Contact: Bear Braumoeller FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NINE CENTRAL OHIOANS SELECTED FOR SUSTAINABLE FOOD CONFERENCE IN ITALY
COLUMBUS, OH – AUGUST 6, 2012 – Central Ohio has something to brag about, and it’s not a sports team.
Nine Central Ohioans have been selected to attend the largest sustainable food conference in the world, the 2012 Terra Madre convention in Turin, Italy. The delegates, who were selected competitively by Slow Food USA from over 600 applicants nationwide, represent roughly 5% of those chosen to attend from the entire United States.
The disproportionate number of Central Ohioans selected underscores the vibrancy of the sustainable food system in our region. Ohio is one of only four states in the nation in which over 50% of the land is classified as prime farmland, but its huge conventional agriculture industry—second in the nation in egg production, sixth in corn, seventh in soybeans—often overshadows the fact that sustainable agriculture has established a commanding presence in the state. At present, the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Association (OEFFA) lists upward of 300 sustainable and organic farms in its annual Good Earth Guide.
The biennial Terra Madre conference is organized by Slow Food International, the “eco-gastronomic” nonprofit that was founded in the late 1980s in opposition to fast food. Chefs Kevin Caskey of Skillet in German Village and David MacLennan of MoJoe Lounge were selected as delegates, along with Brandon Jaeger of Shagbark Seed & Mill and Michelle Ajamian of the Appalachian Staple Foods Collaborative, both in Athens; Brian Schlatter of Canal Junction Farmstead Cheese; Joseph Swain of Swainway Urban Farm in Clintonville; Ann Trudel of Ann’s Raspberry Farm in Fredericktown; Colleen Yuhn, leader of the local chapter as well as the manager of the Greener Grocer at the North Market; and the chapter’s Chairman of the Board, Bear Braumoeller, a political science professor at Ohio State who also chairs the chapter’s Food Policy Committee.
The October conference is “a gathering of the world of sustainability,” said Therese Poston, owner of Naomi’s Garden, a certified organic farm in Ashley, OH who attended in 2010 as a representative of the Clintonville Farmers’ Market. “There are four to six thousand people from around the world.”
Poston was one of the inaugural delegates from central Ohio that year, along with Jeni Britton-Bauer of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, Warren Taylor of Snowville Creamery, Dick Jensen of Flying J Farm, Mike and Laura Laughlin of Northridge Organic Farm, Val Jorgensen of Jorgensen Farms, and Lynne Genter and Laura Zimmerman, also representing the Clintonville Farmers’ Market.
As in 2010, Slow Food Columbus has pledged to assist their delegates with travel funds, without which many could not attend. In order to do so, the organization will host a range of events this fall, including a lottery for tickets to its fifth annual open-air harvest dinner at Jensen’s Flying J Organic Farm.
For more details about the delegates, visit http://slowfoodcolumbus.org.
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If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with any of the 2012 Terra Madre delegates, please write to Slow Food Columbus Board Chair Bear Braumoeller: firstname.lastname@example.org.