Meet Our Guest Speakers:
Beth Robinette & Joel Williamson
“When I think about ‘local food system rock-stars,’ I think of Beth.” says Rachel Williams, the Food Co-op’s board assistant, who attended Bainbridge Graduate Institute (BGI) with both Robinette and Williamson.
“Beth is one of the most passionate, intelligent, hard working and inspiring people I know working on building healthy local food systems from the ground up. I’m very excited about what she and Joel are doing with Local Inland Northwest Cooperative (LINC) Foods, and I can’t wait to have them share their successes and vision with our co-op community here in Port Townsend.”
Beth Robinette and Joel Williamson are the co-founder of LINC Foods, a co-op that distributes food from member farmers in the Spokane area to restaurants, school districts, and university food service.
Since launching in the summer of 2014, membership has grown from 13 to 28 farmers and producers. They have provided local food to all of the area school districts, and Gonzaga University Food Service is an enthusiastic customer.
Beth is a fourth-generation rancher managing Lazy R Ranch where her family uses holistic management practices to raise grass-fed beef. Joel is also an area native with roots in agriculture. They met while earning master’s degrees from Bainbridge Graduate Institute at Pinchot and decided to work together to launch LINC Foods. They recently won a $25,000 award through a business accelerator program at the University of Washington called the Jones Foster Business Accelerator for their great work with LINC.
Annual Meeting Agenda:
3-4 pm: Review of The Food Co-op in 2014 by Board President Janet Welch and General Manager Kenna Eaton, plus questions and member discussion.
4-5 pm: Keynote by guest speakers Beth Robinette and Joel Williamson, founders of LINC Foods, a new cooperative food hub in Spokane, WA, followed by an overview of our local food system by Food Co-op board member David Wayne Johnson, summarizing The State of Our Local Food System Report, prepared by The Food Co-op’s Food System Development Committee. (View PDFs here: Report Draft 5.31.15, Appendices 5.31.15).
5-6 pm: Mingle while snacking on bites of local foods, explore an online interactive map our local food system, and play “People Bingo” (perhaps win a prize!)