the public should know local farmers and local farmers should know who eats their food.
The Local Food Fair has been Farmshed’s premier outreach event, bringing together producers, consumers, local businesses, and educators to celebrate community and the food that’s grown within it. Come one, come all to the region’s largest local food celebration!
Usually held each February, the Local Food Fair is a free event that welcomes more than 700 community members and includes a local, organic potato dinner with tasty toppings from regional restaurants, food-focused workshops, and an info and marketplace with over 40 exhibitors from local farms, businesses, and educational organizations, and the annual release of the Central Wisconsin Farm Fresh Atlas!
After a lot of consideration, the staff and board decided on a hiatus from the Local Food Fair in 2017 for the following reasons.
- Launch of the first Stevens Point Area Winter Farmers Market: With great community support we were able to create the first Winter Farmers’ Market in the area. Focusing on this program has been a priority this fall and winter when we would normally be preparing for the Food Fair.
- New Partnership with REAP Food Group to create better cohesion between the Farm Fresh Atlas’ across the state. This grant project, sponsored by the USDA, postponed the development of the 2017 Atlas which we typically launch at the Local Food Fair.
- We had outgrown the SPASH Commons: In 2016, we had record participation in the Fair from more than 750 community members, 48 exhibitors, and 20 restaurants. After the event, we knew that we had outgrown the SPASH commons and needed a space that could welcome new people, farms, and businesses.
The Good News: The Local Food Fair is not gone and forgotten! When we made the decision to take a year off, we did so with the intention to bring the Fair back bigger and better in 2018. That’s why, starting now, we are committing time and energy into the relaunch of the Fair at SentryWorld, on Saturday, February 17th, 2018
What’s Next? Farmshed is seeking members for the 2018 Local Food Fair Planning Committee!
Ideally, we will form a committee rich with regional participation by people throughout the Central Wisconsin area. Together we’ll brainstorm and focus on improving the Food Fair, increasing regional attendance, funding the event, and how to regionally organize. If you are invested in strengthening the local food movement, we would love to have you join us!
As a planning committee member, you will be given materials to guide you through the process and you’ll have full support from the Farmshed team. Roles of committee members fall in the following categories:
- Restaurant and Food Sourcing
- Exhibitor Coordination
- Event Sponsorship
- Publicity and Promotion
- Children’s Activities
- Workshops and Demos
- Facility Coordination
- Kitchen Operation
To become a committee member or learn about ways to help the committees in making the 2018 Local Food Fair a success, fill out this 2018 Local Food Fair Planning Committee Form. If you are interested in sponsoring the 2018 event, let us know and we’ll be sure to get you the information you need.
Our next committee meeting will be held May 16th, 2017 from 6:30pm-8:00pm at Central Rivers Farmshed.
If you would like to serve as a committee member but cannot make this meetings, please fill out the Local Food Fair Planning Committee Form and we will contact you with ways to get involved. Please help us in the process of recruiting committee members by sharing this link, spreading the word and encouraging members to participate.
We’re looking forward to planning this amazing event with you!