Don’t miss this great local food conference!


The annual Farm & Food Leadership Conference is just a few weeks away! Join small-scale farmers, farm-to-table chefs, local food enthusiasts, home gardeners, and others who care about where their food comes from and find out how you can help transform our food system!

September 25-26, 2017

(with pre-conference workshops on September 24)

McKinney, Texas


Engaging and knowledgeable speakers will lead sessions on topics of interest to consumers, farmers, and people in food-related businesses. The schedule is packed with sessions that will expand your understanding, inspire action, and transform the way you think about the food you eat.


Conference sessions on Monday and Tuesday include:

  • A keynote by sustainability leader Fred Kirschenmann, president of Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture.
  • Farmers’ markets; what’s working and what’s not.
  • Foraging for your dinner table, presented by Dallas chef Misti Norris.
  • Growing sustainable grains.
  • The Farm Bill, corporate mergers, & other news from DC.
  • Alternative revenue sources for small farmers.
  • The forecast for local brewers and distillers.
  • Sustaining the farm-to-table movement.
  • And much more!



See the complete list of topics at, including information about a Monday evening on-farm dinner at Pure Land Organic farm in McKinney, prepared by Chef Andrea Shackelford of Harvest Seasonal Kitchen from locally grown ingredients.




Pre-conference workshops


Three pre-conference workshops offer the opportunity for in-depth learning on a range of topics.


The holistic livestock ranching workshop with Walt Davis will explain how and why grazing, done nature’s way, recreates the environment that we have destroyed over time with agriculture done poorly. Walt will teach you how to read the land and monitor land and animals to assess your progress. You will also learn how to prepare for inevitable droughts, how to endure them, and how to recover from them.


The workshop on food safety is a “don’t miss” for produce growers of all sizes, both those who have to comply with FDA’s new regulations and those who are exempt. Learn how small, diversified farms can manage food safety risks effectively.


Heard about the advantages of co-ops, but are scared of stories of failures and blow ups?  Cooperation with other farmers, with customers, and with a range of community members has long been a key way small-scale producers achieve success as vital parts of the food system. Join Annelies Lottmann and other co-op development experts and practitioners from around the state to explore the many ways cooperation can build strong, resilient farmer and rancher networks as well as a committed, reliable customer base.



The conference is hosted by:

  • Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance – Changing the rules that favor Big Agribusiness and Big Food over small-scale, local producers, helping independent family farmers make a living, and ensuring that consumers have access to healthy, local foods; and
  • Council for Health Food Systems – Through education and research, promoting diversified local and regional food systems that are healthy, safe, and economically sound, and environmentally sustainable.


For more information contact the Farm & Ranch Freedom Alliance

at or 254-697-2661