More business for farmers. More good food for all. These are the paired goals of the regional Farm to Fork Summit to be held Jan. 15 in Osceola.

Registration is open now for farmers, eaters, educators, community organizations, and others interested in building local food connections in west central Missouri. Early bird tickets are $20 until Jan. 2 and then $25. Lunch and breaks at the Farm to Fork Summit will feature local foods. More information and registration available at The event is also available over Facebook at

Farm to Fork Summit organizers see opportunity in local food to strengthen both health and wealth in the region. The day-long event will explore topics like rural farmers markets, alternative farm enterprises, regional food hubs, farm-to-school, food policy, agritourism, community gardens, and more. The luncheon’s keynote speaker is John Ikerd, author of

Small Farms Are Real Farms and more. See

“We grow good, fresh food here. We need more good, fresh food locally,” said Chris Thompson, CEO of West Central Missouri Community Action Agency. “Building local food connections is a powerful way to strengthen the economy that will drive progress for our rural communities.”

West central Missouri farmers have opportunity to supply demand for fresh and local foods both in nearby cities and in their own communities, including those who need it most. The Missouri Hunger Atlas shows 34,800 residents in nine west central Missouri counties have little or no access to healthy foods. The Farm to Fork Summit aims to connect farmers, community and state agencies, along with institutions to better support local growers and communities.

Joining West Central in hosting the Farm to Fork Summit is New Growth, an affiliated regional community development corporation with offices in Osceola. Their partners include University of Missouri Extension, Healthy Nevada, Hickory County Health Department, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“Extension works to build both farm businesses and community resilience,” said Extension’s regional director Wayne Prewitt. “The Farm to Fork Summit brings these together.”