University of Illinois, will address “Planning Urban Spaces for Sustainable Food Production.”

Other sessions will cover Urban Food Production Systems; Policy, Planning and Advocacy; Nutrition and Human Health; Urban Farmer Training; Food Security; and Community and Economic Development and University/College Programs. Other topics are: Increasing Access to Fresh Fruits and Vegetables in a South Los Angeles Food Desert; Just Like Mama Used to Make: Urban Farming as an Adjunct to the Federal Import Regulatory Scheme Regarding Immigrant Foodways; Increasing Access to Local Food by Extending Shelf Life of Fresh Vegetables; Food Systems for an Increasingly-Urban Population; and more.

A Thursday “Farm Social” is planned at the K-State Olathe Horticulture Research and Extension Center. A Friday night banquet at the Embassy Suites will feature local food and chefs and a presentation by noted Canadian food policy analyst and writer Wayne Roberts.

Attendees can also participate in one of three urban and garden farm bus tours that start and end at the Embassy Suites in Olathe. The tours are hosted by Cultivate Kansas City, a non-profit organization focused on growing food and farms. Cultivate Kansas City is a partner in the Urban Food Systems Symposium.

Space at the symposium is limited. Save $50 by registering by May 24. More information about the 2016 Urban Food Systems Symposium is available at or by email

The Urban Food Systems Symposium is funded in part by the Kansas State University Global Food Systems Initiative.

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