My, what a day!

The morning of the 7th Annual Farm to School Conference started with a lovely 20 minute walk through quiet city streets, just as the sun was coming up. The air was cool, the construction workers were on the job and the Austin architecture was amazing!
The first meeting of the day was a gathering of attendees from the southeast. I was able to put faces to all the Georgian’s whose name I’d seen on the list, and met folks from Kentucky, North Carolina, Alabama, South Carolina and Florida.
The plenary session opened with a performance by Great Promise for American Indians Drumming Group. These Austin drummers and dancers weleomed us to the conference with ancient and modern traditions. Jim Hightower, former Texas Commissioner of Agriculture, spoke with humor and purpose.
During the lunch break, I met a Food Corps service member from North Carolina. She congratulated us, Georgia, on our selection to receive Food Corps workers. Two Food Corps members will work with the Farm to School program in northeast Georgia beginning in August.
The afternoon was spent in 2 sessions, one of which discussed how food hubs and cooperatives bridge the gap between local growers and institutional buyers such as universities and school systems.
The second session was standing room only. Each presenter told how they are engaging students in the cafeteria, in the garden and even in summer camp settings.
The day continued into the evening with a reception at the global headquarters of Whole Foods Market. The one mile walk gave me time to spend time with Andrea Thomas, Habersham County’s school’s new nutritional director.  It was a lovely evening with plenty of time to catch up with new friends and continuing meeting new ones.
Walking home after dark, music poured onto the broad streets from neon lighted clubs. Good night, Austin!

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