Producer Summit

Last year’s Producer Summit was so successful that we’ve expanded this year’s event into a national Food Sovereignty Summit.  Next year’s event will likely be another regional producer event.  Get in touch if your community is interested in hosting.

Here’s the save-the-date for this year’s event:

food sovereignty save the date

And here’s more information on last year’s event:

Summit Overview

This summit is intended to bring together tribal food producers from Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota who are interested in learning more about other producers’ operations and working to form a native food producer network to create greater collaboration and partnership throughout the region.  The summit will contain relevant educational opportunities, but it will be largely focused on building lasting intertribal partnerships.  While this summit may result in a larger conference next year, it is intended to bring together those individuals and groups who are presently most active in our region’s tribal food production.


Monday, April 23

8:30-9:00             Welcome/Overview 

9:00-11:15          Oneida Reservation Tour and Lunch: moving from the producer stories to the “Oneida Story” will quickly give attending producers a strong picture of what the Oneida food system is all about.  If logistics can be arraigned, we would have corn soup for lunch at the Norbert Hill Center, allowing everyone to mingle and start developing relationships and sharing ideas.

11:30-12:15        Producer Stories: starting with producers presenting on their own operations will begin the summit by allowing participants to introduce themselves to one another, which will immediately help start discussions

12:30-1:45          Lunch: Returning to the Radisson, we will eat a traditional corn soup

1:45-2:30             Producer Stories cont.

2:30-3:30             Demystifying USDA: learning more about available assistance

programs and opportunities is an important summit objective and this session is intended to give a quick, down-and-dirty overview of USDA’s key components and most relevant programs for tribal food producers

3:15-5:00             Roundtable –  Creating a Producer Network: Michelle Miller from

UW-Madison’s Center for Integrated Ag. Systems (CIAS) will describe how she has helped to create four existing producers networks across Wisconsin and the numerous ways those networks have assisted partnering producers.  The session will then move to group discussion on thoughts about how the region’s tribal food producers could find ways to work more closely.

6:00-8:00             Regional Food Dinner: This unique meal will bring together tribally-produced food from around the region to highlight our region’s amazingly diverse food system.

Tuesday, April 24

8:30-10:00          Marketing and Value-Added Strategies: Since marketing and adding value have so much potential to expand a food system’s economic potential, this session will focus on programs like the Value Added Producer Grant and a couple success stories

10:00-11:00        Accessing Conservation Programs for Agriculture: although largely focused on NRCS programs that are available for everything from fencing to high tunnels, this session may also address other conservation programs

11:00-12:00        SARE and State Extension Services: how can SARE’s small grants and other assistance be easily accessed and what services can state extensions services provide to tribal food producers?

12:00-1:15          Lunch – sandwiches

1:15-2:30             Connecting Food Producers and the Community: what strategies

have been effectively used to create stronger connections between farmers and other food producers and their respective communities?  Topics might include Farm-to-School or cultural events

2:30-3:45             Protecting Indigenous Seeds: indigenous seed lines that have been

cultivated for countless generations are under increasing assault from giant agricultural corporations that pose threats through both patenting and cross pollination.  Drawing from both the Oneida experience with maintaining new approaches being developed to protect seed sovereignty, this session will quickly move from presentations to group discussion, including thoughts on implications of sharing and protecting traditional seeds

3:45-4:30             Roundtable – Discussing Next Steps: This where do we go

from here discussion and debriefing will seek to tie everything together

4:30                      Adjourn


Additional Information:
There is a $50 registration fee after April 13, $45 before that date to help cover food and meeting expenses.  However, we are working to secure funding to cover that fee and travel expenses for producers with the greatest need.  Here is the registration form: Registration Form 032712

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