On December 20, 2010, eighty-six Maryland stakeholders held a three hour community conversation at Montgomery County’s Agricultural History Farm Park where this work was begun.
It was an extraordinarily diverse gathering of stakeholders who sat down together and discussed the outline of a bold vision for a Sustainable Community Food System Initiative for Montgomery County.
The event was organized by Bruce Adams, Director of the County Executive’s Office of Community Partnerships, and by sustainable food systems consultant, Rana Koll-Mandel. The discussion was led by facilitators Michael Randel of Michael Randel Consulting and Diane Harris Cline of Over The Horizon Consulting. The stakeholders included experienced and new farmers, county government officials, nonprofit leaders, community activists, and business entrepreneurs from companies large and small.
It was determined that the appropriate next step was to create a Food Policy Council for Montgomery County. On March, 29, 2011, Jessica Weiss convened 24 stakeholders at Ricciuti's Restaurant with Rockville native Will Allen, the Father of Urban Agriculture, to establish an advisory board for the formation of the Food Council.
In May 2011, Bruce Adams, Caroline Taylor of Montgomery Countryside Alliance, and Jessica Weiss officially signed the paperwork to fund the creation of the Montgomery County Food Council. The search for the Food Council Coordinator began August 2011 and a hire was made in October 2011. The Food Council Coordinator worked with the Interim Advisory Board to design and populate the first Food Council.
The Montgomery County Food Council was officially launched in February 2012.