It Takes a Region Conference – 2015


Conference Main Page | Registration | Scholarships | Venue and Lodging
Conference Schedule | Pre-Conference Sessions | Plenaries
Workshop Sessions | Discussion & Work Groups | Mixers & Meal Discussions
Presenter Bios | Keynote Speaker Shirley Sherrod
Bookshelf | Sponsorships | Help With Conference Outreach!


Registration now open – reserve your spot!

NESAWG’s annual It Takes a Region Conference brings together farm and food practitioners across the 12-state Northeast region to learn, debate, collaborate, and innovate solutions to critical food systems issues. Our 2015 conference is at the Saratoga Hilton in Saratoga Springs, NY. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or sign up for our emails to get conference updates.

Early bird registration has ended, but you can still get the Buddy Rate discount if you register with a friend!



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NEW! We set up a Ride Board so you can find a carpool buddy and a Roommate Board if you want to share a room!

Ride Board                         Roommate Board

This year’s theme: Putting MOVE in the Movement!
Civil rights, labor, women’s rights—the movements that transformed our world can give us insight on ways to accelerate food systems change.  What can we learn from leaders past and present?  How can we better organize our work, our networks, our message, our media?  Learn and strategize with hundreds of attendees—from farmers to researchers to policymakers—as we work to build a movement and realize the change we want to see.

We are honored to have Shirley Sherrod as our keynote speaker. Ms. Sherrod, a longtime civil rights activist and advocate for family farmers, is the former Georgia State Director of Rural Development for USDA and currently serves as Executive Director of the Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education. To learn more about her life and work, read her bio.


The scholarship application period is now closed. Thank you to everyone who applied. We will be letting applicants know if they received a scholarship by September 21. If you applied for a scholarship, please wait until you find out whether you received one before you register for the conference. For more information, visit our Conference Scholarship Page.

Program Highlights

This year we look at the trajectory of the food and farm movement, and discuss the role of our network and how together we can accelerate the pace of change.  We offer in-depth discussion and work sessions and provocative dialogue tackling challenging questions. We draw upon exciting local and regional efforts, including alternative supply chain networks, research projects, infrastructure initiatives and policy advocacy.

All sessions this year are asked to consider and address equity issues fundamental to their topic and to consider what more we can do to advance the movement as it relates to each topic.  No one has all the “answers” but with open minds and a diverse mix of expertise and experience we can explore, brainstorm and consider our next steps — together — and back home in our own communities.

Sessions on movement building include:

  • Policy organizing
  • Addressing racism in the food system
  • Food movements and food activism

Session that address food access and health include:

  • Sustainable dietary guidelines
  • Farm-to-Institution, including farm-to-hospital
  • Enhancing Food Security in the Northeast

Sessions addressing food chain justice, fair wages and working conditions include:

  • Farmers and farm workers
  • Farm-to-institution
  • Food hubs and distribution

Sessions on improving business practices and community development include:

  • Food hubs
  • Measuring farm profitability

…and MORE!  Please check out the Pre-Conferences, Plenaries, Workshops, and Discussion and Work Group pages for sessions and descriptions.

Help us Spread the Word

Want to see your friends and colleagues at the conference? Help us spread the word!

Join our Thunderclap campaign before Oct. 1 at noon and amplify our message through your social media networks! To join, visit

Visit our Conference Outreach page to see sample communications for Facebook, Twitter, and email.


Make sure you have a seat at the table, and come with your sleeves rolled up.  It takes a region, after all!

We’ll be updating this page with new information on workshops, plenaries, presenter bios, and more, so check back soon. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or sign up for our emails to get conference updates.

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