Convening of Minnesota food network leaders
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University of Minnesota Extension hosted a convening for food network leaders on November 28 and 29, 2016. Extension is the lead partner of engagement to the Minnesota Food Charter Network.
Also on this page: Evaluation Results and Notes from Convening.
Find more photos from the Minnesota Food Charter Facebook album: Convening for food network leaders.
The goal of the gathering was to support, connect, and build capacity of food networks to contribute to the implementation of Minnesota Food Charter strategies. The “unconference” was kept small. This allowed attendees to enter into deep, meaningful, and vulnerable conversations. Conversation topics included collaboration, authentic community engagement, race, and justice.
Almost 80 food network leaders from across Minnesota attended the Convening. Attendees met new people and learned about work taking place in different “silos” of the food system. Attendees were encouraged to break down the silos. As as one presenter put it, to start working in “spheres.” Spheres have round edges. They roll around, bump into others, and can even merge. These mobile, malleable spheres (or bubbles) were an apt metaphor for the atmosphere of the convening. Throughout the convening, attendees were encouraged to:
Get outside their comfort zone
Meet new people
Embrace new and sometimes uncomfortable ideas
Literally, blow bubbles together
This two-day convening was highly interactive and participatory. It featured keynotes, breakout sessions, and structured networking.
Goal: Support, connect and build capacity of food networks to contribute to the implementation of MN Food Charter strategies.
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
|8:00||Breakfast, registration and networking|
|8:30||Welcome — Nadja Berneche, Emcee|
|9:00||Keynote — Our Shared Experience as Network Leaders — Anne Palmer|
|9:30||Keynote — Breaking Down Silos, Building a Better Future — DeVon Nolen and Mary Jo Forbord|
|10:15||Facilitated Activity — MN Food Charter Network Connection Michael Dahl, Jamie Bain, Noelle Harden, and Stephanie Heim|
|12:00||Lunch and networking|
|1:00 – 1:45||
|2:00||Facilitated Activity — We are all champions|
|2:30||Facilitated Activity — What will you champion?|
Connect with other Minnesota Food Charter Champions! Enjoy free appetizers and a cash bar
8:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
|9:00||Keynote — Moving from Connectivity to Action — Lex Horan and Katie Deschene|
|9:30||Facilitated Activity — Weaving Together our Common Threads — Jamie Bain and Noelle Harden|
Breakout Sessions with Minnesota Food Charter Action Teams (choose one)
|11:45||Lunch and Networking|
|12:45||Share highlights from the State of the Food Charter Event|
|1:00||Facilitated Activity — Connect to Next Steps with a Room Full of Champions|
|2:15||Facilitated Activity — Shared Gifting|
|3:30||(Optional) Food Policy Council Convergence — Anne Palmer, Mary Marrow, and Maggi Adamek|
Enjoy refreshments while discussing with other food policy council leaders about how to build action-oriented relationships with local policy makers, how to craft effective messaging, and best practices for engaging members as well as the community.
There are a number of ways you can get or stay connected to the work of food networks across Minnesota.
- Contact a network leader who attended the convening: List of Attendees.
- Find a network in your area by visiting our Food Network Directory and Map.
- Visit the Minnesota Food Charter website and sign up for email updates.
- Find out what Extension is continuing to do to support food networks: Minnesota Food Charter Network: Engagement.
While University of Minnesota Extension is taking the lead in overall coordination, the convening was developed in partnership with the following Minnesota Food Charter Champions:
- Nadja Berneche, Terra Soma
- Michael Dahl, Minnesota Food Charter Network
- DeVon Nolen, West Broadway Farmers Market
- Mary Marrow and Anna Larson, Public Health Law Center
- Bruce Miller, Minnesota Farmers Union
- Megan Myrdal, Cass Clay Food Commission
- Ryan Johnson, Stephanie Heim, Noelle Harden, Jamie Bain, Zoe Hollomon, Kelsie Tucholke, and Jackie Billhymer, University of Minnesota Extension
Funding for this convening is provided in part by the Center for Prevention at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota and Minnesota Food Charter Network. Thank you to everyone who attended, planned, executed, and otherwise made the event a success. We could have never done it alone!