Community Food Systems Conference 2017

December 5 - 7, 2017 - Boston Park Plaza Hotel

Exploring the intersection of food security, social justice, and sustainable agriculture

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Conference Overview

New Entry Sustainable Farming Project's Community Food Systems Conference will address common underlying themes between food security, social justice and sustainable agriculture including obstacles in urban and rural environments and fostering community empowerment to create and sustain resilient local food systems. This conference is possible thanks to funding from the Community Food Projects grant program of USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

We will provide space for conversations around promoting, facilitating, and supporting self-reliance; breaking down barriers to racial justice; connecting communities to their food sources; and impacting communities at the local and regional level through sustainable food production.

The conference will bring together leaders in, and advocates of, food security, sustainable agriculture and social justice movements to discuss their range of perspectives, how these areas overlap, and how to support one another’s work.

We expect 500 attendees from the fields of community food security, social justice and sustainable agriculture. Estimated registration price $200 - $300. Early bird discount and scholarship opportunities will also be available.

Conference Highlights:

  • December 5th pre-conference workshop sessions, field trips and events
  • December 6th and 7th main conference workshops and activities including reception
  • Workshops and networking sessions focused on food justice, policy, best practices, experiential education, sustainability, economic development, building community, and promoting access to healthy food in underserved communities
  • Exhibit hall for leading non-profit, academic, business and government organizations in the community food field
  • Reception hosted at Boston Public Market!
  • Meals featuring locally-grown foods
  • Field trips for an experiential component to see community food systems work in action
  • Keynote and plenary sessions on food security, social justice and sustainable agriculture


Workshop presentations will span the following topics:

Community Partnerships / Farm-to-All / Food Justice / Movement Building / Social Enterprise / Policy / Measuring Impacts / Labor / Youth


Request for Proposals Deadline Ended

Thank you for your proposal submissions. The submission deadline was April 15, 2017. We are reviewing proposals and you will hear back from us by the end of June. The proposal instructions are available in this PDF document. Contact Kristen Aldrich ( with questions.



There are opportunities to support the 2017 Community Food Systems Conference! Please click here for details.

Thank you to our sponsors!


Our sponsors help to keep this conference accessible and affordable. 

For further sponsorship information, please see our Sponsorship page. Please contact Kristen Irvin with any sponsorship questions at or 978-654-6745 xt.109.



A limited number of scholarships will be available for individuals who would like to attend the conference but need financial assistance. The request for applications for scholarships will be posted when registration opens. Please check back or sign up for the conference listserv to stay connected. 

Conference Location

The conference will be taking place at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel at 50 Park Plaza Boston, MA 02116. Hotel room reservations will be available at a special group rate of $139 per night (+ tax). Click here to book your hotel room(s) at the group rate. Field trips will take place at sites in the Boston area. Specific sites and transportation logistics will be communicated in advance.