The seeds of the farm to cafeteria movement have been planted, the roots have spread and the movement is growing. Together in Austin, farm to cafeteria champions from across the nation will gather to share information, gather inspiration from one another and collectively POWER UP!

Inspirational speakers will lead conference participants in POWERING UP during three plenary sessions:


Wednesday, April 16th
11:00am – 12:30pm
Salon HJK

Farm to cafeteria is clearly more than just a good idea.  It is a powerful vehicle for meaningful food system change across the nation and beyond, impacting public health, family farm viability, community vitality and much more.  Hear from inspirational leaders across a variety of farm to cafeteria sectors as we establish a foundation to reflect and build upon throughout the conference.

Great Promise for American Indians Drumming Group

Anupama Joshi, Executive Director and Co-Founder, National Farm to School Network

Jim Hightower, National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, author and twice-elected Texas Commissioner of Agriculture
(Introduction by Kate Fitzgerald – Consultant – Founder, Sustainable Food Center – Advisory Board Member, National Farm to School Network)


Farm to School and Child Nutrition Programs
Mary Stein, National Farm to School Network
Deborah Kane, USDA Farm to School

Farm to Preschool
Gail Imig, W.K. Kellogg Foundation

Farm to Hospital
Emma Sirois, Healthcare Without Harm

Farm to College
Estefania Narvaez, Real Food Challenge

Farm to Cafeteria Canada
Joanne Bays, Farm to Cafeteria Canada



From Deep in the Heart of Texas: Powering up with activists, advocates and leaders from the Lone Star State

Thursday, April 17th
8:30 – 9:45 am
Salon HJK

Activists, advocates and leaders from the Central Texas region will share stories of their efforts that ensure key stakeholders and community members are riding the front of the herd in the drive for local and sustainable food systems.  This motivating Local Plenary Session will feature insight from Texans who have wrangled state agencies and rounded up state legislators, who are working to brand the movement with dignity and justice, and who are staking new claims on historic symbolism.

Moderated by Ronda Rutledge, Executive Director of Sustainable Food Center

Jim Hightower, National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, author and twice-elected Texas Commissioner of Agriculture
Eddie Rodriguez, District 51, Texas House of Representatives
Diana Lopez, Director, Southwest Workers Union
Toni Tipton-Martin, award-winning food and nutrition journalist and community activist



Powering forward together

Friday, April 18th
10:30am – 12:15pm
Salon HJK

As in past National Farm to Cafeteria Conferences, the closing plenary session is not to be missed.  Hear from inspirational national leaders working across farm to cafeteria sectors, as stories from past experiences are woven together withevents of the past few days helping to provide a clear path as we move forward together, fully powered up.

“Story” Laurie McIntosh and her band of musical conference goers
Linda Jo Doctor, W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Anim Steel, director and founder of Real Food Generation who was instrumental in developing the Real Food Challenge
Sam Kass, Executive Director, Let’s Move (Invited)
Alice Waters, chef, author, proprietor of Chez Panisse and creator of The Edible Schoolyard at Berkeley’s Martin Luther King, Jr., Middle School