Snapshot of the 2019 #f2isummit


We are very excited about the 2019 New England Farm to Institution Summit, with the pre-conference starting tomorrow, April2, and the main conference starting on Wednesday, April 3. We can’t wait to see you there! Here are some key finding of the 2019 #F2iSummit:

  • There will be over 500 people participating - field trips, short courses, conference workshops

  • People are coming from all six New England states - and 15 other states!

  • There are over 100 people who indicated that farm to campus is their primary sector or focus, and another 150 who say they are involved in all sectors. Strong cohorts in K-12, Health Care and over 35 who focus on farm to corrections. 

  • There are many producers, processors, distributors and over 70 food service staff, not including administrators and sustainability directors. Government officials, funders, and non-profit leaders will also have strong attendance.

  • Almost one third of participants are presenting, exhibiting or are sponsors - lots of engagement. 

  • It will be great to hear how UMass provides sustainable, delicious, local food, supports our regional food economy, is a national award winner and runs a profitable business. 

  • UMass is very involved in the summit beyond being the venue - from planning to preparing food, leading workshops and running a professional development network session for students. 

We will be taking walk-in registrations!


New England Seafood is on the #F2isummit Menu & Program


In keeping with our values and sustainability policy, Farm to Institution New England and UMass Amherst will be treating Summit attendees to some amazing, delicious, and sustainable local seafood items during the event. The names of the fish may be less familiar than the iconic codfish (so “Sacred” in this region it even warrants a statue in the Massachusetts statehouse), but these underutilized species are sure to please the palate. You can feel good about eating them, too, since the haddock, bluefish, and dogfish on the menu all come from healthy stocks and were caught by independent New England fishermen off the coast of New England. All of these seafood items are rated yellow or green by Seafood Watch, the haddock is Marine Stewardship Council certified, and the haddock and dogfish are verified as "Responsibly Harvested" by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute. In addition, we are supporting community-based fishermen by serving dogfish that was caught by fishermen of the Chatham Harvesters Cooperative, a group of owner-operators focused on fair supply chains and based in Chatham, MA.

You can learn more about the dogfish during lunch on Wednesday from the fisherman who caught it, the company that supplied it, and the chef that prepared it! Join us as fisherman Doug Feeney, Jared Auerbach of Red’s Best, and UMass Amherst Chef Robert Bankert tell us about the partnership inspired by the last FINE Summit that is helping reclaim the New England dogfish supply chain.

Keep feeding your brain by attending panels that will share more seafood success stories. At the “New England Food Vision Prize” panel on Wednesday morning at 10:30am, you can hear from current prize winners that committed to serving 75% of their fish from local species, and another group that is adding locally grown kelp to their menus. To learn more about the value of underutilized species, join UMass Dartmouth at their session on Thursday at 9am. Presenters will share their strategies for building the sea-to-campus movement in New England.

Join speakers from the University of Maine, Sodexo’s Maine Course, and the Gulf of Maine Research Institute at “Students Connect with Dining to Increase Seafood Consumption” on Wednesday at 2:00pm. In this session, Professor Jamie Picardy and one of her students, Eden Martin, will share the results of their study into students’ seafood preferences and awareness of seafood labels. Learn how dining services partnered with a nonprofit to use the findings from this study to increase seafood consumption on campus. Participants will come away with specific ideas for how to initiate and improve collaborative partnerships and sea-to-institution programs.

If you’re looking for inspiration -- for your menu, your own health, and for the food system we are working towards -- head to the “Transforming Our Food Future” session on Wednesday at 2:00pm. There, you can literally get a taste of how Mediterranean flavors can easily be used to create healthy seafood meals, after a cooking demo by Shelley Goraj. Learn about dietary patterns that promote population, regional, and planetary health in support of Food Solutions New England’s New England Food Vision.

Don’t forget to visit the exhibit hall, where you can chat with Red’s Best, Farm Fresh Rhode Island, and other exhibitors about seafood.

We hope you’ll leave the Summit having learned more about New England seafood and how good choices about seafood can elevate our shared values of collaboration, community and place, diversity, equity, healthy ecosystems, strategic disruption, the right to food, thriving local economies, and transparency.


8 #F2iSummit Plenaries & Receptions You Won't Want to Miss!

Featuring food chain workers rights, racial equity, climate-friendly food, farm to corrections, and more!

The plenaries and receptions at the 2019 New England Farm to Institution Summit provide opportunities for all participants to join together to celebrate, mobilize and transform. They highlight some key topics and trends that help weave the stories and lessons from field trips, short courses, breakout sessions, and network time into whole cloth. Here’s a rundown of what’s up!

Tuesday, April 2: 5:00 to 7:00 pm

Reception in the Amherst Room

Gather after your field trip, short course or special meeting for a complimentary reception in the beautiful Amherst room with views of campus and environs. Enjoy complimentary antipasto and local cheeses while you connect with network stakeholders and get ready for the full summit to start on Wednesday morning.

Wednesday morning opening plenary speakers

Wednesday morning opening plenary speakers

Wednesday, April 3: 9:00 am to 10:15 am

Welcome & Opening Plenary

Peter Allison, FINE’s executive director, will welcome summit attendees, share brief reflections on our journey to the summit, and recognize all who have contributed. Ken Toong, the executive director of UMass Amherst Auxiliary Services, will extend the welcome as our summit host and discuss how providing local, healthy, sustainable, and delicious food has won UMass Dining The Princeton Review’s Best Campus Food in America award for three years in a row. Deputy chancellor Steve Goodwin will follow Ken and share how sustainable food fits into UMass’s broader educational and community mission.

We are thrilled to bring Jose Oliva, the co-founder and director of the Food Chain Workers Alliance, to tell his story and talk about the issues confronting food chain workers throughout the food system. Jose will ask each of us how we connect with food chain workers, upon whom we all rely, and inspire us to keep those connections alive throughout the conference and beyond.

We will wrap up the morning with a call to action by Karen Spiller from Food Solutions New England to join the Racial Equity Challenge.

Wednesday afternoon lunch speakers

Wednesday afternoon lunch speakers

Wednesday, April 3: 12:15 to 1:30 pm

Lunch & Sustainable Seafood Success Story

Inspired by a connection made at the 2017 New England Farm to Institution Summit, seafood distributor Red’s Best secured funding from the USDA to support a value-added supply chain for the underutilized dog fish and found ready markets at UMass Amherst and other institutions. Come hear how the story unfolded as we enjoy the product that is reaching our tables. Tania Taranovski, FINE’s director of programs and long-time sustainable seafood advocate, will moderate a brief discussion with Doug Feeney, a fisherman involved in harvesting the product; Jared Auerbach, the founder of Red’s Best; and Robert Bankert (“chef Bob”), who will share how they menu dog fish at UMass.

Wednesday, April 3: 5:00 to 6:00 pm

Exhibitor Reception

Join the more than 40 exhibitors and the UMass Jazz Trio, enjoy hor d’oeuvres and cash bar, and make new connections.

Wednesday, April 3: 6:00 to 7:30 pm


The jazz trio will lead us into the dining area where we will enjoy a mostly un-programmed delicious dinner – but stay tuned for a few surprises!

Thursday, April 4: 7:30 to 9:00 am

Thursday morning breakfast speakers

Thursday morning breakfast speakers

Cool Climate Breakfast & Commissioner’s Corner

Consistent with our summit sustainability policy, we will be treated to a Cool Climate Breakfast on Thursday. Kathy Wicks, director of sustainability for UMass Auxiliary Services, will share steps taken to reduce the footprint of our meal, including menu choices, local sourcing, and waste reduction efforts.

Following Kathy, we will hear from John Lebeaux, the Massachusetts commissioner of agriculture, who will place the summit in context by providing an update on the commonwealth’s efforts to support agriculture and farm to institution programs. Commissioner Lebeaux will also discuss some regional updates based on his role as president of NEASDA, the Northeast Association of State Directors of Agriculture.

Lastly, we will hear from Randall Liberty, the newly appointed commissioner of the department of corrections in Maine, who will keynote our farm to corrections track, by sharing his vision for building stronger and healthier connections with local food throughout the state prison system in Maine, including on-site gardens and farms, education programs, and local food sourcing.

Thursday afternoon lunch speakers

Thursday afternoon lunch speakers

Thursday, April 4: 12:00 to 1:00 pm


Thursday’s lunch will be a delicious demonstration of creative repurposing of leftovers, as the UMass chefs bring new life to leftover foods from the amazing meals we will have enjoyed over the past two days. We will also hear from four sector representatives about the networking sessions they will be leading:

    • Health care: John Stoddard

    • K-12 schools: Betsy Rosenbluth

    • Campus: Andy Cox

    • Corrections: Abrah Dresdale

Thursday, April 4: 1:15 to 3:00 pm

Open Space & Sector Networking

The last session of the day will be an open space and networking time. The four sectors will each have a dedicated networking session, and there will be opportunities for others to suggest topics they want to focus on with colleagues from around the region.

We can’t wait to see you at the 2019 New England Farm to Institution Summit on April 2-4 at UMass Amherst!

Workers' Rights Leader Jose Oliva to Keynote the 2019 New England Farm to Institution Summit

Dining hall workers at UMass Amherst sell locally made baked goods during our 2015 Northeast Farm to Institution Summit.

Dining hall workers at UMass Amherst sell locally made baked goods during our 2015 Northeast Farm to Institution Summit.

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The 2019 New England Farm to Institution Summit steering committee is proud to announce that Jose Oliva, co-director of the Food Chain Workers Alliance will be our keynote speaker on Wednesday, April 3rd. Jose has spent more than 15 years advocating for workers’ rights and social justice.

Jose will discuss current efforts at the national and regional levels to improve wages and working conditions for workers all along the food chain. His talk will illustrate the necessity of these changes in building a more just and sustainable food system through a focus on jobs in our institutional food service operations and supply chain.

Jose Oliva was born in Xelaju, Guatemala, on November 15, 1972 to Myriam Gonzalez, a popular educator. As a result of Jose’s mothers’ involvement in social justice issues, they were forced to flee Guatemala in 1985. Once in the United States, Jose went to work at the Midwest Latino Research and Policy Center at the University of Illinois in Chicago under the direction of Dr. Aida Giachello.

He then was called to be Executive Director of Casa Guatemala where he began to organize day-laborers in Chicago’s street corners. He founded the Chicago Interfaith Workers’ Center and then became the coordinator of the Interfaith Worker Justice’s National Workers' Centers Network. In 2008, he became the coordinator for the Workers’ Alliance for a Just Economy a program of the Center for Community Change.

Jose served in several leadership positions at the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, the national organization of restaurant workers. Jose is the co-director of the Food Chain Workers Alliance, a national coalition of food-worker organizations that collectively represents over 350,000 workers. Jose is a 2017 James Beard Award recipient and a recipient of Eating Well’s 2018 Food Heroes Award.

We are excited to have Jose's participation at the 2019 New England Farm to Institution Summit and we look forward to the conversations his keynote will generate throughout the conference!

Learn more about Jose and his organization's work by visiting the Food Chain Workers Alliance website.

Quick Links

Spotlight on Sustainability at the 2019 #F2ISummit

Spotlight on Sustainability at the 2019 New England Farm to Institution Summit

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In just 11 short weeks, the 2019 New England Farm to Institution Summit will bring together 500+ food service operators, institutional leaders, local food advocates, farmers, fishers, processors, distributors, and more, for three days of engaging sessions, inspiring speakers, exciting tours, fun social events, and more!

Over the next few weeks, we will be opening our registration platform and sharing program details with you through the New England Farm to Institution Summit website. As we work to make this our most meaningful Summit yet, we are also doing a lot of reflecting on the environmental impact of hosting an event of this sort. While we believe strongly in the power of the Summit and gatherings like it, we also know that large events can leave a sizable footprint. Since the first Summit in 2015, we have worked hard to make sustainable decisions throughout the program planning process; we strive to serve local and regional foods throughout the event and we are dedicated to minimizing waste by using reusable materials and composting.

In 2019, we are taking these efforts to the next level. We have established a sustainability committee and created a sustainability policy to guide our efforts and help us measure our impact. The policy outlines targets and activities for FINE and our partners during the planning process, but it also includes ways that you, the attendees and presenters, can help us make this event as sustainable as possible. We are grateful to be partnering with UMass Amherst in this process and value their leadership and enthusiasm in helping us meet our goals.

Below you will find highlights from the policy’s three primary metrics:

  • Food & Beverage

  • Marketing & Education

  • Energy & Transportation

We will be sharing tips for engagement over the next few months and we invite anyone attending the summit (and anyone who isn’t attending the Summit!) to spend some time looking at the full policy and to think about your role in these efforts.

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Fifty percent of all food and beverage and 100 percent of all meat protein, dairy, grains, oats, greens, and eggs served at the Summit will be sourced from New England farms and businesses. When possible, we will source menu items from local food processors and farms owned and operated by people of color, women, and beginning farmers. We will reduce meat options by using meat as a side dish or flavoring ingredient and not as a main ingredient. Meat portions will be limited to two ounces per serving.

Food Waste

We will ensure that 100 percent of pre and post-consumer food waste is composted. Further, we will donate as much leftover food as possible to The UMass Food Recovery Network. Additionally, 100 percent of the cups, plates, silverware, and napkins will be reusable. Finally, zero plastic water bottles and single-use beverage containers will be offered.

Marketing Materials

We will prioritize using recycled and reusable materials for our marketing efforts. This includes working with our printer and UMass Amherst to use post-consumer recycled paper, environmentally-friendly inks, and reusable signs. We will ensure that 100 percent of name tag lanyards are reusable by not printing our sponsors on them. We will also ensure that 100% of marketing materials are produced by New England-based businesses. Tote bags will be optional and a take-a-bag-leave-a-bag station will allow participants to drop off old or unwanted tote bags to be repurposed.


Our goal is that 100 percent of participants use an alternative form of transportation at least once during the Summit. To further cut down on travel miles, 100 percent of workshops and Summit events will be located within walking distance of the Campus Center. We will provide transportation for any off-site field trips.

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Start planning now!

Wondering how you can start thinking about your contribution to these efforts? We’ll be reaching out over the coming months with plenty of reminders and tips but in the meantime, here are a few things you can start thinking about now!

  • Plan to use alternative transportation: Are you driving to Amherst from out of town? We are expecting over 500 attendees at the Summit which means plenty of opportunities to carpool. We will be revealing a rideshare/carpool platform as we get closer to the date, but in the meantime, grab a friend or two and plan to ride together.

  • Bring your own water bottle and reusable thermos: We will not be providing any single-use water bottles or drink containers which means this is a great opportunity to show off that triple vacuum-sealed water bottle you have.

  • Gather your old tote bags to donate: Do you have a closet full of tote bags from past events? We will be featuring a take-a-tote-leave-a-tote station at the Summit where attendees can donate old tote bags to be repurposed and used by The Bag Share Project.

  • Plan to study the program ahead of time: We are cutting down on our printed materials at the Summit which means that an abbreviated program will be available as part of attendees’ name tags and everything else you need to know will be available online and in a handy app. Once we release the program, we encourage you to get to know the offerings ahead of time -- this will help make the transition to digital even faster!

We look forward to sharing more information with you over the coming months. If you have any questions or comments about our Summit Sustainability Policy, please email

Quick Links

Sponsor Opportunities Now Available


Consider partnering with us by sponsoring the 2019 New England Farm to Institution Summit (#f2isummit)! As a sponsor, you will provide valuable support and leadership to New England’s premier cross-sector conference dedicated to transforming our food system by leveraging the power of our region’s anchor institutions. You can promote your brand and connect with industry leaders, influencers, and decision-makers.

Seeking Session Proposals thru Nov. 23rd

Now Seeking Session Proposals for the 2019 New England Farm to Institution Summit!

Deadline: Nov. 23rd (now closed)

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Since the first gathering in 2015, the biennial New England Farm to Institution Summit has become a seminal event for stakeholders working to transform our regional food system. More than 500 participants attend the summit, including food service operators, producers, supply chain businesses, advocates, public officials, and others dedicated to this work. We strive to bring together an inclusive and diverse regional network of individuals and entities across all parts of the food system – that’s where you come in!

Do you have an innovative idea, a set of best practices, or a policy proposal to share? Has your institution been leading the charge to improve our food system? Are you a student mobilizing your school to support regional producers, protect the environment, and pay food chain workers a fair wage? Are you running an institutional dining program while tracking your sustainability impact? Are you a regional producer selling to institutions? Do you want to brainstorm some big solutions with other great food systems practitioners in the region? 

The #F2iSummit is by-the-network, for-the-network. In these challenging times, it’s more important than ever that we come together to make positive change. You can help make that happen! Join us by submitting a proposal idea that will bring the New England food systems community together to CELEBRATE what we’ve accomplished, MOBILIZE more stakeholders, and TRANSFORM the farm-to-institution supply chain. The request for proposals is open until Friday, Nov. 23rd. To find more information about what we are looking for and how proposals will be reviewed, visit the summit website.

The 2019 New England Farm to Institution Summit will be held at UMass Amherst on April 2-4. The summit is hosted by FINE in partnership with UMass Amherst, the Northeast Farm to School Collaborative, the New England Farm & Sea to Campus Network, and Health Care Without Harm. We have generous support from the John Merck Fund, Henry P. Kendall Foundation, United States Department of Agriculture, Red’s Best, Food Solutions New England, and UMass Amherst, and we're accepting new sponsors.

The request for proposals is now live on the New England Farm to Institution Summit website:

2019 #F2iSummit Website is Now Live!

Announcing the launch of our 2019 New England Farm to Institution Summit website

Farm to Institution New England along with our partners Health Care Without Harm, the Northeast Farm to School Collaborative, the New England Farm & Sea to Campus Network, and UMass Amherst are pleased to announce the launch of the website for our third biennial New England Farm to Institution Summit, which will take place on April 2-4, 2019 at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The summit website, which FINE staff developed in-house, reflects a custom visual identity developed in partnership with graphic designer and illustrator Seth Gregory of Northampton, Massachusetts. We worked closely with Seth to develop a fresh, bright look for the 2019 summit that will inspire people and bring everyone together around a common cause. 

Currently, the website features baseline information about the 2019 New England Farm to Institution Summit as well as robust details about sponsorship opportunities. From now until April, we'll be adding details about the program, registration, scholarships, field trips, exhibitor opportunities, and more. Check back regularly!

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Sponsorship Opportunities are Now Available!

Consider partnering with us by sponsoring the 2019 New England Farm to Institution Summit!

We're pleased to announce a whole suite of sponsorship opportunities for the 2019 New England Farm to Institution Summit. Sponsoring this event is a great investment for your company or organization, and there’s sure to be a package or experience that’s the right fit for you!

As a sponsor, you will provide valuable support and leadership to New England’s premier cross-sector conference dedicated to transforming our food system by leveraging the power of our region’s anchor institutions. You can promote your brand and connect with industry leaders, influencers, and decision-makers. 

Your sponsorship helps build a strong regional food system of viable farm and food businesses, engaged institutions, and well-nourished communities. Please visit the summit website to learn more about sponsorship opportunities and download the sponsor guide. 

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Save the Date for the 2019 New England #f2isummit!

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The Farm to Institution New England team is pleased to announce that our 2019 New England Farm to Institution Summit will be held on April 2-4, 2019 at UMass Amherst in Amherst, Massachusetts.

Thanks to FINE's strong network of local and regional food system partners, our 2015 and 2017 summits were both a tremendous success. FINE is eager to once again serve as the principal summit host, working with many partners to bring our region the third biennial New England Farm to Institution Summit. Collectively, we are committed to curating an event that meets the needs of our growing and dynamic network of stakeholders to mobilize institutions to transform our food system. 

The 2019 New England Farm to Institution Summit steering committee is already laying the groundwork for our summit theme, structure, outreach, and funding elements. We invite you to save the date and stay tuned for more information! 

If you're interested in having an active role in shaping the summit, contact us at to learn more.