The Real Food Real Local Institute, ACEnet and the Athens County Convention and Visitors Bureau are excited to announce our fourth annual Real Food Real Local conference. This yearly event brings together local food economy champions, experts, economic development professionals, grant-makers and agencies from across the country to share their stories, models and knowledge of reinventing local food and farm economies. Whether you are a farmer, processor, involved with farmers markets or retail markets, a food entrepreneur, advocate or consumer—this four day event will invigorate you with fresh ideas, proven approaches, great connections, and plenty of interaction and fun. Come prepared to learn, share and network.

This year conference partners are offering a half day pre-conference at ACEnet’s Food Center on Monday, July 13th from noon to five. The Tuesday and Wednesday conference sessions are returning to last year’s wonderful venue, Eclipse Company Store in The Plains, just a few miles from Athens Ohio off of Route 33. Want to see what’s happening in Southeast Ohio’s food system? On Thursday, we will host an all-day local food tour of farms, processors, food hubs, wineries, craft breweries and food retailers. The June 16th tour can be reserved for separately, but seats are limited. This year’s conference is timed in conjunction with the 10th Annual Ohio Brew Week.  As part of the conference we suggest that attendees participate in Ohio Brew Week evening events at Uptown Athens bars and eateries.

The Keynote Plenary Session will be held on Wednesday, July 15 at the Eclipse Company Story. Entitled “Pollinator Enterprises: A New, Cost-Effective Approach to Economic Development”, the session will be lead by leading economist Michael Shuman. He will be discussion his latest book, The Local Economy Solution, and discussing ways to attract and retain businesses through a system of local polinators. For those wishing to attend just the keynote presentation lunch, the cost is $25/pp.

Come for one day or all four. Our conference registration options are extremely flexible. Funding from the USDA Local Food Promotion Program has allowed us to make scholarships and registration discounts available for individuals or groups. July is a beautiful time to visit Southeast Ohio!

Check out the 4 day schedule HERE!!

For tickets & registration, visit the Real Food* Real Local registration page!

For more info on registration discounts, call Leslie at 740-592-3854, ext. 115.

Check out this year’s conference program HERE!!

Need directions?

Take 33 East from Columbus (69.2 miles)
Make a RIGHT onto Co. Rd. 7 in The Plains (The 2nd exit for The Plains, you can see The Athens Messenger building on the hill on your right by the exit. If you hit the Columbus Road exit you’ve gone too far.) Drive .2 miles & turn Left onto Jackson Drive (You’ll see the signs for Eclipse & Kiser’s BBQ) Snag a parking spot & come inside!

Coming from the South it’d be:

Take 33 West
Tune LEFT & cross traffic onto Co. Rd. 7 in The Plains (Is the first road on the left after the Columbus Road exit, has a long turning lane leading up to it; you can see The Athens Messenger building on the hill on your left by the exit.) Drive .2 miles & turn left onto Jackson Drive (You’ll see the signs for Eclipse & Kiser’s BBQ) Snag a parking spot & come inside!

Click Here for County Road 7 to Eclipse Company Store/Event Space — Google Maps