Past Events

Baltimore, MD

NESAWG 2017NESAWG's annual It Takes a Region Conference brings together farm and food systems practitioners across the 12-state Northeast region to learn, debate, collaborate, and innovate solutions to critical food systems issues. Each year, NESAWG looks at the trajectory of the food and farm movement and the role the network can play in shaping its future. The conference offers in-depth working sessions that tackle important questions about the regional food system and how to strengthen it, drawing from the collective expertise and wisdom of conference attendees.

Earlybird registration and the scholarship application period are open.

Washington, D.C.

Susty2017Don’t miss this exciting national conference in the Capitol. Hear inspiring leaders, discover innovative solutions, network with like-minded businesspeople, meet policymakers, get an insider’s view of how public policy gets made and learn how you can make a difference. Senator Bernie Sanders will speakRegister today.

Successful businesses use facts, face reality, value resources, support talent, demand results— and we expect the same from our government. 

So why is government acting as if threats to our economy will go away if we ignore them? Because the message of “what business wants” has been hijacked by irresponsible, unsustainable special interests. And too many policymakers follow them, choosing deep pockets instead of deep thinking. For the rest of America’s companies, outcomes range from costly to catastrophic.

If you’re like most business leaders, you’re pretty independent, so you may feel alone in your frustration with what’s going on these days.  But actually, you’re in good company. And you’ll experience that at SustyBiz17. 

Highlighted Session:

Strategic Reforms for Strengthening our Democracy and 
Making Government Work Better 

In an era of declining trust in major institutions, low voter turnout and excessive money in politics, sustainable business leaders must advocate for democratic processes and structural reforms. Special interest money in politics completely distorts not just our system of government – but also our economy and sense of community. A well functioning, transparent government is good for business, regardless of who controls the White House. The panel will discuss initiatives to make it easier to vote, ways to encourage bipartisanship, end gerrymandering and lower barriers to independents running for office.  


  • John Pudner, Republican campaign strategist and President of Take Back Our Republic
  • Sarah Bonk, Co-Founder, Disrupt DC
  • Bill Shireman, CEO, Future 500
  • Wendy Weisner, Brennan Center for Social Justice

Hundreds of business leaders who understand the interdependence of people, planet and profit convene at SustyBiz. It’s America’s leading forum for connecting Triple Bottom Line firms with policymakers on both sides of the aisle. Together, we explore how we can use public policy and market dynamics to build a more sustainable economy.  Because—for humanity and the planet—there’s no alternative to sustainability!

At this year’s Summit, you will:

  • Hear first-hand from some of America’s most innovative business leaders on how they manage (literally) to be both sustainable and successful in conventional terms
  • Find out how members of Congress and the Trump Administration see the issues, and what think-tank and media pundits think will happen
  • Learn how to drive positive change in Washington and your state capital 
  • Build your network of other sustainable business leaders as potential vendors, partners, advisors and friends
  • Explore the power of business and employee activism, the benefits of inclusive capitalism, the steps to achieving a high-road workplace culture, and more
  • Be part of a growing business movement for positive change.

Public policy decisions (or lack of them) already impact your life and your business. So whether your company is large or small; established or new; publicly traded, privately held or B Corps; you need to be at SustyBiz17.    

People in government say they listen to business—and you’re just the right kind of leader to make sure they do. The stakes have never been higher, so please join us at SustyBiz17, and help us give government the real message of “what business wants.”


Food Sovereignty PrizeWe are honored to be one of the two recipients of the 2017 Food Sovereignty Prize!

Live on 10/17/17 to honor grassroots organizations challenging corporate control of the food system

CONTACT: Ahna Kruzic, Director of Publications & Communications, Food First, (510) 927-5379

SEATTLE, WA – The US Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA) is pleased to announce the honorees of the ninth annual Food Sovereignty Prize: Zimbabwe Small Holder Organic Farmers’ Forum (ZIMSOFF) and the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA). The honorees will be awarded the prize on October 17, 2017, at the Food Sovereignty Prize Live ceremony, streamed online at 12PM EDST. The ceremony can be viewed by RSVPing online at

WHAT: Food Sovereignty Prize Live Ceremony honoring the Zimbabwe Small Holder Organic Farmers’ Forum (ZIMSOFF) and the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA).

WHEN: Tuesday, October 17, 12:00PM EDT 11am CDT; 10am MDT; 9am PDT


This year’s honorees were selected for their success in promoting food sovereignty, agroecology, and social justice to ensure that all people have access to fresh, nutritious food produced in harmony with the planet. Lauded as an alternative to the World Food Prize, the Food Sovereignty Prize champions real solutions to hunger and is recognized by social movements, activists, and community-based organizations around the world. This year’s honorees are tenacious in their resistance to the corporate control of our food system, including false solutions of biotechnology that damage the planet while exacerbating poverty and hunger.

Zimbabwe Smallholder Organic Farmers Forum: (ZIMSOFF), is the voice of over 10,500 peasants struggling for social justice across Zimbabwe. ZIMSOFF organizes and empowers smallholder farmers practicing sustainable agriculture to improve their livelihoods, and influences policies and public awareness on agroecology and farmers rights. They pay particular attention to the participation and leadership of rural women and youth. ZIMSOFF has a special focus on seeds, promoting seed saving, breeding of locally-adapted varieties, and farmer-to-farmer seed exchanges, including through national and southern Africa regional seed sovereignty networks.

Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance: (NAMA) is a fishermen-led organization working at the intersection of marine conservation and social, economic, and environmental justice. NAMA works to build a movement for a healthy ocean, a just seafood system, and community-based fisheries that are diverse, fair, and equitable for all. NAMA’s mission is to enhance and maintain healthy marine ecosystems by organizing a decentralized network of community-based fishermen, fishworkers, and allies, with the understanding that no one entity can solve the complex environmental-social-economic problems faced by our fishing communities and those whose lives depend on a healthy ocean.

T Wharf, Rockport, MA

sft Last Seafood Throwdown of the season is right around the corner! Join us at Rockport Harvest Fest for our season finale featuring two local chefs; Chef Ryan McGovern and Charles from Feather and Wedge go knife to knife with Chef Andrew Bettencourt from Red Skiff Restaurant in Rockport. There will be a panel of judges made up of community folks to score the chefs dishes on the Taste, the Use of the Whole Animal, Presentation and Originality.  Stop by and stay a while  and enjoy this friendly cooking competition and don’t forget to get up close and see and hear for yourself what this Guest of Honor “The Mystery Seafood” is all about! 

See you there...

Feather and Wedge

REd Skiff               red sk      rpkt


Common Ground Fairgrounds, Unity Maine


commonground fair Were Back! We are having a Seafood Throwdown at this amazing country fair in Unity Maine. Come join us and learn more about those underappreciated fish. Watch the chefs create beautiful dishes using local seafood and local produce! Experience the smells and join in on the tasting of this mystery seafood. We will be at the Country Kitchen Demo section of the Common Ground Fair, come on down and support your local fishermen, and farmers. and meet two local chefs that will be competing against each other in this friendly cooking competition; Genevieve MacDonald of Chix Who Fish will be going head to head with Chef Dede’ Sylvester of Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems.

Emcee Keith Hebert will be giving you a play by play of all the action at this Seafood Throwdown. He is a musician, a comedian, and works for The Browne Trading Company of Maine which has been in the fish and caviar trade for generations, providing the freshest fish, handcrafted smoked seafood and the finest caviar to restaurants throughout the United States. Keith just recorded a new album to be coming out in time for the holidays. Come check him out, and learn where he will be playing in near future.

The Chefs dishes will be scored by three judges: Patrick Shepard with Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries; He was raised in a fishing family, starting a fishing business with his brother Matt at 8 years old. He has a B.S. in Marine Affairs from the University of RI. Pat is the Manager of the Northeast Coastal Communities Sector, an organization of small scale hook fishermen in the groundfish fishery. If you have a question; he will have an answer.

Amanda Beal who is on the Board of NAMA and MOFGA and the Executive Director of Main Farmland Trust; she knows what’s going on in your community, if you have a question just ask her!

Paul Molyneaux of Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries is also a fishermen, he will know all about that MYSTERY FISH. Come and listen to him speak; he has first-hand encounters of what’s going on in our ocean. He has also published several critically acclaimed books on fisheries, The Doryman’s Reflection: A Fisherman’s Life; Swimming in Circles: Aquaculture and the End of Wild Oceans; and A Child’s Walk in the Wilderness.

Extra info about the Chef Dede-she is self-taught with 25 years’ experience in Food Service. She has been the Food Service Team Lead at Blue Hill Memorial Hospital for almost 10 years. She takes great pride in high quality, scratch meals. She is our humble chef, never quick to take credit and always seeking new food experiences. Dede lives in Bucksport with her husband Chris and two sons Quinn and Spencer.

Extra info about the Sous Chef; Barb earned a degree in Culinary Arts from Eastern Maine Community College. She has been in the Food Service Industry for 23 years. Barb has been at Blue Hill Memorial Hospital for 13 years, 8 years as the Food Service Director. Barb’s passion is changing the perception of hospital and institutional cooking to healthy, vibrant and healing meals. Her team has worked very hard to grow and develop a sustainable food service program. Barb lives in Blue Hill with her wife Rhonda, Son Nicholas and Daughter Ella Rose.

See You There...


eastern maine health caremccf


Copley Square, Boston
LTAF logo

Join us for two conversations at this year's Let's Talk About Food Festival:

On the main stage we'll be joining Chatham fisherman Doug Feeney, and Jared Auerbach of Boston’s seafood wholesaler Red’s Best to tell you about dogfish. Also knowns as Cape Shark, this is a local, sustainable, delicious fish and abundant in Massachusetts waters. Yet 99% of what we catch gets shipped overseas. We'll talk about what it takes to get it onto your plate, and how our fishing industry will benefit. Also on stage will be Matt Celeste, chef of the Island Creek Oyster Bar in Burlington teaching a simple dogfish recipe to make at home.

At the Endless Table we'll talk about fair prices, and the role an unjust price and monopolies play in forcing fishermen - and farmers - into a high volume/low value approach to their businesses decreasing their sustainability goals and increasing their impact on the ocean. We'll talk about the current system that is causing this problem and what you can do to shift it.


Rose Kennedy Greenway, Boston, MA-Boston Local Food Festival Seafood Throwdown

It's a Seafood Throwdown like you’ve never experienced before! Come and get a close up of your local chefs in action. Executive Chef Kevin Conner of Community Servings in Jamaica Plains will go head to head with Chef Amanda Parks Co-Founder and Fisherman of the NE Fishmongers, both creating dishes that will tantalize your senses.  

In this friendly cooking competition there will be a panel of judges from the community looking at the following criteria for scoring the Chefs dishes; Taste (10 pts), Use of the whole animal (10 pts),Presentation (5 pts), and Originality (5 pts). The Lucky Judges come from different businesses; Bing Broderick of Haley House Cafe', Jean Kerr of The Cook's Cook, Raheem Baraka of Baraka Community Wellness, Inc, and Deb Taylor Sims, East End NRZ Pop Up Market & Cafe.

As you approach the Seafood Throwdown you will hear  Spencer Montgomery our Emcee for this event giving you a play by play of all the action, he may have a little trivia up his sleeve too! Spencer  has a relationship with the Guest of Honor; the MYSTERY FISH.  He caught the Seafood himself and is happily providing it to the chefs. He works as a part-time fisherman on the F/V Finlander out of Eliot, Maine. And runs a commercial vessel that solely employs rod and reel for harvest.

So come on down and see, hear, smell, taste and even touch the Mystery Seafood that will be on display throughout the event in a large ice case!



Haley House vs   Fish Mongers 

 FSNE             URI       williams agency

Baraka   east end pop up    Haily  Cooks Cook

2161 Prospect Ave. between 181st & 182nd Street, Bronx, NY-Garden of Happiness Seafood Throwdown

Garden of Happiness SFT 2017More info coming soon...

Custom House Square, 38 Bethel St. New Bedford, MA


New Bedford SFT


@224 EcoSpace-222 Farmington Avenue, Hartford, CT

CT Food SummitJoin CT Food System Alliance for the launch of their Network! NAMA's director Niaz Dorry will be there to talk about our involvement in Food Solutions New England and why incorporating seafood in food systems matters.