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Grow North is launching the first-ever Food, Ag, Ideas Week on October 8-12, 2018. The event will convene diverse perspectives and communities to create a more interconnected, dynamic and competitive ecosystem for food and agriculture entrepreneurship and innovation. Panels, speakers, startup showcases and experiences will address industry-leading topics across sustainable agriculture, food innovation and tech, and food and society.

The event theme, “The Time Is Now,” serves as a catalyst for Minnesota’s Fortune 500 companies, entrepreneurs, growers, innovators, investors and nonprofits to come together as a community to be at the forefront of a rapidly changing industry.

“The pace of change and incredible increase in entrepreneurship across food and agriculture makes this an extraordinary time to be in the industry and a critical time for Minnesota to take a leadership position,” stated Lauren Mehler Pradhan, founding managing director of Grow North, an initiative of the Carlson School of Management focused on accelerating Minnesota’s ecosystem for food and agriculture innovation and entrepreneurship. “With the number of companies and perspectives across food and agriculture, as well as our collaborative spirit, Minnesota is truly an epicenter of possibility. The time is now to bring these voices together, get involved and elevate our community.”

Events and programming will be led by Grow North as well as Techstars Farm to Fork, the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI), The Good Acre, the Maker to Market food accelerator, The Bell Museum and Finnegans. Support partners include presenting partner General Mills, lead partners Schwan’s, Lazard and Bush Foundation, and community partners the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, Lakewinds Food Co-op, the City of St. Paul, Compeer Financial, McKnight Foundation, McKinsey & Company and more.

Topics will include:

  • The future of retail
  • Hemp and building a new industry
  • The continued rise of small food brands
  • Agriculture innovation and craft beer
  • The future of farming•Innovation in Agtech
  • Re-imagining school food
  • Changing the face of food and ag in 2018
  • And more

Featured speakers come from across the state and country will include:

  • Jeff Harmening, Chairman and CEO of General Mills
  • Eric Ryan, founder of Olly and Method
  • Rachel Vegas, chief merchant of Brandless
  • Angie Bastian, founder, Angie’s BOOMCHICKAPOP
  • Pat Christie, founder and President/CEO, Conservis
  • Entrepreneur leaders from Puris, Revol, MN Craft Brewers Guild, Learn to Live, MN Farm to School, Union Kitchen, Purely Elizabeth and Farmhouse Culture
  • And many more

To learn more about Food, Ag, Ideas Week and get registered, visit the FAI website.