Field & Fork Network is proud to present our third annual Farmer-Chef Conference. This event aims to bring together food producers and food buyers so as to facilitate long-term business relationships. This one-day conference provides numerous networking opportunities, educational workshops, and open dialogue for building a thriving regional food system
in Western New York.
Thank you to our generous sponsors:
8:00am-9:00am Registration Check-in &
Continental Breakfast, Marketplace set-up
9:15am-9:45am Opening Plenary Session:
Welcome and Field & Fork Network Update
10:00am-10:45am Keynote Address:
Joel Salatin: Building a Local Food System that Works
11:00am-12:15pm Workshop Session A
See below for topic descriptions.
Topics (see below for list of topics)
Screening of FRESH
2:30pm-3:45pm Workshop Session B
See below for topic descriptions.
Book signing - Joel Salatin & Sherri Brooks Vinton
4:30pm Conference Closes
Workshops & Panel Discussions
Workshops and panel discussions can be selected during the registration process.
Sourcing Sustainable Seafood
Finding clean sources for seafood poses many challenges for today's chefs and consumers. This panel will exam both local and national resources for sourcing seafood and will also look at innovative ways to raise local fish sustainably.(Chef Jim Guarino, Shango Bistro; Jesse Meeder, Massachusetts Avenue Project; Tom Marks, Great Lakes Sports Fishing Council; Chuck Wilson, DEC)
Seasonality and Your Menu
How can a chef successfully source local and incorporate seasonal foods into their menu all year round. This panel discussion will address seasonality and how it effects a restaurant's menu throughout the year. (Chef Carmelo Raimondi, Carmelo's Restaurant; Tom Tower, Tom Tower Farm Market; Dave Cosentino, Aroma Group; Daniel Oles, Oles Family Farm & Promised Land CSA)
Navigating Certification, Verification, and Traceability
Certification, verification and traceability systems have been popping up over the past few decades as more and more consumers want to ensure their food purchases match their values. But what does it all mean? This session begins a dialogue amongst the various certification and verification organizations aimed at bringing clarity for both producer and eater. (Bill Pool, Wegmans; Carol King, NOFA-NY; David Schummer, Canticle Farm; Bill Zittel, Zittels Farm)
Clean Food - Fruits & Vegetables
Come listen to a panel of local farmers who are using sustainable agriculture methods when growing fruits and vegetables. They will demystify the many different agricultural terms being used to market these products to consumers and buyers. (Deborah Ritchie, Native Offerings; Robin Ross, Arrowhead Springs Vineyard; Jim Bittner, Singer Farms)
This roundtable will feature our keynote speaker Joel Salatin. Mr. Salatin will share insight into his farm's success in supplying over 400 families from an on-farm store, 1,600 families in metropolitan buying clubs, 30 restaurants, and 10 retail venues. Each has assets and liabilities, and Mr. Salatin freely discusses all the nuances. (Joel Salatin)
Utilizing the whole animal is not only efficient but ecologically sound and sensible. Come listen to one local chef who is committed to this concept and hear from one of the farmers he works with. This workshop includes a butchery demonstration (pork). (Chef Bruce Wieszala, Bistro Europa; Rich Tilyou, T-Meadow Farm)
Season Extension 1 - Food Preservation in a Commercial Kitchen
This panel discussion will examine the ins and outs of food preservation in a commercial kitchen including innovative and creative solutions. (Sherri Brooks Vinton, cookbook author Put Em Up!, Chef Steven Gedra, Bistro Europa; Elizabeth Sullivan, Geneva Station CCE)
Local Wine - Appreciating Our Local Terroir
This panel discussion will examine our local wine regions and explain our local terroir. This session includes a food & wine pairing to demonstrate how to bring out the true flavors of our region. (Don Spasiano, ECC Culinary Arts program; Kurt Guba, Freedom Run Winery; Jonathan Oakes, Leonard Oakes Estate Winery; John Bourdage, Bourdage Consulting)
Growing for Restaurants
Growing for restaurants has many challenges and rewards. Come listen to those farmers who have successfully built relationships with local restaurants and some of the chefs they work with. (Daniel Oles, Oles Family Farm & Promised Land CSA; Tom Tower, Tom Tower Farm Market; Fred Forsburg, Honeyhill Farm; Jim Guarino, Shango Bistro)
Value Chain Management
The best way to learn about value chains is to speak to those who have made them work. This panel will include members from all three links of the value chain; a large-scale grower, a small-scale grocer, a local grocer, and a local distributor. (Kevin Komendat, Wegmans; Bob Mercurio, Desiderios; Dave Walczak, Eden Valley Growers; Jeff Freatman, Freatman Farms)
Clean Food - Livestock & Dairy
Come listen to a panel of local farmers who are using sustainable agriculture methods when raising livestock and producing dairy. They will demystify the many different agricultural terms being used to market these products to consumers and buyers. (Tim Koegel, Windy Ridge Naturals Farm; Rich Tilyou, T-Meadow Farm; Brent Maynard, FingerLakes Farms)
The Abbatoir Crisis: Rebuilding Our Processing Infrastructure
This panel will examine the current challenges and bottlenecks that exist in livestock processing. The discussion will also include innovative and creative solutions available. (Marty Wendel, Wendel's Farm; Lynn Bliven, CCE; Debbie Ball, Eagle Bridge Custom Meats)
Utilizing the whole animal is not only efficient but ecologically sound and sensible. This workshop includes a butchery demonstration (beef). (Tom Moriarty, Sysco; Tim Grant, Stand Fast Farm)
Farm-to-Tray: Institutional Food Procurement
More and more large companies are seeking local food sources. Come listen to this panel of local food buyers who are overcoming the challenges of buying local large scale.(Chef Matt Weingarten, Sodexo; Chef Ray Thom, Buffalo Convention Center; Chef Scott Green, Executive Chef HSBC Arena; Kathy Christopher, Head of Child Nutrition for the Williamsville Central School District)
Season Extension 2: Growing Year Round
With WNY's limited growing season, how do we meet the ongoing demand for products year round? Listen to a panel of farmers who are successfully addressing this issue.(Stew Ritchie, Native Offerings; Mark Printz, Canticle Farm; Judson Reid, CCE)
Lunch Table Topics
Our lunch table topics are designed to be informal discussions during our lunch session. Attendees are welcome to sit at designated tables to listen to subject matter experts on each topic. Pre-registration is not required. This list is subject to change.
School Gardens -Jean Gunner, Seeds of Living Education
Composting/Recycling for Your Business - large scale - UB Dining
Composting/Recycling for Your Business - small scale - Lisa Hennig, Globe Market
Urban Agriculture - Mark and Janice Stevens
Kitchen Gardens - Chef Matt Stellrecht
Dinners in the Field - Dave Cosentino, Trattoria Aroma
No Farms, No Food - Farmland Protection - Diane Held, American Farmland Trust
Community Gardens - Susannah Barton, Grassroots Gardens
Aquaponics - Jesse Meeder, Massachusetts Avenue Project
100-Mile Radius Dinners - Amanda Vizcarra, Becker Farms
Value-Added Products - Julie Blackman, Blackman Homestead Farms
Social Media & Your Food Business - Barry Martin, Hypenotic
Canning Demo - Sherri Brooks Vinton
Joel Salatin, 53, is a fulltime farmer in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. A third generation alternative farmer, he returned to the farm fulltime in 1982 and continued refining and adding to his parents’ ideas.
The farm services more than 3,000 families, 10 retail outlets, and 50 restaurants through on-farm sales and metropolitan buying clubs with salad bar beef, pastured poultry, eggmobile eggs, pigaerator pork, forage-based rabbits, pastured turkey and forestry products using relationship marketing.
He holds a BA degree in English and writes extensively in magazines such as STOCKMAN GRASS FARMER, ACRES USA, and AMERICAN AGRICULTURALIST.
The family’s farm, Polyface Inc. (“The Farm of Many Faces”) has been featured in SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, GOURMET and countless other radio,television and print media. Profiled on the Lives of the 21st Century series with Peter Jennings on ABC World News, his after-broadcast chat room fielded more hits than any other segment to date. It achieved iconic status as the grass farm featured in the NEW YORK TIMES bestseller OMNIVORE’S DILEMMA by food writer guru Michael Pollan.
A sought-after conference speaker, he addresses a wide range of issues, from “creating the farm your children will want” to “making a white collar salary from a pleasant life in the country.” A wordsmith, he describes his occupation as “mob-stocking herbivorous solar conversion lignified carbon sequestration fertilization.” His humorous and conviction-based speeches are akin to theatrical performances, often receiving standing ovations.