Conference Meals: Registration includes lite breakfast items (pastries, coffee, juices) on Wednesday 5/17, Thursday  5/18, Friday 5/19 from 7:30-8:30am.  A plated lunch is served on Wednesday 5/17 & Thursday 5/18 during the plenary general session.

-2017 Conference Theme:  Screening individual and families  for food insecurity in all healthcare & non-healthcare settings.

-3-Day Learning Conference:   Includes 5 general sessions and over 40 breakout learning sessions from national best practices..

-Continuing Education:  Hours will be provided for several disciplines to include registered dietitians and Texas school nutrition professionals. 


-Farmers Market University (FMU):  The nation's first national Farmers Market University, est 2016, provides continuing education to market managers and interested professionals on a variety of farmers market and related supplemental topics.

For general info about the 2016 TKOCH Conference:


​​​The Largest Healthy Communities Conference in the Southwest

Hilton Houston Post Oak

May 17-19, 2017 

Houston, Texas

General Registration is $350

Come learn about the latest and greatest on

food, nutrition, agriculture & healthy communities

Keeping Our Communities Healthy Conference

2017 Conference Highlights:

Healthy Schools (includes coordinated school health & wellness, school nutrition, farm to school and other school agricultural initiatives)

Farmers Market University (includes farmers markets and other community agricultural initiatives which promote healthy eating and food access)

Food & Nutrition (includes food education, food safety, food insecurity, food waste, food access, summer feeding and general community nutrition)

Healthy Communities
(includes the built environment; public health, wellness, parks & recreation, after school programs, community transformation and revitalization)

Farmers Market University (FMU) is a program presented by Hunger Free Texans and The Texas Department of Agriculture’s Go Texan Program offered at the Keeping Our Communities Healthy Conference.    

The FMU program provides a core curriculum of 4 breakout sessions taught by best practice farmers markets from Texas and around the nation through the FMU track at the annual Keeping Our Communities Healthy Conference (TKOCH) in May.  The core curriculum provides a foundation or refresher for agriculture entrepreneurs, farmers’ market staff or producers who may want to learn how to start, enhance or sustain a farmers market.  The track is also open to community, schools, healthcare organizations and others seeking to learn how to start a successful farmers market in their communities.  Core curriculum breakouts are provided on day one of the three-day national conference.  Attendees who complete all 4 core breakouts of the FMU track are graduates of the program and receive a certificate of completion and technical assistance for 1 year after. 

FMU 101: The Foundation of a Successful Market
This breakout will give attendees a general overview of what a successful Farmers Market will look like.  Content will include establishing a governing body, engaging community stakeholders, developing bylaws, operating rules, a mission statement and ultimately a budget and fee structure to ensure sustainability.  This breakout will also explain the process to become certified by the Texas Department of Agriculture.

FMU 102: Managing Your Market
An essential ingredient of a successful market includes a qualified market point of contact or market manager.  This breakout will explain the various responsibilities of a market point of contact or manager.  The session will also identify how to find farmers and vendors for your stand to include EBT equipment & other supply vendors.  The attendee will also learn how to price product.

FMU 103: Marketing, Stand Design & Layout
Finding the right location for a successful business is always important.  A smart design and layout to include how well you market to get the word out are also essentials to attract customers. This breakout will discuss how to successfully market your farmers market to include print and social media.  Attendees will also learn how to design a good layout for your vendors and people flow.

FMU 104: Producers Forum
This moderated breakout will provide attendees an opportunity to learn and speak directly with local producers within the state of Texas.  Attendees will have the opportunity to learn directly from producers about their needs. The producers driven content will include their expectations of market managers, the average number of farmer’s market participation, the distance producers are willing to travel, ideal market customer base, comfort level with various methods payment (cash, credit/debit, SNAP, WIC, etc.) and other producer identified points of views and needs of what they are looking for in ideal farmers market.

FMU Supplemental Breakouts:
FMU also offers supplemental breakouts on a variety of agricultural support topics.  An attendee can take any number of these breakouts that are not part of the FMU core curriculum.  Supplemental breakouts are taught by best practice organizations and offered on day 2 & 3 of the annual conference..  Supplemental breakouts may include topics on wellness, government programs, food safety, community gardens, urban farms and urban gardens, community revitalization through farmers markets and other topics. Supplemental breakouts are available for viewing starting January of each year through the TKOCH Conference Library.

Food, Nutrition, & Healthy Communities

Eventbrite - 2017 Keeping Our Communities Healthy Conference

Submit a Breakout Request for the

2017 Conference:

The New Administration's Impact on Federal Nutrition  Assistance Programs: What to Expect Over The Next 4 Years.

Learn, Grow, Eat & Go,  A Health & Nutrition Based School Gardening Curriculum & Junior Master Gardener Program. 

Mobile Farmers Markets The New Trend?

Implementing Food Safety Guidelines for Your School Garden

The Health & Community Fitness Status of America's Cities: Building Active Communities

Strategies to Reduce Food Waste in Schools

Moving Your City to a Five Star Rating: How to Measure Your Effectiveness and Move Communities to Better Health

After School Meal Programs

Implementing Food Insecurity & Social Determinants of Health Screening Strategies in Healthcare & Non-Healthcare Settings

​Creating A Healthy School: Breakfast in the Classroom, Chicken Coops, Composting, The School Garden and Culinary Kitchen. (A School Tour-Limited Seating!)

​Creating Urban Farms in High Density Housing

​Food Safety Differences Between Produce Available in Food Deserts vs. High-Income Neighborhoods

The Farm to School Movement is Your School on Board?

2016 Annual Conference Video:

Highlighted Sessions:

2017 Conference Tracks:

For "Non-Credit Card Registration" see Conference Library

About the Conference:
The national Keeping Our Communities Healthy Conference (TKOCH) is the largest healthy communities conference in Texas and Southwest U.S.  The annual event increases awareness of food, nutrition, agriculture and wellness initiatives in an effort to build a healthier community. Experts, leaders, advocates and stakeholders from the food, nutrition, agriculture, health & wellness industry come together to talk about best practices, solutions, innovative models, network and share the latest news and research on what is happening in Texas and across the nation

Be a Presenter: If your organization would like to submit a breakout request to present at the 2017 annual conference please see the Submit A Breakout Request Guidelines located in the conference library on this page.  There is a breakout presenter fee of $200 for each presenter/co-presenter. This also allows you full access to the 3-day conference and includes your conference lunch..  Your request is dependent upon breakout room availability so send it in quickly and we will get back to you within 48 hours. Once all breakout rooms are full we will no longer take requests.

Conference Meals: