South by Southwest badges ain't cheap, but the festival's rapid growth has meant that plenty of brands capitalize on the number of people coming to Austin in March to host their own mini-conferences, many of which don't cost anything to attend.
Last year, Land O'Lakes -- yes, that Land O'Lakes -- hosted a multi-day activation that included panels and interactive exhibits about food and agriculture. This year, Land O'Lakes returns with The Copernicus Project, an even more fully developed program that will take place March 8 to 10 at Trinity Hall, 311 E. Fifth St.
You don't need a badge to get in, and you don't have to RSVP. To find more details about the event, go to features.landolakesinc.com/the-copernicus-project.
Here's an overview of what to expect and when:
Friday, March 8
1:30 p.m.: The Future of Society Is On Our Children's Dinner Plates with GENYOUth CEO Alexis Glick, Whole Kids Foundation executive director Nona Evans and Dr. Marina Walther-Antonio with the Mayo Clinic.
2:30 p.m.: Land O'Lakes CEO Beth Ford in conversation with Annie Granatstein of The Washington Post.
4 to 8 p.m.: Happy Hour with DJ Mel
Saturday, March 9
Noon: Does Artificial Intelligence Belong In Agriculture? CNN's Frank Sesno with The Climate Corporation chief technology officer Mark Young, Stewart Collis of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Verizon's emerging tech fellow Nick DelRegno and Joel Wipperfurth with WinField United
1:30 p.m.: "Top Chef" host Padma Lakshmi will join The Farm Project founder Jacob Pechenik and Barley Swine chef Bryce Gilmore in conversation for Food for Thought, a session from The Washington Post.
5:30 to 7 p.m.: Cocktails and Conversation, a social hour featuring the panelists and other industry leaders.
Sunday, March 10
12:30 p.m.: Saving Our Food: A Modern Take on An Ancient Practice, a conversation with Dan Stone, author of "The Food Explorer," Food & City founder Robyn Metcalfe and Bayer Crop Science's head of research and development, Bob Reiter.
2 p.m.: THRIVE X Future of Food Innovation Challenge: Agrifood entrepreneurs will share their ideas in front of a live audience and panel of esteemed judges. A grand prize will be awarded to the entrepreneur making the most significant contribution to the advancement of the future of food and agriculture.
4 to 5:30 p.m.: Cocktails and Conversation: Taste the Future of Individualized Nutrition, a social hour that "will give visitors a taste for diets of the future, allowing them to select cocktails that are connected to their personal nutrient needs."