With the arrival of the New Year, we’re getting pretty excited for the Midwest Food Recovery Summit taking place in September. It’s our chance to offer Midwesterners with the education, insight and connections needed to help ensure food is used as it's meant to be - as a resource. From keynote speakers to interactive workshops, the summit will focus on all facets of food waste and its uses including source reduction, non-profit donation, feeding animals, industrial uses and compost.

So looking forward, I asked members of the event's planning committee which parts of the Midwest Food Recovery Summit they are most looking forward to and here’s what stood out:

Jennifer Trent, Iowa Waste Reduction Center, University of Northern Iowa

Networking and Learning from Those that Are Already Reducing Food Waste

“I am most looking forward to networking and meeting people who have implemented strategies that have worked in reducing food waste. The Midwest Food Recovery Summit will be the first of it's kind; a conference focusing on food waste in the midwest. The Midwest is known for its fertile productive soils and farming that produces food including corn, soybeans, livestock, vegetables, fruits, tree nuts, berries, and meat. With such a focus on agriculture and food production, the Midwest is a crucial region to promote and implement initiatives that will reduce food headed to landfills.” - Jenny Trent, Environmental Specialist and IWRC’s Food Waste and Composting Expert

Dan Nickey, Iowa Waste Reduction Center, University of Northern Iowa

Motivation to Make a Difference

“I’m really most looking forward to the Midwest Food Recovery Summit inspiring people throughout the Midwest. Overall the issues surrounding food waste really have not been talked about enough in the Midwest. I’m hoping that this event will provide the opportunity for people to understand the scale of the issue and then get motivated to make a difference throughout their local communities in and around the Midwest.” - Dan Nickey, Associate Director

Joe Bolick, Iowa Waste Reduction Center, University of Northern Iowa

Future Initiatives Sparked by the Summit

“To be honest, the most exciting part of this thing is not the three days in Des Moines, although it is going to be an absolutely phenomenal event with what we are planning. For me, I am most excited for the change that we are going to see in the weeks, months and years ahead that will be sparked by our summit.” - Joe Bolick, Communications and Public Relations Manager

Lea Hensel, Iowa Waste Reduction Center, University of Northern Iowa

Enhancing Networks for Attendees and Exhibitors

I'm really excited to provide an opportunity for everyone in the Midwest involved in the food system to have the opportunity to share what works for them and learn from others about what we can do to reduce food waste. I'm already trying to figure out how I can help manage the summit and attend as many breakout sessions as possible! Plus, as someone who has exhibited at a lot of conferences and has had less than pleasant experiences, I'm excited to develop a trade show that is very exhibitor-friendly, providing ample opportunities for networking with attendees and showcasing their services and products. - Lea Hensel, Marketing Coordinator

Jen Wittenburg, Iowa Waste Reduction Center, University of Northern Iowa

Unique and Memorable Experience

“I am looking forward to creating a unique and memorable experience for attendees. The summit is an awesome opportunity for us to motivate and educate Midwesterners about food waste. Not just the waste itself, but the varying means of reduction. I think that will open the eyes of many attendees and spark more food waste conversations.” - Jen Wittenburg, Program Manager for the Iowa Air Emissions Assistance Program 

Registration opens this month and whether you're interested in attending, exhibiting, sponsoring or just finding out more information check out Midwest Food Recovery Summit.


Mallory FeeneyAbout the Author
Mallory Feeney
PR and Communications Intern
Iowa Waste Reduction Center

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