Over 200 food producers and buyers gathered at Lane Community College for the annual Local Food Connection Conference Monday.
The Center for Meeting and Learning was buzzing with people talking about local food. Those in attendance were eager to put their products on shelves or to find someone growing a needed ingredient.
Many had attended in years past and say they keep coming back for the same reason, to network.
David Clark owns Cousin Jack’s Pasty Company in Eugene:
Clark: “ Somebody just approached and wanted to know if we could buy a bunch of rhubarb and I’m like, well, we don’t really do fruit pies, but we could do a rhubarb pie maybe. You know? You never know what comes out of these events.”
Event Coordinator Jared Pruch says he noticed a new trend creating opportunities for product sellers this year.
Pruch: “There’s a lot of buyers arriving from institutions. That would include local schools, higher education like the U of O and OSU, as well as elder care facilities who are here today to try to figure out how to procure more local food to feature in their menus.”
Pruch says food is becoming a worthwhile investment for local government.