Countywide food summit slated
“Folks will hear stories about experienced projects and what worked and what didn’t,” said Beth Satterwhite, food collaborative researcher for the Yamhill Community Action Partnership. YCAP joined community partners in launching Nourish, using startup grant funding from United Way and the Meyer Memorial Trust.
Katrina Van Dis of the Central Oregon Intergovernmental Council will be the opening speaker. The centerpiece of the event will be a pair of breakout sessions in which attendees can choose from five topics: local food guides, led by Isabelle Light of the Willamette Valley Food & Farm Coalition and Wendy Siporen of Thrive; food hubs, led by Van Dis and Megan Fousht of Ecotrust; local grains, beans and legumes, led by Jason Hunton of Hunton’s Farm and the Southern Willamette Valley Grain & Bean Project; and processing, led by Lauren Gwin of the Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network and Dick Sadler of the Dundee Fruit Company; and farm to school, which has not yet been assigned.
Pre-registration is being offered, but not mandated. Sessions are being offered on a first come, first served basis, with early registrants first in line.
The event will also feature an information fair. Participants will include Green Rising, The Collective, Dancing Faun, Western Oregon Waste, NW Greenlands, the McMinnville Economic Development Partnership, the Yamhill Soil & Water Conservation District, Micro Enterprise Resources, Information & Training, the OSU Extension Service, the Farm Service Agency, the McMinnville Farmers Market and the West Valley Community Campus.
When the day’s sessions are concluded, Satterwhite will be looking for 10 ideas — two from each group — to form an initial inventory of concepts and ideas for posting at www.nourishyamhillvalley.org. Those will be integrated into a plan for the county food system.
At community conversation meetings, notes from which are already posted on the website, “tons of ideas” were presented, Satterwhite said. And she said 30 people have already registered, suggesting a strong turnout.
Groups participating in the previous sessions also developed a list of future headlines they’d like to see. The roster included “Community goes whole hog, compost brings home the bacon,” for the West Valley communities of Sheridan, Willamina and Grand Ronde; “Good things are cooking at Cook School, revitalized as a community food center,” for the Central Valley communities of McMinnville, Amity, Dayton and Lafayette; “From incarceration to invigoration, collaboration between the Yamhill County jail system and the city of Newberg,” for the East Valley communities of Newberg and Dundee; and “The Cornucopia: It’s all local, it’s all here,” for the North Valley communities of Yamhill, Carlton and Cove Orchard.
Satterwhite said the summit is the culmination of the planning phase for Nourish, marking the end of current grant funding.