Networking Night June

Meet Fearless Farmers & Leaders in Farming!

Monday, Jun 12, 2017 5:30 - 7:30 PM
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From the center of the natural products industry comes Naturally Boulder’s Networking Night!


June 12, 5:30-7:30 PM
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Vital Root restaurant (3915 Tennyson St, Denver)

Please use street / metered parking.
Coming from Boulder? Consider carpooling with other Naturally Boulder folks!


Naturally Boulder’s Networking Nights are THE place to meet, connect and collaborate with 150-200 of the most passionate, pioneering leaders and companies in the Colorado natural products community.

June’s Theme:

Networking Night + Meet Fearless Farmers & Leaders in Farming!

With farmer’s market season in full swing, now is the time for us to recognize the courageous farmers and leaders in our community who work tirelessly day in and day out to cultivate, nurture and sustain agriculture that promotes human and planet health in our local community and beyond. Come learn, get inspired and join us in celebrating the start of summer!

Learn from the Experts

June NN speakers

  • Brian Coppom, Executive Director of the Boulder County Farmers Markets
  • Cassidy Tawse, Southwest Organizer for the National Young Farmers Coalition
  • Meg Caley, Director of Farming Operations and Education for Sprout City Farms
  • Chef Eric Skokan, Black Cat Farm & Bistro
  • Marcus McCauley, Farm Manager – McCauley Family Farms, LLC

Members: FREE Non-members: $10

About The Presenters

Brian Coppom, Executive Director of the Boulder County Farmers Markets, came to the organization weary of the mission of profit-and-me-first. He has wholeheartedly applied his previous business experience to the nonprofit mission of promoting local growers and supporting the connections with their community. The combination of his amazing staff and Brian’s passion for the importance of reconnecting communities with their farmers and ranchers has led to increased growth in BCFM’s existing markets, the successful launch of its fourth market, a three-year trend of increasing farm sales, new collaborations, and an uptick in the organization’s recognition including Boulder Business of the Year for 2016, being the first nonprofit in the history of Colorado Biz Magazine to earn the magazine’s recognition as CEO of the Year (2015), and the pleasure of representing BCFM as a TEDx Boulder speaker advocating for connection to local food. Best of all, Brian’s kids eat copious amounts of fresh fruits and vegetables and love it.

Cassidy Tawse-Garcia is the Southwest Organizer for the National Young Farmers Coalition, a national advocacy organization working to build a sustainable future for American agriculture. Before joining NYFC, Cassidy worked for New Era Colorado, a progressive non-partisan, non-profit that works to engage young people in the democracy. Prior, she worked in communications in the natural products industry and environmental advocacy for water and land use in the American West. Cassidy holds a Masters in Environmental Management from Western State Colorado University and BA in Mass Communications and Political Science from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her graduate work focused on better understanding how the immigrant community of the Western Slope of Colorado engages with the food system. Cassidy grew up on an organic farm outside of Boulder, Colo.

Meg Caley has a passion for bringing people together in the field and around the table, growing food and community simultaneously. She has been working on a variety of farms since graduating college in 2005, has experience as a classroom and outdoor educator, and loves helping children and adults alike discover their new favorite vegetable. Meg has enjoyed her work in Colorado so far on various agriculture projects including Produce Denver, DeLaney Community Farm, Berry Patch Farms, Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy, and ever the cheese nerd, as a cheesemonger and teacher of cheese-making classes at The Truffle Cheese Shop and Denver Botanic Gardens. She also sits on the advisory boards of CSU’s Building Farmers Program and DBG’s Front Range Beginning Farmers Conference, and is on the leadership committee of the Mile-High Farmers, a co-chapter of Rocky Mountain Farmers Union and National Young Farmers Coalition. Meg is thrilled to be developing Sprout City Farms to work towards a thriving local food system in the Denver area: sprouting city farms, rooting city farmers, and reconnecting folks to the land and food that sustain them.

Chef Eric Skokan is the most ambitious farm-to-table restaurateur in America, growing most of the food for his two restaurants on 130 acres in Boulder County, Colorado. Eric, a Virginia native, got the cooking bug while working in Charlottesville kitchens as an undergraduate at the University of Virginia. After graduating, Eric worked in restaurants in Washington, DC, San Francisco and mountain resorts in Colorado before moving to Boulder and opening his first restaurant, Black Cat Bistro, in 2006. Shortly after opening Black Cat, an exquisite fine-dining destination in downtown Boulder, Eric began experimenting with gardening, growing the garnishes for his restaurant’s dishes. The small-scale, backyard gardening soon became a passion, expanding from a plot in the yard to an acre of vegetables to the current operation, which grows 250 varieties of vegetables, grains and legumes and raises sheep, heritage pigs, chickens, geese and more. The livestock operation involves a Turkish breed of guard dog called an akbash which protects the herd of more than 100 sheep and the chickens. In 2012, Eric opened Bramble & Hare, located next door to Black Cat Bistro. Bramble & Hare is a convivial restaurant with a lively bar and a charming farmhouse decor. Like Black Cat Bistro, the restaurant draws inspiration from the fields. The menus at both restaurants change every night, truly reflecting seasonality like few other restaurants in America. As a farm-to-table restaurateur in Colorado, Eric has spent a lot of time figuring out what grows well (and what does not) in Boulder, Colorado, where winter temperatures can dip to -20 degrees, where the soil does not always cooperate and where drought always threatens. Now, he grows everything from tomatoes to a wide variety of Asian greens to cardoons, lentils, black chickpeas, farro, corn for polenta, quinoa, cabbage, turnips, Styrian pumpkins, cilantro and much more. The long winters forced Eric to experiment with preservation techniques, including canning (the restaurant makes gallons upon gallons of tomato sauce every fall), drying, freezing and fermenting. Among other things, the restaurant team makes its own charcuterie for the restaurant, curing pig bellies and legs, lamb shanks and more. Eric works closely with August Escoffier School of Culinary Arts in Boulder, which every year sends students to learn about farm-to-table techniques on Black Cat Farm. In 2014, Kyle Books published Eric’s book “Farm Fork Food: A Year of Spectacular Recipes Inspired by Black Cat Farm.” The book was named a finalist for best American cookbook of the year (one of three finalists) by the prestigious International Association of Culinary Professionals annual book awards. In 2017, Eric was a semi-finalist for a James Beard Award. Eric lives on three acres in a farmhouse in Boulder County with his wife, Jill, four children and a whole lot of animals.

Marcus McCauley is the Farm Manager of McCauley Family Farms and the founder of Foremother Foods. The farm is co-evolving into a whole-farm system, with holistic animal, plant, insect, microbial and human systems. The food business focuses on preserving the local harvest, primarily through fermentation. He is inspired to heal people and planet with delicious food, and he feels grateful and excited to be a part of a growing sustainable food system movement.

Vital Root Restaurant (3915 Tennyson St, Denver)

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