CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT - New Connections in the Northeast Food System



     Bringing Together Food Producers and Communities for
                 Regional Food Security

                   MARCH 13 -15, 1997

          The Hastings Hotel and Conference Center
                   Hartford, Connecticut


LEARN.... How growers and food activists from across the
Northeast Region have developed practical programs for healthy
markets, healthy people and healthy communities.

HEAR...what works and what doesn't from anti-hunger advocates,
farmers, community gardeners, academics, urban planners, and

PLAN OR IMPROVE... your own community food marketing linkages.

SHARE...in the emerging Partnership for Northeast Food Security.

Whether you are cultivating hundreds of acres of Connecticut
River bottom land or a community garden plot in Philadelphia;
starting a farmers' market in Washington, DC or a CSA in NYC;
teaching inner-city youths to sell vegetables in New Jersey or to
grow them in Bridgeport...


                  It's about connecting
          place, people, food, ideas, and actions.



 o  Urban food needs
 o  Marketing to inner-city consumers
 o  Institutional buying (school systems & other institutions)
 o  Land tenure and farmland protection
 o  Community farms
 o  Collaborations between farmers, non-profit groups, and public 
 o  Food projects in Hispanic communities
 o  CSAs in the inner city
 o  Farmers' markets
 o  Community farmstands
 o  The Farmers' Market Nutrition Program,
 o  The "Community Food Projects" Program
 o  Community economic development
 o  Food education programs


     While all are welcome, this conference is primarily for
those groups engaged in food productions and community food work
in the Northeast Region (Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont,
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey,
Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Delaware, and the District
of Columbia.


     This conference will be interactive, informative, and task-
oriented (in spite of our stern Connecticut Yankee nature, we
also promise you'll have fun).  we expect that everyone who comes
to this conference, no matter what their background or
experience, will have something to share with other people.  Take
advantage of this opportunity to build productive relationships
and make plans for "back-home" activities.  We hope that you will
leave Hartford with a commitment to building a more equitable and
sustainable regional food system.

     WHY, YOU ASK?

     All across our 134-state Northeast Region, people are
finding unique and exciting ways to make meaningful connections
between food producers and communities.  The purpose of this
conference is to highlight those connections and to begin
building a long-term process for real change in our region's food
system - a change founded on the principles of local control and


     When we say "you are the conference", we mean it!  Your
experience and knowledge will be the most valuable commodity
available at this gathering.  Participants looking for the nuts
and bolts of project development and management will learn from
you, the experts. Why not request a free "Expert's Table"now with
your conference registration?  Check "YES" in the expert's Table
box, and include a short description of your project or special
expertise.  All we require is that you plan to have your table
staffed by a knowledgeable "expert" during all breaks and
circulation periods.  What you display at your table and how you
display it is up to you.

                    CONFERENCE PROGRAM

                      THURSDAY, MARCH 13, 1997

12:00 p.m.      Conference Registration

1:00 p.m.  Introduction of themes and agenda("Welcome" by    
           Hartford's mayor, Mike Peters (voted one of the   
          nation's top ten public officials by "Governing         
           Magazine") - Ballroom

1:15 p.m.  Opening Talk - What is Our Regional Food System and    
           Where are the Problems - Molly D. Anderson, Associate  
          Professor, Tufts University School of Nutrition Science
           and Policy

2:00 p.m.  Panel - Identifying themes, issues, gaps, problems,
          and strategies.  A look at innovative community food  
          strategies.  Hear from food program operators,         
          activists, strategists, extension, land grant, and      
          government representatives.

3:15 p.m.  State Mixer - Facilitated groups organized for each of
           the region's 13 states - Breakout rooms.

           TASKS:    1)   Get acquainted
                     2)   Identify the food issues, gaps, and
                          problems in your state
                     3)   Organize a state volleyball team for
                          evening tournament
4:15 p.m.  Break and circulate among Expert Tables - Ballroom. 
          This will be your opportunity to see the range of      
          organizations and projects at the conference, meet your
           fellow experts, and learn the "nuts and bolts".

5:00 p.m.  Case Study Panel - Food projects and coalitions from
           cities, regions, and states:  Successes, Wannabees,
          and Almosts - Ballroom.  A discussion of innovative and
           comprehensive food programs including a review of what
           works and what doesn't.

6:30 p.m.  Adjourn for the day

7:00 p.m.  Dinner Banquet - Ballroom

9:00 p.m.  State Volleyball Tournament (co-ed and utterly    
          amateur) - Hastings Gymnasium.  All games will be
           conducted according to "Hartford rules."

11:15 p.m. Volleyball Championship Award Ceremony - Blake's
           (The Hastings Pub).

                    FRIDAY, MARCH 14, 1997

Breakfast on your own in the Hastings Restaurant

9:00 a.m.  Assessing Community Food Needs- An overview          
          presentation on determining your community's food needs 
           - Debra Palmer-Keenan, Rutgers University - Ballroom

9:30 a.m.  Panel - Several experts will describe why needs     
           assessments and evaluations are important to community
           food work.  They will share "tricks of the trade" and
           hints on how to identify and develop funding and other

10:30 a.m. Break and circulate among Expert Tables - Ballroom

11:15 a.m. Breakout Groups - Facilitated activity in breakout
           1)  Reactions and discussion focused on talk and panel
           2)  Special topic groups (identified during conference
               by participants)

12:15 p.m. Lunch Banquet - Ballroom

1:30 p.m.  Talk on Community Building - David Hahn-Baker,     
          President, Inside/Out Political Consultants, Buffalo, 
           NY - Ballroom

2:00 p.m.  Project Panel - How to use community building and   
           community organizing skills for back-home food    
           projects.  Working examples from the field will be
           presented including recently funded USDA Community
          Food Programs.  The panel will also introduce plans for 
           the creation of Northeast Partnership for Food        

3:00 p.m.  Break and circulate among Expert Tables - Last chance
          to talk to the experts.

3:30 p.m.  Planning back-home strategies - Breakout rooms
           1)   Facilitated group discussion on implementing
                back-home activities
           2)   Special topic groups identified by participants

4:30 p.m.  Closing Session - Ballroom

5:00 p.m.  Adjourn for the day

6:00 p.m.  Reception and Tour at the historic Mark Twain House

           Dinner on your own  - Choose from among Hartford's
          many fine restaurants

                    SATURDAY, MARCH 15, 1997

Breakfast on your own

8:00 a.m.  Planning Session for Northeast Food System        
           Partnership:  Laying the foundation for a region-wide  
           network.  Review of a Partnership proposal and         
           discussion of implementation.

9:30 a.m.  Community Food Program Funding:  How to prepare a 
  to       winning to grant application for USDA's newest
11:30 a.m. funding program.

                      HOTEL ARRANGEMENTS

                       THE HASTINGS

The Hastings Hotel and Conference Center is one of the finest
facilities of its kind in New England.  The meeting rooms and
accessories are state of the art; the food is excellent; the
rooms are just short of luxurious; and there is a well-equipped
gym and fitness center.  The Hastings is conveniently located off
I-84, less than a mile from downtown Hartford's bus and train
station, and only two blocks from the Mark Twain House
(Hartford's major tourist attraction).  And President Bill
Clinton slept here when he was in Hartford for the nation's first
Presidential debate with Bob Dole!!

The Hastings has set aside 75 rooms until FEBRUARY 25, 1997. 
These include 35 doubles (twin beds) and 40 singles (a few cots
are available for the singles).  The conference rate for both
singles and doubles is $86 per night.  Names and phone numbers of
other hotels and motels are available upon request.  You are not
likely to find lower priced accommodations in downtown Hartford. 
Low-cost discount motels are located at or near Hartford's border
(10 to 15 minutes from The Hastings).  If at all possible,
however, we do encourage you to make your reservations at The
Hastings not only because it is a fine facility, but because it
allows us to keep the overall cost of the conference down.

To make reservations, call The Hastings before February 27th at
(860) 727-4200.  Be sure to request the HARTFORD FOOD SYSTEM
conference rate.

                    TRAVELING TO HARTFORD

Hartford is conveniently served by air (Bradley Airport is 20
minutes from The Hastings which provides airport shuttle
service), train (regular Amtrak service), and bus.  Trains and
buses stop at Hartford's Union Station, less than a mile from The
Hastings.  Free parking is available in an underground garage and
an adjacent outdoor lot.  Maps and directions to the conference
will be sent with your registration confirmation.

                    THANK YOU!!

The Hartford Food System wishes to thank the Northeast
Sustainable Agriculture and Research Education Program and Food
for All for the financial support of the New Connections
Conference.  We also wish to thank Aetna Business Resources,
Inc., of Taunton, Massachusetts, for designing and printing this
brochure and other conference materials.  We are especially
grateful for the considerable help and cooperation of The
Hastings' staff in planning this conference.

For state sponsorship, we wish to thank the following

The Maine Coalition for Food Security   
UVM Center for Sustainable Agriculture (VT)
Neseankeag Farm (NH)     
University of Massachusetts Extension   
New York SAWG (Upstate NY)
Just Food (Metro New York City)    
New Brunswick Urban Ecology Program (NJ)
Claggett Farm (MD)   
Reading Terminal Market Trust (PA) 
Lightstone Foundation (WV)
Capital Area Community Food Bank (Wash, DC)  
Rhode Island Organizing Project
Hartford Food System (CT)


Knox Parks Foundation (Community Gardens,    
Connecticut Anti-Hunger Coalition (Hartford) 
Northeast SAWG
Connecticut NOFA    
World Hunger Year
National Association of Farmers Market Nutrition Programs   
Northampton Survival Center        
American Community Gardening Assoc.
Foodshare of Greater Hartford (food bank)    
City of Hartford Food Policy Commission

A special thanks to the hard-working members of the Conference
Planning Committee:

Kathy Lawrence - Just Food    
Carol Giesecke - University of ME CES
Frank Mangan - University of Mass. CES  
Kate Dustenberg - University of VT Sustainable Agriculture Center
Hugh Joseph - Tufts University 
Elizabeth Henderson - Rose Farm    
Eero Ruuttilla - Neseankeag Farm
Daniel Ross - Nuestras Raices 
Michael Hamm - Cooke College, Rutgers University
Mark Winne - Hartford Food System       


                    REGISTRATION FORM -  BELOW 

                    REGISTRATION FORM

Name: __________________________________________________________

Organization: _____________________________________________ 

Address:      _____________________________________________

City: ___________________  State: ______________  Zip: __________

Phone:  ______________________  FAX: ______________________ 

E-mail: ___________________________________  

Names of other registrants on this form: (list
organizations/addresses if different):



                                 NO.                   TOTAL

New Connections Conference    $75.00*        
Registration Fee 3/13-3/15     ________     $50.00/   __________ 
Thursday morning
"Making links" 3/13            ________     $15.00    __________ 

Full "Making Links" Confer-
ence (if also attending
New Connections) 3/12- 3/13    ________     $50.00    __________ 

GUESTS: Meals/Tour
Thursday - 3/13 dinner         ________     $30.00    __________ 
Friday 3/14 lunch              ________     $20.00    __________ 
Friday night - 3/14 - Mark
 Twain House Tour/Reception    ________     $20.00    __________ 

One per registrant (must be
included or previously sent in ________     ($5.00)   __________ 

If registering after February 28th, please add Late Fee of

                         TOTAL ENCLOSED   __________   

*Registration fees include access to all sessions, tour/reception
and meetings, conference materials and papers, Expert's Table,
Thursday supper, Friday lunch, and sweat towel for Volleyball

Do you want an Expert's Table?     ___ Yes    ___ No

What is your area of expertise?  __________________________

               MAKE CHECKS PAYABLE TO:

     Hartford Food System
     509 Wethersfield Avenue
     Hartford, CT  06114

Purchase orders will be accepted from government agencies,
colleges and universities only.  HFS Federal ID# 06-0991880.  We
are sorry, we will not be able to offer any other customizing or
a la carte selection of conference events.


                    CONFERENCE SCHOLARSHIPS:

Generous funding support for this conference from the Northeast
Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NESARE)
means the Hartford Food System can provide a limited number of
scholarships.  Scholarships are available to individuals who are
in a position to implement community food projects, or make a
contribution to food issues in their own communities, and for
whom conference costs pose a significant barrier to
participation.  Scholarship funds can only be used to reduce
registration and/or hotel costs.  No funds are available for
travel or other miscellaneous expenses.

To apply for a scholarship, please include a brief statement of
need with your completed registration form (you may hold final
payment of all fees pending a decision on your request).  All
requests for scholarships must be received by February 10, 1997. 
State sponsors will review each statement of need from their
state and make their recommendations.  They may contact you for
further information.  Scholarships will be granted based on the
statement of need, availability of funds, and the recommendations
of state sponsors.  Employees of government agencies, colleges,
universities, and other large public and private institutions are
not eligible for scholarships.



"Making Links," the annual Urban Themes in Extension conference
sponsored by the New England Cooperative Extension Consortium,
will be held at The Hastings on March 12th and 13th.  Making
Links will end at noon on Thursday, March 13th, and Connecting
Communities will start one hour later.  Why not sign up for both
conferences and save?  Or, plan to attend the March 13th "shared
day," a day packed full of activities sure to be of interest to
participants from both conferences.

One trip, two conferences:  Back-to-back conferences can stretch
your investment.  Save on travel costs, plus take $25 off the
combined registration fee.  Or add just $15 to your $75 New
Connections conference fee and join in Making Links' Thursday
morning activities.  For a full Making Links brochure, call
Cheryl Czuba at 860-345-4511.

               For more information, call:

                 HARTFORD FOOD SYSTEM
          TEL: (860) 296-9325  FAX: (860) 296-8326