Sacramento's annual Farm-to-Fork celebration will feature something new this September - a global food conference.
For many people, Farm-to-Fork's highlight has been the finale gala dinner, a meal of locally-sourced food served to diners on the Tower Bridge. But organizers say they always wanted to create something bigger - a forum for food.
"We knew that we had to have something sustainable and annual in Sacramento. You know, it can't just be about festivals and bridge dinners," says Mike Testa with the Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau. The bureau is joining with Food Tank, a New Orleans-based group devoted to nutrition and urban agriculture that has held conferences on the east coast.
Testa says the Sacramento conference - titled Farm Tank - will include speaker's panels with farmers, academics and policy makers.
"Conversations about food recycling, conversations about childhood obesity and food bourne illnesses," says Testa. "Because we are the seat of government in California, a lot of those conversations are coming out of Sacramento."
Testa says Farm Tank will give Sacramento international exposure.
"The east coast version had a lot of in-person attendees," says Testa. "But it also boasted 15,000 people streaming this event from 120 different countries. So again, the exposure and the messaging for Sacramento is just phenomenal."
Testa says Farm Tank will also feature hands-on learning excursions to regional farms and restaurants.
The two-day conference starts on September 22nd at the Hyatt Regency downtown.