Kane bringing FoodHub experience to the White House
By Christina Williams
Editor, Sustainable Business Oregon
Deborah Kane of Ecotrust and FoodHub will represent Oregon at the White House next week.
Deborah Kane, Ecotrust's vice president for food and farms, will be at the White House next week to brief the Obama Administration on how to strengthen rural communities and promote economic growth.
Kane, who led the Ecotrust effort to launch FoodHub last year, is attending at the invitation of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and President Barack Obama's Domestic Policy Adviser Melody Barnes. She'll be one of 19 people on the invite list from 16 different states.
The roundtable discussion will inform the newly formed White House Rural Council, established with a swipe of Obama's pen on June 9. Kane and the others will also be recognized as a "Champion of Change."
Kane will talk about her experience with FoodHub, which has proven to be a successful way to connect farmers with food consumers including restaurants and institutions. She's also soliciting input via the FoodHub website on what ideas and questions she should bring to the conversation.
In an interview last week, Kane said that FoodHub was getting attention from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. "It's very popular in Washington, D.C. right now," she said.
The White House nod adds to Kane's reputation as a leading thinker on food issues. Last year, Fast Company magazine named her one of its 10 "most inspiring people in sustainable food."
Since launching last February, FoodHub, an online matchmaking service for the farm-to-table market, has grown to more than 2,000 users. In addition to farmers, the service works for livestock producers, fisherman and vinters as well.
"Our members are businesses of all sizes and shapes," Kane said.
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