Friday, July 27, 2012

The Conference Starts Today!

It’s all about food.  Whether you are growing it, promoting it, researching better varieties of it, buying it or cooking it you can’t miss the Saturday events at the Florida Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference. The fourth version of the conference will be more focused on local foods than ever before with small farmers learning new ways to market fresh foods to restaurants, grocery stores, schools and communities.

Saturday will begin with delicious morning refreshments and lunch skillfully prepared by SAVOR of Osceola Heritage Park using products sourced directly from Florida farmers. Keynote speaker Michael Shuman will provide an address that will illuminate the economic benefits of purchasing and eating locally produced foods. Eighteen concurrent workshop sessions will provide a wide range of information for producers. Ninety-three trade show vendors will display products and supplies used in the business of producing food.

At 5:30pm the Networking Social will bring it all together with six exciting and distinguished chefs, live entertainment, hors d’oevures and beverages. Sample beverages from Florida Farm wineries, breweries and fruit juice producers. Network with the producers of these delicious beverages who also support local foods and local foodsheds in FL.

Experience scrumptious hors d'oeuvres showcased by Florida celebrity chefs using foods from Florida farmers! For example, there will be Chef Greg Baker from the Refinery Restaurant in Tampa, Chef Darwin Santa Maria of Darwin’s on the 4th Restaurant/Brewery in Sarasota, Chef Tony Adams of Big Wheel Provisions in Orlando, Chef Dak Kerprich of Pizzeria Oceano in Palm Beach, Chipotle Chefs, and our own Executive Chef Tony Donnelly of Osceola Heritage Park and SAVOR. Come interact with these chefs and learn how to network with these leaders of the local foods movement in Florida. The music for the social will be provided by Mark Gaignard with the Mr. Ainsworth Band.

The organizers of the Florida Small Farms and Alternative Enterprises Conference are the University of Florida and Florida A & M University. The conference opens today and will continue through Sunday at the Osceola Heritage Park, 1875 Silver Spur Lane Kissimmee, FL 34744. The conference website is

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