Each year, RFC holds regional real food summits, which are larger than the leadership trainings and bring together a wide variety of real food leaders: from youth activists to union leaders to farmers and producers. RFC also hosts a National Summit, called Breaking Ground, in a different location every year. Breaking Ground 2013 will be held from February 15-18, 2013 in Baltimore, MD at Johns Hopkins University.
What can you expect from a Real Food Summit?
- Speeches from movement leaders
- Interactive workshops on topics ranging from campus community gardens to art and activism, from student co-ops to seed saving
- Panel discussions on issues such as the dynamics of the industrial food system and the potential of urban agriculture
- An opportunities fair with information on youth jobs, local food companies, and community organizations
- Field trips to local farms and real food organizations
- Connections with other activists in the real food movement
Summits are a chance for students to develop their understanding of food system dynamics and connect with the larger movement
, regardless of their past experience. Participants leave summits energized to deepen their commitment to making real food a reality
in their communities. Check out highlights from our past summits!
Highlights from Past Summits
Northeastern University; Boston, MA. Recap
Southeast: University of Georgia; Athens, GA.
Midwest: Northwestern University; Chicago, IL.
Southwest: Arizona State University; Tempe, AZ
California: UC Santa Cruz; Santa Cruz, CA.
Who: Nearly 1500 students, activists, and youth leaders in the real food movement!
The Northeast summit was a jam-packed weekend featuring huge variety of leaders in the real food movement, including Romeo Ramirez – a farmworker and organizer from Florida who has led the Coalition of Immokalee Workers’ Campaign for Fair Food – and youth activists from The Food Project in Boston and the Urban Nutrition Initiative in Philadelphia.
Alvin and Keely from The Food Project kicked off the summit’s first night.
On the summit’s final day, over 1000 students converged on the streets of Boston to call on the grocery chain Stop & Shop to pay just a penny more per pound of potatoes to ensure that all farmworkers are paid a living wage and can work in a safe environment.
Students from the Northeast marched through the streets of Boston.
FEBRUARY & MARCH 2010
- Ivy League: Yale University; New Haven, CT.
- Southeast: UNC Chapel Hill; Chapel Hill, NC. Recap.
- Midwest: Twin Cities, MN.
- Northwest: Missoula, MT. Recap.
- West Coast: UC Santa Cruz; Santa Cruz, CA. Recap.
Who: Over 600 students, activists, and food movement leaders!
In the Southeast, participants heard from author/activist Anna Lappé on the effects of our current food system on climate change and personal health, and they enjoyed delicious real food including local greens, sweet potatoes, and butternut squash from Eastern Carolina Organics and pastured pork from Cane Creek Farm.
Southeast summit attendees show their love for real food.
In the Northwest, summit attendees had the chance to participate in a variety of amazing workshops including "What is it and how are they run: Co-ops 101" and "A Chicken on a Tractor? Exploring the problems, purpose, and practices of the Whitman College Organic Garden and its Chicken Tractor Project."
Northwest summit participants tour the University of Montana PEAS Farm.
On the West Coast, 200+ students from 35+ campuses gathered for the third annual Strengthening the Roots: Food and Justice Convergence. Participants ended the weekend with a Go Live: Real Food Concert where local artists inspired the crowd with their music and engaged students in an interactive discussion about how communities can reclaim control of our food system.
The West Coast summit ended with an inspiring night of
local music and real food discussion.
- Northeast: University of Massachusetts-Amherst; Amherst, MA. Notes.
- Midwest: Maharishi University; Fairfield, IA. Recap.
- Southeast: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Recap.
- Northwest: Portland, OR.
- California: University of California, Santa Cruz.
Who: Hundreds of students, activists, farmers, and young leaders looking to learn about and connect with the real food movement.
In the Southeast, the summit organized was a collaborative effort by several groups including, Real Food Challenge, FLO (Fair, Local, Organic) Food from UNC-Chapel Hill, and Crop Mob, an organization of young farmers in Central NC. Between the many workshops, panel discussions, and break-out sessions, participants helped the Carolina Garden Co-op build new raised beds, and over 200 students and local community members gathered for an evening of real food, music, and dancing.
Southeast summit participants built raised beds with the Carolina Garden Co-op
In the Midwest, students heard from Erik Esse about the critical position of this real food movement in the long history of activism for fair, local food, and contemplated Denise O’Brien’s call to consider farming as a career after graduation.
Nearly all the students at the Midwest summit raised their hand when asked if their campuses were at most 10 miles from an industrial agribusiness cornfield.