Orlando’s 3rd Annual Organic Food & Farming Summit

What Is the Organic Food & Farming Summit?

In 2017, Florida Organic Growers organized the state’s first Organic Food & Farming Summit in Gainesville. Now in its third year, the 2019 Organic Food & Farming Summit will be held at the Orlando Renaissance.

The Summit, the only event of its kind in Florida, is intended to inspire and educate both farmers and consumers about locally-grown organic produce, Additionally, sessions detail the challenges and possibilities of organic growing in tropical and subtropical conditions.

Attendees will learn about sustainable farming practices and nontoxic growing. Other sessions focus on pest solutions, common Florida pests and agri-disease. Other topics include climate change and its effects on our food supply. The Summit’s format covers workshop sessions, speakers, panels, a trade show and classroom trainings.

Past Summits have tackled topics like greening citrus disease, the most robust produce varieties for organic growers, and botanical solutions to growing problems.

A Who’s Who of Organic Farming

Jeff Huckaby, CEO and president of Grimmway Farms and Cal Organic Farms, will be this year’s keynote speaker. Grimmway Farms started as a family corn stand in Anaheim, California in the 1960’s. Today, Grimmway represents over 135 American-grown  products. Packer magazine named Jeff “2019 Produce Man of the Year,” and he serves on the United Fresh Produce Association Board of Directors, the USDA Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee, and the California State Board of Food and Agriculture, among other boards and committees.

Other speakers include

  • Missouri farmer Ray Archuleta, a soil and water quality conservationist with three decades of experience
  • Melanie Mason, a food recovery specialist with the Bureau of Food Distribution at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services
  • Carrie McClain, a Jacksonville lawyer and expert on FDA and USDA regulations surrounding organic hemp
  • Oscar Liburd, an agricultural entomologist and professor at UF/IFAS
  • Sarah Bostick, a sustainable agriculture extension agent at UF/IFAS
  • Matt McLean, the CEO of the Clermont, Florida-based Uncle Matt’s Organics

You’ll find a complete list here.

This year’s panels and speakers will discuss food waste reduction, mite management, organic certification, social equity in food systems, high tunnels in organic farms, weed management, growing organic citrus, and environmental law.

How Can I Be There?

The Summit is November 21-22, 2019, at the Orlando Renaissance, at 6677 Sea Harbor Drive. Summit attendees can take advantage of Renaissance’s discount room rates.

Admission price is $200 for two days of Summit events, as well as breakfast, lunch and reception attendance. The Summit is open to anyone interested in sustainable and organic agriculture. You don’t have to be a grower, an agri-vendor, or an agriculture expert.

Register online, and if you have questions, reach out to the Summit organizers.