County to Co-Host First Ever Wisconsin Local Food Expo
September 12, 2011
Casey Slaughter Becker, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 843-8858
Will Connect Food Producers, Buyers, and Sellers to Help Strengthen Local Food Economy
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced that the county will co-host the first ever Wisconsin Local Food Expo, an event designed to highlight the local food economy, and help farmers and food operations grow their businesses.
The expo, “Local Food Means Business” will be held on Tuesday, September 20th, at the Alliant Energy Center Expo Hall in Madison. Participants must register in advance for the Expo by calling (608) 266-6389 or finding registration forms on the IFM website, www.ifmwi.org.
“Dane County’s local farmers and food businesses represent our widely-recognized local food economy – a sector that grows stronger by the day,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “This expo will enable our food producers to find more way to sell their products, expand their businesses, and create new jobs.”
Wisconsin farmers and food businesses represented at the expo will include local meat and cheese producers, desert and baked goods producers, specialty and gourmet item manufacturers, and more. These sellers will be paired with buyers from restaurants, grocery stores, and institutions such as hospitals and schools in networking sessions throughout the day. Specialty and broad-line distributors will also attend in order to meet new customers and identify new local foods.
The Expo is the result of a unique partnership between the county, state government, and private food providers, co-hosted by Dane County’s Institutional Food Market Coalition (IFM) and Something Special from WisconsinÔ, a Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) program.
Dane County’s IFM was established as an economic development program for the purpose of creating new market opportunities for Dane County and regional growers, and local food businesses, by increasing the sales of local Wisconsin food into the institutional food markets represented at the expo. Since 2006, Dane County’s IFM has generated over $2.5 million in local food sales, and continues a long history of Dane County’s leadership in promoting agriculture.
The expo will feature remarks by the County Executive, Wisconsin Department of Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett and Deb Archer, President and CEO of the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau. Greg Smith, Managing Director at Discover Mediaworks, will deliver the keynote address. Discover Mediaworks is the producer for the Discover Wisconsin television program.
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