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2023 Stinner Summit Report Now Available – Resulting SPARK! Project is Underway

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On November 13, 2023, more than 100 participants convened at the Happy Days Lodge in Cuyahoga Valley National Park to discuss Building Resilient and Equitable Metropolitan Food Systems. The group included farmers, extension professionals, university faculty, and individuals from food banks, farmer’s markets, and other nonprofits. Five breakout group proposals were developed during the day’s proceedings. After pitching their initial ideas, groups reorganized and used feedback to create their final project proposals, which were then voted on by all attendees.

The winning 2023 proposal is SPARK! (Share Practical Agricultural Resources and Knowledge). The project will use Stinner Endowment funds to support Stinner-style meetings in Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Columbus with leadership from existing BIPOC and/or urban farming organizations. The goals of these meetings are to strengthen networking with farms and existing urban ag initiatives in each of these three urban centers. Meeting participants will work to identify and launch localized initiatives to meet needs identified by regional participants. Local meetings are already in progress to discuss initial project ideas.

“This is the part where we step back and let community leadership take over,” says AMP director Douglas Jackson-Smith. “It’s what makes this program unique and exciting. We look forward to seeing the end results, knowing that not everyone who attended the summit will be directly involved, but the ideas and conversations from November prepared the ground.”

Read more about the Summit in our 2023 report.

Learn more about past Stinner Summit projects.