“Hacking the Foodshed” Lunch & Learn

A collaboration of the Beginning Farmer Resource Network
and the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets


This coming year, at the Maine Agricultural Trades Show, January 9th through 11th, BFRN will offer aspiring and beginning farmers several exciting workshops and two main events. The morning of Wednesday, January 10th , BRFN convenes Maine’s first Beginning Farmer Conference: “What does it mean to be a ‘Beginning Farmer’ from 2018 to 2028,” a free, half-day conference. This is followed by 7 different “hands-on” workshops ( 3 on Wednesday, 4 on Thursday) for participants to get something related to the workshop topic accomplished.

On Thursday, January 11th , the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets (MFFM) will hold its daylong Maine Farmers’ Market Convention, Shopping local in a global world: policies, trends, and resources that will impact Maine farmers’ markets. Thanks to the collaboration of MFFM, up to 60 beginning farmers and service providers may register to attend the MFFM luncheon and keynote speech from 11:00AM to 1:30PM. The registration fee for luncheon and keynote is $18.  Please see conference, workshop, and MFFM convention and MFFM luncheon/keynote descriptions below.


Click here to register. 


Both events will be at the Augusta Civic Center, where the Maine Agricultural Trades Show will be taking place simultaneously.

Hacking the Foodshed Lunch & Learn Schedule:
11-11:35 Legislative update (from the Maine Farm Bureau and National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition)
11:45-12:40 Keynote
12:40-1:30 Hot buffet lunch (farmers’ market exhibit area open)
1:30-2:00 The state of Maine’s farmers’ markets – MFFM’s annual meeting

Keynote: “Hacking the Local Foodshed: Why Farmers’ Markets Matter More Than Ever”

Farmers’ markets are more than places where farmers and food entrepreneurs simply hone their competitive edges. They are also our society’s best representations of “food democracy” and “living economies.” As we hack our way toward local foodsheds that are more profitable, equitable, nimble, and resilient, it is imperative that we capitalize upon the anchor role that farmers’ markets play in linking economic value to democratic values. We’ll explore how farmers markets can advance bold moves on a local level.

Keynote speaker, Philip Ackerman-Leist is Professor of Sustainable Agriculture & Food Systems at Green Mountain College, where he established the college’s organic farm, sustainable agriculture curricula, and the first online graduate program in Sustainable Food Systems in the United States.  He and his wife Erin live on a remote off-grid farm in Pawlet, Vermont with their three children, where they raise grassfed American Milking Devon cattle. His newest book is A Precautionary Tale: How One Small Town Banned Pesticides, Preserved its Food Heritage, and Inspired a Movement, published by Chelsea Green (November 2017). He is also the author of Rebuilding the Foodshed: How to Create Local, Sustainable, and Secure Food Systems and Up Tunket Road: The Education of a Modern Homesteader.