Get a behind-the-scenes look at urban and indigenous food systems and how farmers are working to grow local food that is resilient to climate change, taps the wisdom of elders and looks at regenerative agricultural design for the future.
The Cultivate KC Annual Farmers & Friends event includes 10 speakers in this virtual program from 1 – 5 p.m. on Saturday, February 5.
The keynote speaker is Sean Sherman, founder and CEO of The Sioux Chef. Sherman is an Oglala Lakota chef focused on the revitalization and awareness of indigenous food systems. He will speak on The (R)evolution of Indigenous Food Systems of North America.
Sherman has studied Native American cuisine, farming techniques, wild food usage and harvesting, land stewardship, salt and sugar making, food preservation, hunting and fishing to bring back a sense of Native American cuisine. In 2014, he opened The Sioux Chef as a caterer and food educator to the Minneapolis/Saint Paul area. In 2015, in partnership with the Little Earth Community of United Tribes in Minneapolis, he helped design and open the Tatanka Truck food truck, which featured foods of the Dakota and Minnesota territories. He’s shared his vision of modern indigenous foods at dinners at the James Beard House in Manhattan and Milan and taught at Yale University, the Culinary Institute of America and the United Nations. He received the 2018 James Beard Award for Best American Cookbook and a 2019 James Beard Leadership Award. Sherman founded the nonprofit North American Traditional Indigenous Food Systems to make indigenous foods more accessible, and he is working to launch the first Indigenous Food Lab restaurant and training center in Minneapolis.
Breakout sessions include:
Farm Resilience and Climate Change Mitigation Strategies
Linda F. Hezel of Prairie Birthday Farm will discuss agriculture’s impact by and on greenhouse gases, the importance of regeneration farming systems and the preservation of healthy biological and ecological systems. She will share how growers of many crops at different scales can incorporate production strategies for resilience and climate change mitigation.
Race, Gentrification, and Urban Agriculture in Kansas City & Other Midwestern Cities: What the Research Tells Us
Chhaya Kolavilli’s ethnographic research in Kansas City, MO explores urban agriculture policy, food insecurity and the experiences of urban farmers looking at how race, gender and class impact the urban food system. She will share research on how gentrification and racial inequality are often enmeshed in food systems and how to increase inclusion and equity.
Good in the “Hood”
Dina Newman will share her journey to plant a seed of change in one Kansas City community and how that seed grew to transform lives and the land. As director of the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Center for Neighborhoods she works to engage, equip and empower neighborhood leaders to work towards a community culture of health.
Improving urban soils with low-cost materials
Dan Krull, Biological Services & Regenerative Agriculture Design consultant, will show how urban farmers and growers can source and use low-cost materials to improve their soil microbiome.
Managing, Reversing, Neutralizing and Contributing to Climate Change
Thomas Ruggieri of Fair Share Farm will offer his experiences in the mitigation of climate change, including the results of 20 years of soil building, the recent installation of more than 7,500 feet of berms and swales and shade cloth for summer seeding and perennial plantings.
I Am One
Gail Fuller of Fuller Farms and Great Plains Regeneration will discuss the importance of healthy soil and his journey into regenerating his farm, his community and himself.
Kansas City Indian Center’s Food Sovereignty Initiatives
Ed Smith of the Kansas City Indian Center will discuss food sovereignty initiatives being done at the Kansas City Indian Center and how the COVID pandemic spurred the community to take control of its own food system.
Collaboration and Innovation among Local Flower Farmers
Mary Dollins of The Quite Contrary Garden will share her work with other flower farmers, including Kirsten Bosnak of Blue Morning Glory, Colleen McCoole Payne of Farmstrong Flowers, Molly McCleary of Maypop Flower Farm, and Kayli Greer of Sol Flower, to collaborate and innovate on their farms.
Equity in Agriculture
Daniel Robinson of Cultivate KC and KC National Young Farmers will discuss The National Young Farmer’s Coalition work on putting together a racial equity toolkit. The kit consists of key terms, vocabulary and dozens of resources to help lay the foundation for this framework in an organization.