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Peterson sponsoring third local foods conference

After two successful local foods conferences in 2007 and 2008, Congressman Collin Peterson announced Monday that he will sponsor another, which included an interactive video session at the University of Minnesota, Morris.

The "Home Grown Economy 2010 - Equipping You to Build Community Based Food Systems" conference is at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall, on Feb. 15-16.

USDA Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsak has been invited to provide the keynote address.

To allow constituents to participate across the 35 county Seventh Congressional District, Interactive Video Sessions will be held on Feb. 16 at UMM and the following campuses: University of Minnesota, Crookston, Bemidji State University and Minnesota State Community and Technical College in Fergus Falls.

"My goal in sponsoring this conference again is to continue to explore ways in which local foods can become an economic development engine for farmers, rural communities and development organizations, and how we can all work together to meet growing market demands," Peterson said.

Ken Meter of Crossroads Research Center will present his insights on how food networks thrive and strengthen local economies. Panel presenters will provide information about what is happening at the local level and each regional site will be afforded an opportunity to discuss how they can expand upon their local community based food system.

More details will be available at