Register Here!

9:00 am to 9:30 am Coffee and Registration

9:30 am to 10:30 am Morning Keynote Mountains Ballroom

Michelle L. Grainger, Managing Director of the Executive Farm Management Program at NC State and Leader of the Center for Innovation Management Studies

Yorm Ackuaku, Pan African, Foodie & Food Entrepreneur, Founder of esSense 13

10:45 am to 11:30 am Morning Panel Breakout

Panel 1: Redefining Food Systems Currituck Ballroom

Technology and food are becoming more and more interconnected. This panel will cover how sustainable farming practices and the supply chain use technology and science to increase yields and optimize the journey to the customer. As the global food footprint grows, we will become more reliant on technology to get fresh, safe food to the consumer.


          • Dr. Sierra Young, Assistant Professor Biological and Agricultural Engineering North Carolina State University
          • Rachel Wooten, Supply Chain and Food Safety Specialist at Seal the Seasons
          • Bart Creasman, Raleigh-Durham Market Manager at Hungry Harvest
          • Heather Barnes, Generational family farm, Marketing Specialist NCDA&CS
          • Josip Simunovic, Research Professor for the department of Food, Bioprocessing, and Nutritional Sciences at NC State

Panel 2: Culture of Food Ocracoke Ballroom

The culture of food panel illuminates the people who power the food supply chain of North Carolina. As we talk about the technology that helps to optimize our supply chain, it is also important to recognize the people and organizations that deliver our food from field to plate.


          • Alex Borst, Buyer, Happy Dirt
          • Graham Givens, Sustainability Manager, FoodBuy,
          • Tahz Walker, Farmer, Tierra Negra Farm and Program Manager and Farmer Liaison at Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA(RAFI-USA)
          • Yesenia Cuello, Executive Director, NC Field

11:45 am to 12:45 pm Late Morning Panel  Breakout

Panel 3: The Landscape of Sustainable Beverages Currituck Ballroom

How are the many industries supplying our drinks pursuing sustainability? As America’s coffee consumption grows and craft breweries continue to spring up across the country, prioritizing sustainable practices in the beverage industry not only enhances appeal but also protects our environment and the people behind the drinks we enjoy daily.


          • Anne Fitten Glenn, award-winning beer writer and beer historian
          • Leah Cooper, Sustainability Specialist at Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. 
          • Karen Jordan, NC Dairy Alliance
          • Sean Wilson, Founder and Chief Executive Optimist, Fullsteam Brewery
          • Paul Sabattus, President, Larry’s Coffee

Panel 4: Launching a Venture, Growing an Idea Ocracoke Ballroom

Talk with entrepreneurs who took the journey to starting a business in the food industry.  What were their greatest challenges and what guided them to success? How does the future of food businesses look?


          • Steve Barr, Distinguished Professor of Technology Management Technology Commercialization and Entrepreneurship Department of Management Innovation & Entrepreneurship
          • Mick Huffstutler, Business strategy consultant with a passion for entrepreneurs and startups in the FoodTech and AgTech sectors, Navicerne Group.
          • Laura Hearn, Co-Founder & CMO – Ripe Revival
          • Will Kornegay, Co-Founder & CEO – Ripe Revival
          • Shraddha Rathod, CEO & Co-founder, Freshspire
          • Moderator: Eric Hallman, Piedmont Food & Agricultural Processing Center. A world-renowned unknown, Eric Hallman has enjoyed working as a scientist, entrepreneur, non-profit exec, and elected official

12:45 am to 2:00 pm Lunch (provided) Mountains Ballroom

2:00 pm to 3:00 pm Afternoon Panel Breakout*

Panel 5: The Sustainable Future of Proteins Currituck Ballroom

In recent years varying protein options, including plant-based meat alternatives, have become commonplace on grocery store shelves around the country. What does the future hold for these protein alternatives, as well as traditional animal sourced proteins? What impact can sustainable farming practices have on protein production? And how will future protein options impact not just everyday consumers, but also suppliers? Join us to hear from industry experts as they discuss what is in store for the future of proteins


          • Leah McGrath, Registered Dietitian, Corporate Dietitian for Ingles Markets. Twitter: @InglesDietitian
          • Bill Aimutis, Director of the North Carolina Food Innovation Lab. 
          • Stephan Van Vliet, Human Physiologist and Postdoctoral Associate at the Duke Molecular Physiology Institute and the Duke Molecular Physiology Institute
          • Chad Herring, NC Farm Families, A third generation farmer, Chad raises pigs in Mt. Olive, NC with his family
          • Moderator: Tracy Triggs-Mathew, Associate Director, Center for Sustainable Enterprise, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

Panel 6: B Corps and Using Food as a Force for Good Ocracoke Ballroom

Certified B Corporations are business that have committed to being a “Business as a force for good.” Speak with some professional from B Corps in the area that are food forward. We will answer “What is a B Corp and how can it have a positive impact on the food and agriculture industry?”


          • Seth Gross, Bull City Burger and Brewery, a locally owned, independent restaurant and craft brewery located in downtown Durham, NC
          • Lyle Estill, CEO of Fair Game Beverage Co. Produce of spirits and cider located in Pittsboro, NC
          • Michael Druga, President and CEO of SinnovaTek
          • Moderator: Jessica Thomas, Director of Business Sustainability Collaborative and Lecturer, Director of the NC State B Corp Clinic

3:15 pm to 4:15 pm Afternoon Keynote Mountains Ballroom

Sandi Kronick, CEO of Happy Dirt (Formerly Eastern Carolina Organics) 

4:15 pm to 6:00 pm Networking Event 1887 Bistro

Join us for an ice cream social featuring NC States signature Howling Cow ice cream.

“Howling Cow is made right here on campus at the Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Science’s Feldmeier Dairy Processing Lab in Schaub Hall. Our traditional recipes start with fresh milk and cream from our Raleigh farm, with top-quality ingredients added to create our many delicious flavors.

Howling Cow is a tasty way to support the education of tomorrow’s dairy leaders — and our great state.”

Register Here!


*Panel topics are subject to change, if you are interested in participating please reach out to us at