With increasing concerns about industrial farming practices, many Oklahomans are turning to local foods. They want to know where our food comes from – that it is fresh, safe, and produced with care for the environment and animals.
In response to this need, a flowering of community gardens, small farms, and innovative businesses have sought to reimagine our food system.
Beginning this month, a series of community dialogues will examine this growing movement. “Farm to Fork: The Oklahoma Food Chain” is hosted by the Norman Sustainability Network in partnership with the Xenia Institute.
The partnership will host four dialogues over the next six months, focusing on four aspects of our food system: producers, distributors, retailers, and regulators.
“If you eat, you should come,” said Isaiah McCaslin, a member of the NSN steering committee. “NSN is excited about opening a forum for people of all backgrounds to learn more about their local food system, how they can support it, and how they will benefit from participating.”
Each event will include a panel discussion with individuals closely involved in the Oklahoma local food industry. This will be followed by a breakout session, where attendees select the “resident expert” they want to speak with in more depth.
“We’re very excited to bring Xenia’s public deliberation format to such an important topic,” said Clint Williams, executive director of the Xenia Institute. “Attendees will leave our four events feeling listened to, informed, and empowered.”
The first dialogue features local producers, with a panel representing a variety of agriculture types, from vegetable farming to ranching and value-added processing.
The first forum will be held on Thursday, October 7, 6:30–8:30 p.m, at the First Presbyterian Church in Norman, 555 S. University Blvd. To RSVP, text (405) 396-6470 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Subsequent forums will be held on November 9, February 8, and March 10.