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Sinsinawa Mound to host Tri-State Local Food Summit
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Registration is now open for the Tri-State Local Food Summit at Sinsinawa Mound, Saturday, Feb. 6 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Organized by Dubuque County ISU Extension & Outreach — Local Foods Program and Sinsinawa Mound, the event will highlight initiatives in the Tri-State area advancing social and ecological justice through local foods and sustainable farming.

Featuring six regional speakers, an exhibit hall, opportunities for networking, and a locally sourced lunch, the summit will inspire community members and local leaders with examples of effective programs transforming region’s food system today. Food leaders from diverse social, racial, economic and institutional backgrounds will speak about initiatives advancing equity and creating economic opportunities in their respective communities. Local exhibitors will share ways for Dubuque-area residents to get involved in initiatives close to home.

Speakers will include:

• Robert Pierce of Madison  — working with Growing Power Madison and the Center for Resilient Cities, over the past three decades, Pierce has pioneered an array of community-based food education initiatives including The Program for Entrepreneurial Agricultural Training to teach youth how to grow, cook, and sell healthier food. Most recently, Pierce launched a new workshop, Commercial Urban Agriculture, in partnership with The Nehemiah Center Reentry Program, which provides formerly incarcerated men with the tools necessary to explore entrepreneurship through organic farming.

• Sonia Kendrick of Cedar Rapids, Iowa — a veteran of the War in Afghanistan, Kendrick is the founder of Feed Iowa First, a nonprofit that partners with volunteers at 22 businesses and churches throughout Cedar Rapids to grow fresh produce distributed for free to food-insecure residents of Linn County, Iowa.

• Kamyar Enshayan, Ph.D, University of Northern Iowa Center for Energy and Environmental Education, Cedar Falls, Iowa — with the UNI Local Food Initiative, Enshayan works with students, Americorps, and local farmers to increase the availability and affordability of fresh local food in underserved neighborhoods in Blackhawk County, Iowa. Enshayan will discuss current projects, and how food banks are innovating to support local agriculture.

• Alice Topaloff, Emmett Fisher and Cella Langer — farmer Incubators are emerging across the country to equip young, beginning, and immigrant farmers with access to land, equipment, mentorship, and business planning support. Fisher and Langer will discuss their experience managing the Farley Center Farm Incubator in Verona, and Topaloff, of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture, will discuss national trends in farm incubators.

“Over the last few decades the local food movement has made great strides towards making clean, sustainably produced food an option for more people, especially the middle and upper-middle class.” said event organizer Carolyn Scherf, local food coordinator at Dubuque County Extension & Outreach. “We’re showcasing speakers at this year’s summit who are taking the food movement to the next level, bringing it in alignment with other movements for social equity, racial, and economic justice.”

“We’re thrilled to be hosting this unique event,” said Eric Anglada, the coordinator for ecological programming at Sinsinawa Mound and co-organizer for the event. “Our beautiful conference center set atop one of the highest points in the region will be a perfect place to discuss ways that we can bring healthy, local foods to the cultural and economic margins.”

Registration for the Tri-State Local Food Summit is now open through Sinsinawa Mound Guest Services. Register online at or call Guest Services, 748-4411  

Contact Scherf, (563) 583-6496,, or Anglada at Sinsinawa Mound, (563) 845-0780,, for more information.

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