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Food summit in Farmington to celebrate Local Foods, Local Places project

FARMINGTON – It’s been a year since Farmington was selected to participate in the Local Foods, Local Places federal initiative that helps communities reinvest in their neighborhoods and improve quality of life as they develop the local food economy.


Woman holding giant cucumber
Cheryl Woods of Townsend Farms celebrates the giant cucumber she raised. Woods and other growers will have their produce available at the Northwest New Mexico Local Food Summit on Thursday, Aug. 8, at the Farmington Civic Center. (NMSU Photo)

Federal assistance was awarded to New Mexico State University’s College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences’ Cooperative Extension Service in San Juan County for a collaboration of City of Farmington, San Juan County, San Juan College and community partners to coordinate efforts to expand local food production, improve food access and revitalize the historic downtown.

The team of partners established four main goal areas for the region to begin creating a culture of local food and created a “local food taskforce” to see the progress through. For additional details visit https://aces.nmsu.edu/lflpfnm/.

The Northwest New Mexico Local Food Task Force is well on its way of creating a culture around local food and supporting San Juan College in establishing a food hub to aggregate locally grown products and distribute them to area restaurants, public schools and senior centers.

It is time to celebrate the accomplishments during the first year of the initiative and to develop future goals for the program.

The community is invited to participate in the Northwest New Mexico Local Food Summit, Thursday and Friday, Aug. 8-9. The event will include a local food fair with vendors and information booths, a cooking competition, community action planning and an optional farm tour.

“This has been a wonderful collaboration,” said Bonnie Hopkins, NMSU Extension agricultural agent for San Juan County. “We have accomplished many of the items of the action plan that we had thought would take five years. It is time to give the community an update.”

The update will be presented from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 8, at the Farmington Civic Center, 200 W. Arrington St. A local food fair will follow from 5 to 8 p.m.

“The local food fair is a fun way for community members to attend the summit and give us feedback on the action plan, as well as to generate new and exciting opportunities to move forward,” said Erin Havens, San Juan College Harvest Food Hub Manager. “We will also be celebrating National Farmers’ Market Week.”

Planned are live music, kid activities, an array of booths and an “Iron Chef”-like cooking competition where three local chefs will prepare dishes with locally produced food. The competition will be from 6 to 7 p.m. in the Farmington Civic Center Plaza.

The summit will continue Friday morning as the task force revisits the community action plan.

“It will be a more focused group setting where we will work on goals for the future,” Hopkins said. There is a $10 fee to attend the morning event of the conference that will be used to provide refreshments and lunch made from locally sourced products.

The local food summit will conclude Friday afternoon with a farm tour from 1-5 p.m.

“This will be an opportunity for people to actually visit where their local food is grown and visit with the farmers,” Hopkins said. “This will also be a really great pilot for us to see what it looks like to expand into ag-tourism.”

Additional information and registration information can be found at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/nw-new-mexico-local-food-summit-tickets-62594202946.