March 7, 2019 – Despite the rain and wind that blew through Southern California yesterday, hundreds of organic supporters made their way to the National Grove of Anaheim for OFRF’s all-organic luncheon. The meal, the people, and the atmosphere make this traditional kick-off to Expo West a much-loved tradition. The event raised over $100,000 for OFRF’s research, education, and advocacy programs. We are deeply grateful to everyone who attended and to all of the supporters that made this event a success.

Legends in the organic industry mixed with the next generation of movers and shakers as they enjoyed house made chips, guacamole, and a variety of organic beverages.

OFRF’s Executive Director, Brise Tencer, joked that there had to be at least one person there that has attended every lunch since it it began 22 years ago.

Delicious as always, the meal featured 100% organic ingredients deftly prepared by chefs Chris Blobaum, Donna Prizgintas, and Beth Miller, who have been volunteering their time and spectacular culinary skills for the better part of 20 years.

As guests dug into a taco bar with everything from jicama salad and roasted corn relish to slow roasted pork with chiles and honey, they enjoyed an inspiring program featuring Brise Tencer, Allie Mentzer, Advocacy Senior Manager, at National Co+op Grocers, and Heather Darby, an organic farmer and Agronomic and Soils Specialist at the University of Vermont.

Heather inspired the crowd with the story of how transitioning to organic production saved the farm that has been in her family for seven generations. As one of the longest serving members on the OFRF board, Heather explained that she devotes so much of her time because of the work OFRF does to help farmers and the value of research and education in advancing organic agriculture. Allie echoed Heather’s sentiments as she discussed the importance of local food systems and investing in organic research. We appreciate both of our speakers for their inspiration and support.
We are extremely grateful to Albert’s Organic for coordinating logistics and making sure all of our ingredients got delivered.

We’d also like to express a special thank you to Javier Zamora of JSM Organics for the beautiful organic flower arrangements.

Thanks to the staff of the City National Grove of Anaheim for their excellent support.

Please take a moment to view all of the luncheon sponsors and in-kind product sponsors listed below. The luncheon would not be possible without their ongoing generosity!