Local Foods Impact Conference Proceedings

By Kathleen Merrigan, GW Food Institute Director 

I’m declaring the Local Foods Impact Conference (April 3-4, 2017) a rousing success.  More than 60 speakers accepted the invitation from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service and GW Food

Ariel Kagan, Senior Program Associate with the GW Food Institute, with a goat from Amalthea Ridge Farm.

Institute to share their expertise.  The result was action-packed plenary sessions and workshops.  More than 300 people attended the conference in person, hailing from 35 states, and over 500 people tuned in via the livestream, including people as far away as Uganda!  Our two day event concluded with a local foods fair, with entrepreneurs providing tastings of their products (and in some cases, bringing along friends; see the baby goat with GW’s own Ariel Kagan).

On our website you can access video recordings of the conference plenary sessions, Powerpoint presentations and handouts used during the conference, and photos of people and activities across the two days.

We still have more work to do to synthesize all that we learned.  So stay tuned for more.

Finally, a big shout-out to our USDA colleagues for the idea of a metrics conference and for recognizing the importance of program evaluation – it has been a great collaboration.


(L-R) Barbara Rater, USDA NASS, Arthur Neal, USDA AMS, and Tricia Kovacs, USDA AMS on the “How is USDA Measuring Impact of Local Food Investments” panel.