The Denver chapter of the Slow Food Organization is hosting an international meat symposium and tasting fair June 4-6. Saturday’s “Slow Meat Fair” at the Auraria Campus near downtown will include free panel lectures as well as ticketed culinary workshops and tastings.

Ranch Foods Direct owner Mike Callicrate will appear on an afternoon panel to discuss “faith and food” along with a Navajo sheep herder and a Buddhist rancher, one of several educational talks that are free and open to the public throughout the day.

Looking at food from a faith-based perspective is a common theme for Mike. Late last year he traveled to Minneapolis to participate in a large conference on faith, food and the environment hosted by the National Catholic Rural Life Conference. At that event, he talked about the importance of restoring “economic fairness, equal opportunity and social justice” to the food system. In Colorado Springs, he promotes the idea that “eating is a moral act” with ethical and spiritual implications for the local community and society as a whole.

Slow Food Denver is calling the upcoming fair “a day of discovery, connecting and deliciousness” and a chance “to celebrate and experience the alternative to industrial meat through workshops, expert speakers and delicious food and drink.” It includes a book-signing featuring best-selling food writers such as Nicolette Hahn Niman, author of Righteous Porkchop and Defending Beef.

Prior to Saturday’s expo, an international symposium will bring together delegates from all over the world to hear expert presentations and to collaborate on how to improve meat production practices and generate greater food awareness. Mike will participate as a conference delegate and shares the mission of advocating for more sustainable, humanely raised meat, even if it means there’s less of it. “It’s a very important event and hosting it is a great opportunity for Colorado,” he says.

To buy tickets for any of the special events, or to learn more, visit