3rd Annual Kentucky Local Foods Summit


Sponsored by

  • The Food Conneciton at UK
  • Kentucky Department of Agriculture
  • Bluegrass Farm to Table
  • KY Horticultural Council

Local Food System practitioners and stakeholders are invited to join us for a half day virtual local food summit. The past year has brought unprecedented change to all corners of our food and farming communities. The upheaval caused by the pandemic exacerbated underlying vulnerabilities while also calling forth incredible innovation and new and inspiring collaborations.  While we may not be able to gather in-person to share great meals and even better fellowship, we can still gather virtually to share what we have learned and strategize for the future.

Please join us for the 2021 Virtual KY Local Food Systems Summit, a half day of panel discussions with local food systems leaders from across the state and across our local food systems as we explore what’s happened and where we’re headed.

Wednesday, March 3rd

9:00 am EST to 1:15 pm EST

Held virtually via Zoom

Cost: Free

Registration required to access conference.


Opening Keynote: Mary Shelman - Charting a future for Kentucky food and farming

How sustainable food systems are a source of recovery and resilience.

Panel 1: Pandemic Pivots on the Farm

KY farmers share how they adapted and innovated during COVID, and how those changes are shaping the future of our local food systems.

Moderator: Cindy Finneseth, KY Horticultural Council


  • Michelle Howell, Need More Acres Farm/Community Farmers Market
  • Ashley Smith, Black Soil: Our Better Nature
  • Maggie Dungan, Salad Days Farm

Panel 2: Scaling Up and Over

Tales from the trenches exploring how wholesale markets and local food infrastructure are adapting to demand during COVID and building towards a resilient future. This panel will specifically explore developments in livestock, dairy, and small grains.

Moderator: Ashton Potter Wright, Bluegrass Farm to Table


  • Scott Franklin, American Farmland Trust
  • Kenny Mattingly, Kenny's Farmhouse Cheese
  • Brent Lackey, KCARD

Panel 3: Crisis, Care and Recovery

Lifting up how Kentucky’s farm-to-school and emergency food organizations have leveraged the resilience of local food systems to feed the most vulnerable among us.

Moderator: Chad Smit, KY Department of Agriculture


  • Leandra Forman, FoodChain
  • Sarah Vaughn, Feeding KY
  • Jennifer Wheeler, Marion Co. Public Schools