The Future of Urban Food Systems Summit will be held Sept. 30 in Houston. The event is presented by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service; University of Houston-Downtown, the Center for Urban Agriculture and Sustainability; AgriLife Extension’s Path to the Plate; and Harris County.

Rows of vegetables inside of a fence. The blue sky has clouds and there are some trees and buildings in the distance
The Future of Urban Food Systems Summit will take place Sept. 30 in Houston. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo)
The event will run from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. at the University of Houston-Downtown, 315 N. Main St.

Participants may register at If registered by Aug. 15, the cost is $40, or $15 for students. After that date, registration is $50 or $25, respectively.

“Food deserts and food insecurity are big issues for Harris and other urban counties across the state and country,” said Paul Winski, AgriLife Extension commercial horticulture agent, Harris County.

“The summit will help not only urban ag producers but also policymakers understand some of these challenges and how they can utilize new ideas and practices to attack the issue,” he said. “The program will address topics that are relevant to the here and now and allow attendees to leave the summit with a renewed motivation to help fix the problem.”

Urban food summit agenda
Patrick Stover, Ph.D., director of the Texas A&M AgriLife Institute for Advancing Health Through Agriculture, Bryan-College Station, will be a guest speaker.

“We are excited to have Dr. Stover speak from the Institute for Advancing Health Through Agriculture,” Winski said. “Understanding the vision of how the institute will address some the issues in an urban setting will help shed new light on the problems urban counties face.”

Other topics and speakers will be:

Gardening for Health — Joe Novak, Ph.D., director of the Betty and Jacob Friedman Holistic Garden, Rice University, Houston.
Certified Organic: What Is It and Its Value — Bob Whitney, Ph.D., AgriLife Extension organic crop specialist, Stephenville.
Enhancing the Purpose of Food – Stover.
Wicked Problems Lunch Topics — participants will informally discuss an urban food topic over lunch at their tables.
Innovation in Urban Ag Panel — Brenda Anderson Koch, owner, VegOut! Farms, Brookshire; Sara Wilson, owner, Three Sister Farms, Tomball; and Cath Conlon, founder and CEO, Blackwood Educational Land Institute/The Skyfarm at POST Houston.

Susan Himes
Susan Himes is a writer and media relations specialist for Texas A&M AgriLife. She writes news releases and features from science-based information generated by the agency. She also covers human interest stories and events across the state.