Local First Arizona Foundation is woven throughout many agricultural programs in Arizona.
We organize events, partner with higher education, and work with the USDA to improve systems supporting healthy and sustainable foods in Arizona. Stay in touch with our programs by receiving our Local Foods Newsletters.
Good Food Finder AZ is Arizona’s largest and most comprehensive local foods directory. This interactive site allows families and institutional food buyers alike to learn about and connect with Arizona’s local food providers in order to shorten food supply chains, improve access to local, healthy foods, and strengthen community resilience to create a healthier, sustainable food system in Arizona. In addition to connecting consumers to local food producers, Good Food Finder AZ also serves as an educational tool for Arizonans interested in learning about what’s fresh and in-season, or how sustainability is impacted by our food choices. Good Food Finder AZ’s mission is to: Promote locally-produced and processed foods; Stimulate food-based community economic development in Arizona; Foster new opportunities for Arizona farmers, ranchers and food crafters; Cultivate healthy eating habits and educated, empowered families; Expand access to affordable, fresh and local food; and Demonstrate the connection between food, health, community and the environment. Visit: goodfoodfinderaz.com
May 18 & 19, 2017 ENR2 Building | University of Arizona 1064 E Lowell Street | Tucson The Arizona Food and Farm Finance Forum is an annual opportunity for those involved in and contributing to Arizona’s local food system to gather, network, learn, and develop new skill sets. The 2017 forum features nationally-acclaimed speakers with experience in farming, food system development, local food marketing and building local and living economies, and bridges the gap between farmers, local food entrepreneurs and potential investment and/or access to capital. Bringing together food producers, food system advocates, policy makers, and funders to grow the capacity of Arizona food producers and entrepreneurs, it forges alliances and partnerships that build collaboration around healthy local food systems, and cultivates healthy eating habits that demonstrate the connection between food, health, community and the environment. View 2017 Programming Buy Tickets Who Should Attend The 2017 Forum is intended for folks from across Arizona, and all are welcome. The workshops are targeted at: Arizona growers & farmers New and budding food entrepreneurs Food Distributors & Farmers Market managers Food Industry Professionals with the desire to connect with the needs of local food production Any community member who is dedicated to community food system development The Venue The forum is being held the Environment and Natural Resources 2 (ENR2) building, a state-of-the-art new space for solving some of the world’s most urgent environmental issues at the University of Arizona. Located at 1964 E Lowell Street in Tucson. Read more about the facilities here. Parking is conveniently located immediately next to ENR2 in the Sixth Street Garage (campus map). Our Meals A special menu is being prepared by Chef Michael Omo of Arizona Catering Company. Chef Omo’s talents and culinary interpretations of “sophisticated dining that is accessible to everyone” have garnered attention to his philosophy that “simplicity is the art of perfection.” He has a flair for creating innovative conceptual menus that reflect his goal of accessibility. Michael puts his visions into practice by buying the very best product available and employing innovative cooking techniques to create his food with a detail-driven style. Michael has moved from Chef to Executive Chef Positions with leading hotels such as Peninsula Hotels, Shutters on
The Arizona Farmer+Chef Connection brings together local food producers prepared to transact at a wholesale level and introduces them to wholesale food buyers at restaurants, hotels, etc. from across the state. Farmer+Chef is the state’s only event of its kind, aimed at building wholesale food networks at the local level. The cornerstone of the event is the Suppliers’ Marketplace, a vendor fair exclusively showcasing Arizona food producers and distributors, followed by a reception featuring local food, beer, wine, and spirits. The 2017 Farmer+Chef connection has now ended. Please stay tuned to our newsletter for dates and locations for next year and to look forward to our next food event, the Food and Farm Finance Forum. The industry-focused event is aimed at building wholesale food networks at the local level. The cornerstone of the event is the Suppliers’ Marketplace, a vendor fair exclusively featuring Arizona food producers and distributors. Buyers will meet local purveyors of quality dairy, meats, produce, baked goods and other value-added products, and much more! Complementing the event is an end of day reception featuring Arizona food, beer, wine, and spirits. Who should attend: Arizona Farmers and Food Producers prepared to transact at a wholesale level Chefs, Restaurant Owners and Management Hotels and Catering Businesses Hospitals, Senior and Human Service Institutions, Health and Wellness Centers Education and Government Food Service Procurement Purchasers and Managers for grocery stores and markets Any entrepreneur, food service professional, or member of the public that is dedicated to building a better community, environment and economy through local food supply chains NEW THIS YEAR Now held on Monday to better suit food and hospitality industries Located in northern Arizona for the first time to celebrate the region’s growth in food and beverage production and culinary The Marketplace and Reception are the sole focus this year, allowing for both business showcase and casual networking 2016 HIGHLIGHTS Over 400 people attended Roughly 200 attendees represented farmers and food producers 8 food categories featured 50% of attendees in 2016 were buyers, representing purchasers of all sizes and types (Pizzeria Bianco, Welcome Hospitality, Mama’s Hawaiian Bar-B-Cue, The Carriage House, The Art Institutes, Shamrock Foods, Fry’s Grocery Stores, Panda Express and more. Read the 2016 Recap! Thank you to our 2017 sponsors!
The Devoured Culinary Classic is the region’s premier week long annual culinary celebration hosted by Devour Phoenix, and Local First Arizona at several distinct venues in Phoenix, AZ. The goal of the events are to showcase celebrity culinary talent, the fine food and drink producers and purveyors of Arizona while furthering metro Phoenix as a dining destination worthy of international prestige. The Devoured Culinary Classic features culinary curators and purveyors who support the Arizona food, wine and restaurant industries. Attendees will have the chance to partake in innovative culinary demonstrations, meet top chefs and restaurateurs as well as taste an enormous array of culinary excellence from the region’s best chefs, restaurants, local food artisans, brewers, and vintners. The Devoured Culinary Classic is founded on the idea that food can bring people together. As James Beard once said, “food is common ground for all people, a universal experience.” Visit: devouredphoenix.com
Local First Arizona Foundation proudly supports the efforts of the Farm to School (F2S) Movement in Arizona. LFA is committed to getting more local, healthy and fresh foods into Arizona’s School Lunch Program; it’s a win-win for the Arizona economy, our local businesses, and the health of our future leaders. To foster Farm to School initiatives, LFA has partnered with a coalition of like-minded organizations and sits on the Arizona Farm to School Advisory Council, supporting initiatives through an array of event coordination, promotion and advisory roles.
Local First Arizona and Junior Achievement of Arizona are proud to partner on a Farmers Market in JA BizTownTM, the simulated town in which 5th and 6th grade students learn about the free enterprise system. The Local First Arizona Farmers Market simulation helps shape the next generation of local entrepreneurs while simultaneously teaching over ten thousand students, teachers, and parent volunteers each year about how the nutritional choices they make today can impact their health and environment tomorrow.