Gunnison Valley Farm-to-Table Conference 2014

April 8 - 9, 2015 University Center Ballroom


Mark your calendars for the third Farm-to-Table Conference at Western State Colorado University. This year's conference will feature a Gunnison Valley Signature Dish Cook Off, an art exhibit, a keynote address by local food activist and author Mark Winne, incredible workshops and presenters, tours of the sustainable food system infrastructure on campus and more.

PDF icon Farm to Table Flier.pdf

This year, we're proud to welcome Mark Winne as our keynote speaker.

From his website:

"Mark Winne has worked for 40 years as a community food activist, writer and trainer. From organizing breakfast programs for low-income children in Maine to developing innovative national food policies in Washington, Winne has dedicated his professional life and writing to enabling people to find solutions to their own food problems, as well as those that face their communities and the world."

Conference Schedule

Wednesday April 8, 2015

1:00 - 2:15 pm Lexicon of Sustainability: "Know your Food" short film series

2:30 - 4:30 pm Gunnison Valley Signature Dish Cook Off

7:00 pm Keynote Speaker Mark Winne

8:30 pm Local Food Mixer at the Blackstock Bistro featuring live music by local artists Lizzy Plotkin, Andrew Cameron and Sam Pankratz

Thursday April 9, 2015

8:30 am Refreshments Served

9:00 am Coffee talk with Dr. Duane Vandenbusche - Sustainability in the Gunnison Country: The History of Agriculture in the Valley

10:00 - 10:50am Breakout Session 1

11:00 - 11:50am Breakout Session 2


Descriptions of Events

The Gunnison Valley Signature Dish Cook Off

Join us for a friendly cooking challenge as professional, aspiring, and hobby chefs compete with their favorite recipes using as many locally-produced ingredients as possible. Who will take home the cash prize and create a signature dish that best represents the Gunnison Valley?

Keynote Speaker Mark Winne

Traveling from his home in New Mexico, Mark Winne will take the stage in the University Center Ballroom and offer insight to our community through sharing his work as a local food activist. Mark is an expert in community food systems and food policy, with experience in local and regional agriculture, food insecurity, community food assessments, and education and outreach.

Farm to Table Mixer

Following Mark Winne's keynote address, catch up and unwind with local food enthusiasts and producers alike.  Head over to Blackstock Bistro for some refreshments, conversation and live music by local talent Lizzy Plotkin, Andrew Cameron, and Sam Pankratz.

Coffee Talk with Duane Vandenbusche: Sustainability in the Gunnison Country

Join Dr. Vandenbusche as he takes a step back in time for a look at the history and evolution of agriculture in the Gunnison Valley. Given our harsh winters and high elevation, you will be surely be surprised at the abundance of food produced in the Gunnison Country over the decades.

Breakout Sessions

For the remainder of Thursday morning, conference attendees will have the opportunity to choose from a variety of food-related tours and presentations.

Breakout Session 1: 10:00 - 10:50 am

Tour of Headwaters Farm Learn from a current Western student and farmer about the challenges and rewards of growing commercially in a mountain climate.

The Yawn Valley Student Garden: Food to Foster the Social and Physical Landscapes Today, people are disconnected from their food and their place. A global food system has created more problems then solutions - diseases, food and environmental justice and an overall lack of food literacy. The Yawn Valley Student Garden at the University of Colorado - Colorado Springs challenges these negative impacts. By utilizing permaculture and traditional agricultural techniques, the goal of the garden is to educate and empower UCCS and the surrounding community, helping to regenerate lost connections between people, food, and place.

Breakout Session 2: 11:00 - 11:50am

Tour of Western Sustainable Food Solutions Join members of the Organics Guild to learn about their current projects including their partnership with the campus dining services, the Pinnacles Greenhouse, and Chipeta Gardens.

An Eye on Nutrition in the 21st Century With an abundance of information about nutrition flooding the media today, it is difficult to know how to separate fact from fiction. Meet Chloe Lewis from the Masters of Environmental Management program at Western to learn about the latest nutrition science while understanding how to navigate the extensive resources available on the topic.

All events are free!

Check back for updates, additions, and changes.

Podcasts from the 2013 Farm-to-Table Conference - Click Here

For questions or volunteer opportunities contact Stephanie Aubert at