Food Conference Being Held In Athens County For 3rd Year

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The third annual Real Food, Real Local food conference will be held at Kiser’s Barbeque at Eclipse this week – sharing success stories from Athens County’s local food movement and teaching locals and guests how they can get involved.

The Real Food, Real Local Institute supports the development of local food systems through education, mentoring, facilitation, replication and collaboration. Athens is a shining example of how local food can boost the economy and the conference gives participants an inside glimpse into some of those success stories.

The conference runs Wednesday through Friday with informational sessions beginning at 9 a.m. both Wednesday and Thursday at the former Eclipse Company Store on Jackson Drive in The Plains. Participants will learn about a variety of food-related topics such as the 30-Mile Meal branding campaign (which was launched in Athens in 2010), lunch truck entrepreneurs, networking, green initiatives and more.

In addition to the informational sessions, the conference will also host tours on Thursday and Friday, visiting some of the thriving food destinations in the area. Stops include Ancient Roots Botanicals, Vest Berries, the Chesterhill Produce Auction, ACEnet’s Food Ventures Center, Shagbark Seed and Mill, Village Bakery, West End Ciderhouse, Hope Community Gardens, Sol Restaurant, Snowville Creamery, Integration Acres, Barrel Ridge Farm, and Companion Plants. There are three separate tours with varying costs.