Grow Riverside & Beyond Conference

The GROW Riverside & Beyond Conference is a multi-stakeholder initiative to cultivate food and agricultural activities across the Inland Southern California region. The conference will equip the public with tools and knowledge to create a strong marketplace for local food systems, generate opportunities for community and economic development, advance public policy related to food and agriculture, and provide a venue for stakeholders to network.

Conference Speakers

Conference Schedule

Thursday, March 30 – Friday, March 31 at The Grove Community Church Conference Center

  • Day 1: March 30, 2023

  • Track 1: Nuts and Bolts of Small Scale Urban Farming - Room D-2

    Session 1

    Topic | Regenerative Practices for the Small Scale and Urban Farms

    Summary | You don’t have to have hundreds of acres to be regenerative! Explore basic practices to make your small scale farm ecologically sustainable and regenerative.

    Speaker | Jean Martin Fortier

    Session 2

    Topic | Farmer Training and Small Farm Apprenticeship

    Summary There are many opportunities to learn to start or improve a farm operation. Join staff from the Ecological Agriculture Training Culture Center to her about the Riverside Food Systems Alliance Sponsored Small Farm Apprentice Program and other training resources

    Speaker | Patrick Mitchell

    Session 3

    Topic | Integrating Animals into your Small Scale Farm Operation

    Summary | Expand your farm’s biological diversity, improve soil and add new revenue streams by integrating animals into your vegetable operation.

    Speaker | Patrick Mitchell

  • Track 2: Business of Farming - Room D-4

    Session 1

    Topic | Financing a Farm

    Summary | Beyond banks, there are other forms of financing. Come learn about grants, agriculture loans, leasing options and more.

    Speakers | Allison Paap & Rosalinda Delgado

    Session 2

    Topic | Marketing and Farm to School Programs

    Summary | Discover new strategies for marketing your products and how farm to school could open up a new market for your business.

    Speakers | Scott Berndt & Joseph Olvera

    Session 3

    Topic | Farm Resilience and Recovery

    Summary | Fire, flood, drought, wind and pests are just some of the challenges farmers face. Explore practices and resources that aid farmers in staying resilient and recovery fast when problems occur.

    Speaker | Evan Wiig

  • Track 3: Resilient Food and Agriculture Ecosystems - Room D-1

    Session 1

    Topic | Importance of Soil Health

    Summary | Healthy soil is more than what you mix in it - it is also the art of what you plant and when.

    Speaker | Amrita Mukherjee

    Session 2

    Topic | Northside Ag Innovation Center

    Summary | Years in the making, how regional, public, private and nonprofit partners are developing an 8.8 acre site to create a community based agriculture-themed center to support education and workforce development and demonstrate urban agriculture’s role in food ecosystem resiliency.

    Speakers | Fred Schwartz, Brit Steele, Scott Andrews, & Sheryl Anderson

    Session 3

    Topic | Healthy Soils and Climate Smart Ag

    Summary | How to utilize healthy soils practices to reduce water use and using carbon to improve plant health.

    Speakers | Scott Berndt

  • Track 4: Community, Health and Policy - Room D-3

    Session 1

    Topic | Food Cooperatives

    Summary | Where do your grocery dollars go? Learn how your local community, and local farmers benefit when you shop at a cooperative grocery store Help your dollars move through your town, instead of in corporate coffers.

    Speaker | Sue Struthers

    Session 2

    Topic | Land Access for Farmers

    Summary | Farmland is getting scarce! Learn about actions taking place to preserve land from further development or urbanization.

    Speaker | Charlotte Mitchell & Chandra Richardson

    Session 3

    Topic | Connecting Ag and Environmental Justice

    Summary | Environmental Justice (EJ) is the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental law, regulations and policies. A thoughtful discussion on how agriculture and the environmental justice movement can work in collaboration to address conditions that place communities at risk and assist communities to achieve environmentally suitable living conditions and ideally healthier lives

    Speaker | Arthur Levine

  • Day 2: March 31, 2023

  • Track 1: Nuts and Bolts of Small Scale Urban Farming - Room D-2

    Session 1

    Topic | Importance of a Tool Library

    Summary | Tools Libraries are a great way for new and beginning farmers to reduce startup costs and for existing operations to save money during production improving success on small scale to midsize farm operations. Learn about two different tool and equipment lending libraries in the inland empire and how they can benefit your operation

    Speaker | Scott Berndt & Patrick Mitchell

    Session 2

    Topic | Transitioning to Controlled Environmental Ag - Green Houses and Hoop Houses

    Summary | Learn about some of the benefits and challenges of growing in a controlled environment including season extension opportunities, pest management and speciality crop production

    Speaker | Brit Steele & Hung Doan

    Session 3

    Topic | Grow Animals and Poultry for meat consumption for So Cal Consumers

    Summary | Learn the ins and outs of sustainably raising healthy, happy poultry and other livestock in So Cal for So Cal customers

    Speaker | Paul Grieve

  • Track 2: Business of Farming - Room D-4

    Session 1

    Topic | Modern Food Safety

    Summary | It’s not the way your grandpa did it. Learn the new ways that institutions and buyers are making sure their food and produce is safe to eat and sell.

    Speaker | Amrita Mukherjee & Deborah Ghamlouch

    Session 2

    Topic | Growing a Farmers' Guild

    Summary | What exactly is a farmer’s guild? Find out how you can benefit from sharing knowledge and resources with other farmers. Promote upcoming CDFA funded tool library and low cost trays of transplants.

    Speaker | Patrick Mitchell, Evan Wig & Elizabeth Vaughan

    Session 3

    Topic | Direct Marketing, Farm Stands and Farmers Markets

    Summary | Best practices in marketing, selling and creative ideas to make your sales soar.

    Speaker | Deborah Ghamlouch, Evan Wiig & Elizabeth Vaughan

  • Track 3: Sustainable Food Systems - Room D-1

    Session 1

    Topic | Farm Talk - Problem/Solution Exchange

    Summary | Who knows better how to farm than an experienced farmer? Have questions? Bring them here!

    Speakers | Jean Martin Fortier

    Session 2

    Topic | Organic Transitions and Certification

    Summary | Organic is not just a sustainable way of farming. It’s a way of life, a marketing strategy and a movement.Come find out if your farm would benefit from transitioning to organic.

    Speaker | Jasmine de Luna & Deborah Ghamlouch

    Session 3

    Topic | Farmer Wellness

    Summary | Farming is stressful! Come learn skills and discover resources to help you stay mentally and emotionally healthy.

    Speaker | Julie Jesmer

  • Track 4: - Community, Health and Policy - Room D-3

    Session 1

    Topic | Food Systems Alliance: Who, What, Where, Why?

    Summary | A food system is made up of growers, food hubs, farmers markets, grocery stores, eateries, food pantries, community gardens, gleaners, restaurants and food rescue groups. Making all the pieces for together improves supply, freshness, health, equitable access and the local economy.

    Speaker | Sue Struthers & Bryan Medina

    Session 2

    Topic | Upcoming Farm Bill

    Summary | The Federal Farm Bill is the single largest and most important agriculture legislation impacting farms and food systems across the country. Learn how the upcoming farm bill affects local farms, farmers and consumers.

    Speakers | Paul Towers

    Session 3

    Topic | Food Justice - Lessons Learned from Covid 19 and Addressing Food Access to Underserved

    Summary | How the pandemic has highlighted vulnerabilities in the food system, local and regional responses, and lessons gained to inform building a more resilient regional food system.

    Speakers | Emmanuel Marquez

GROW Dinner | Thursday, March 30 | 5:30pm

Grab your fork and knife, the Grow Farm-to-Fork Dinner is back! Enjoy an evening of entertainment, local food, and drinks at Gable Farms. This is a fundraiser dinner where proceeds support the Grow Riverside & Beyond initiative.

Our Partners

Join us for the Grow Riverside and Beyond conference.