For the past few years, residents of Riverside and the region have gathered for the GrowRIVERSIDE Conference. GrowRIVERSIDE supporters believe in building a thriving local food system to serve our community and drive economic development.
GrowRIVERSIDE Conference: Cultivating Our Future attendees learned about creating vibrant local food systems. The tools and knowledge shared will help generate opportunities for economic development and community engagement and even the advancement of public policy. GrowRIVERSIDE is an opportunity for stakeholders to network and undergraduate and graduate students to share research projects related to food and agriculture. There is so much to explore! The GrowRIVERSIDE conferences are a unique chance for anyone interested in the vitality of our local food system to learn, share and connect for the greater good!
Event Date: March 21-22 Location: University of California, Riverside
3rd Annual GrowRIVERSIDE Conference
Attendees met at University of California, Riverside for many rounds of keynote speaking on the following areas of discussion:
Production & Distribution – From the history of the 21st-century farmer cultivating his own plot, to local food resources, as well as establishing local food hubs, these speeches united and educated every attendee.
Agribusiness Development – These talks revolved around securing capital for agribusiness, USDA resources, and leasing farmland to help spur business for our community.
Community Engagement – Discussions regarding the community were about supporting local food systems for healthier individuals, community garden building, and potential local food procurement policies.
Student Programs – Undergraduate and graduate students gave their own presentations about their own interests and studies.
Following keynote speeches was a cheese & wine mixer for networking and further discussion of the day’s events.
3rd Annual Citrus Circle Dinner – Monday, March 21st from 6:30 pm – 9:00 pm
The 3rd Annual Citrus Circle Dinner took place at the University of California, Riverside Alumni & Visitor Center and focused on various local food events & projects in Riverside as well as featured networking and a keynote presentation on the benefits of urban agriculture and building the local food marketplace.
Riverside Farms Tour – Tuesday, March 22nd from 9:00 am – 4:30 pm
Attendees met at California Citrus State Park for a tour of local farms around Riverside, including: Arlington Heights Greenbelt, Gage Canal, Corona Farms, RS Farms, Eastside HEAL Zone, UCR’s R’Garden, Unity Farm, and Fox Farm. Everyone attending was suggested to bring funds if they wished to purchase fresh, locally grown produce.
Jeff Alves, Farm to Office
Ryan Anderson, Cal Poly Pomona Agriscapes Hydroponics Production
Paula Muskey, Arlan Knutson Insurance Agency
Michelle Greenwood, KIVA Zip
Valery Belloso, Accion
Allison Paap, American Farm Credit
Seth Wilson, Cutting Edge Capital
Cecilia Arias, Kaiser Permanente
Gloria Flores Martinez, Mother’s Nutritional Center
Gayle Lorenzi, Community Health Project Manager, UC San Diego
Valerie Mellano, Cal Poly Pomona
AG Kawamura, Orange County Produce
Peggy Mauk, UC Riverside
Delia Cioc, Riverside County Ag Commissioner’s Office
Etaferahu Takele, University of California Riverside County Cooperative Extension
Ryan Olney, Riverside County Department of Environmental Health
Rosalinda Singh, USDA Farm Service Agency
Janice Waddell, USDA Rural Development
Bob Hewitt, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Services