Dec 8th, 1:30-4:30pm, 118 in attandance
Cabarrus Arena, directions: http://www.cabarrusarena.com
What are the inhibitors & facilitators to building a local, sustainable food system?
- Professional services that understand agriculture & farmers
- attorneys, accountants, bankers, etc…
- Food system businesses & liaisons (4)
- Brokers to deal with small quantities
- Logistics & distribution
- Connections between growers & institutional buyers
- Central organizing entities (2)
- agricultural chamber of commerce
- Physical facilities for food processing, packaging, cooking & storage (5)
- Community kitchens
- Animal slaughter
- Cold Storage
- Credit & financial support (e.g., insurance, start-up loans) (4)
- Farmer cooperatives (3)
- Independent nature of farmers
- Local labeling (5)
- State identification of local
- Lack of credibility with existing retail labeling efforts – need a definition
- Source labeling “face on the food”
- Local Meat & Dairy (3)
- Venison supply chain & market
- CSAs-they are all booked (2)
- Connections between consumers & farmers – not enough (3)
- Societal/Cultural Values (3)
- Food production is devalued as a profession
- Food is not worth spending money on vs. other interests
- Food quality is considered less important than price
- Farmers – not enough (12)
- Cost of entry into farming as a profession
- Land prices
- Equipment & inputs
- Lack of interest/appeal to next generation
- Hard work with no benefits
- Rural brain drain
- Farming vegetables isn’t ‘sexy”
- Lack of profitability
- Production costs are too high
- Access to markets/supply chain broken (5)
- Distance between supplier to market
- Lack of relationship between growers & retail, restaurant buyers
- Restaurants & institutions focus only on price
- Imported foods
- GAP audit process (2)
- Consumer Awareness / Public Perceptions (8)
- Lack of understanding of seasonality & cooking
- Cultural limitations (diet & negative connotations)
- Lack of understanding & ability to identify local foods
- Where to buy local foods?
- Expect low prices and all-year availability of produce
- Understanding food situation (e.g., age of most of farmers)
- Farming is no longer a full time profession
- Focus message on “food production” rather than “farming”
- Consumer Convenience (5)
- Limited hours at farmers markets
- Convenience of / access to fast food
- Work 50 hrs/week; no time to cook
- Youth Education (3)
- Lack of support for youth development (4-H)
- Appeal to next generation
- Lack of education in Highschools & Colleges
- Lack of cultural activities for young farmers in rural areas
- Farmer’s Markets (3)
- Limited foot traffic
- Assumption that they only exist in the summer
- New markets need new producers
- Fewer “mom & pop” restaurants
- Media Coverage (2)
- Not enough advocacy in the press
- Affordability of Local Food
- Need WIC/bus access
- Dominance of existing agribusiness model (5)
- Fundamental economies of scale
- Industrial model
- “Cheap Food Policy”
- Regulations that support big ag & centralized production & processing
- Limited profitability of urban farms
- Lack of enforcement of environmental laws (e.g., Jordan Lake rules)
- Urban sprawl & development pressure (5)
- Annexation laws
- Lack of walkability to local food markets
- Lack of land use planning to support sustainable food production
- Local laws & regulations (2)
- HOA don’t like gardens, chickens, compost
- Nuisance laws
- Artists can help depict farming & ag landscapes positively
- High fuel prices
- City & County Support
o county-wide enforcement of soil & water regs
o support for local markets
o Right to Farm laws
- Federal support
o Direct marketing
- Community building
o Emergency foods extending to community gardens
- Gardens (3)
o Interest in grow your own
- Farm to School (5)
o Gardens in schools
o School lunch program
- Support for educational infrastructure (4)
o Extension service
o Community education about benefits of local foods
o Increased awareness of what is available
o Sustainable agriculture in community colleges
- Dehydrating & canning
- Restaurants promoting local & organic foods
o Johnson & Wales University
- Local media
o RAFI grants
- Consumer demand & public interest (7)
o Local, national food movement
o Appreciation of taste, heirloom varieties
o Person-to-person contact
o Food scares
o Farmers are interested!
- Use of internet to open up new markets
- Grower Support (3)
o Grower schools, internships
o Growers Networks
- Linking older & younger farmers
- Farm preservation
o Land development that retains farming activities
- Direct sales through institutions – churches, schools, hospitals
- Food security
- Educational initiatives (3)
o Change curriculum standards
o Museums & information educational organizations
“Game Changer” Solutions/Ideas for Moving Forward
The following ideas were identified as “game changers” – big ideas that are meaningful, impactful and doable in a 2 year time frame:
Regulatory Relief for Small Producers
Policies need to be scaled to the size of the producer; barrier to entry!
Regulations-poultry processing on the farm is too limited; feds let you do 20,000; NC state law is a barrier.
Transportation Tax-taxes on food that represent food miles traveled; create economic incentive for local food; the further your food travels, the higher the tax you pay; tax revenue is deposited into fund that supports sustainable agriculture & local food systems development.
Local Restaurants–financial incentives to restaurants who use local food; they get a break on their taxes; also incorporate a rating system (add a star to the 5 star system) that rewards restaurants for sourcing locally.
Local Foods = Green Jobs; connect to the Obama transition team and administration and emphasize that local food systems are economic development & new jobs!
Involve the County Commissioners in the March Summit!!!
Solutions/Ideas for Moving Forward – Diverse Partnerships
Slow Food & Future Farmers of America; overcome Monsanto’s interests
4-H club-start here to create grassroots effort in public schools
Cooperative Extension partner more with:
Local schools to plant gardens
Faith-based partnerships involving community gardens and CSAs; “Church-Supported Agriculture.”
Extension engages churches across the state to increase awareness of local, seasonal foods & their importance in terms of nutrition and taking care of our poorest citizens.
Investigate model of Morman Church re: emergency food supplies, Red Cross, Salvation Army, etc…
New school organizations focused on Slow Food
Grower alliances to network & leverage resources
Build partnerships with local Chambers of Commerce.
Formulate & fund local food policy councils.
Partner with civic groups to help sponsor markets.
Create business models that can be used to educate potential entrepreneurs.
Better partnerships with developers;
Partner with hospitals to host markets.
Create Agricultural Chamber of Commerce for farmers, lending organizations, county commissioners, restaurants.
Partner with community organizations like SEEDS in Durham.
Education / Farm to School
Community college classes with local farmers (2)
Gardens in all public schools – Cooperative Extension can help
Grower schools – more of them
Greenhouses in public schools which are not open in the summer.
Edible school yards everywhere (3)
Farm to school contracts between farmers & schools; creates guaranteed constant market for portion of production; could decrease cost of food and create tax base; need a food cooperative to coordinate (2).
Give schools “state credit” for purchasing local.
Direct Marketing/Farmers Markets
Gift certificate programs
Give preference to local at all state markets
Work with public transportation for access to markets
Better WIC access
Establish hours for market that are permanent
Promote more “food clubs” (2)
Counties / State
County & state funded institutional purchasing should be local foods (3)
Lift state regulations on using local food in cafeterias to start restoring school kitchens.
Use state and or county and/or city owned property for growing food (4)
Include farms in “greenway” planning & use of open space
Consider how policies effect & support small urban operations as well as rural.
Make land available for incubator farms; create incentives for landowners.
Land use planning should be done on a regional (not county) basis / scope; target a percentage of land that should be preserved for food production.
Statewide all local day at all state institutions (including schools).
Invite county commissioners, environmental leaders & city councils to March Summit.
Financial support for local farmers markets.
Create Agricultural Development Coordinators at the county level
Pediatricians need to become advocates & educators
Continuing education for nurses & doctors
Nutrition classes to new parents (along with lactation & birthing classes)
NC Department of Health focused on school garden projects
No Child Left Inside – being on a farm is time outside, gardening is time outside
Meet families where they spend their leisure time
Reduce minimum size of agricultural land (10 acres) which qualifies for agricultural tax abatement, to allow for/encourage part time food production (2)
Level the “subsidy playing field” (make sure small food producers are eligible for same incentive treatment as large producers).
Scale-appropriate regulation (e.g., poultry situation).
State tax credits / subsidies for small farmers (4)
Incentives for diversified production systems that utilize livestock waste for crop production
Incentives for organic producers and grain producers who sustain local livestock producers
Impact fee-whenever there is development or annexation of farmland, charge an impact fee which would be paid into a general Farmland Preservation Fund; fees to be paid by developer to be used to preserve farmland statewide (2)
Suspend estate (inheritance) taxes for farms to keep them in families.
Help provide organizational support for farmers to have a voice in legislature & policy building.
Increase protection from “eminent domain” Voluntary Agricultural Districts (VAD) do not provide adequate protection.
Present use value of farmland has ceiling but no floor; available opportunity to cut farmers’ taxes to a low level.
Tax breaks to restaurants who use local food
Remove state rules that prohibit use of local/on-site food in public schools.
Tax on foods depending on how far they travel from production to sale.
Soil Quality (3) –
Create a program for “transferable” fertility credits.
Preservation of high quality soils for agricultural use.
Improve soil quality; protect NC’s topsoil; focus on how we can “produce” soil through such practices as composting; requires educational shift form “conventional” to “conservation.”
Regulations to support environmentally friendly sound management of waste streams;
Create or enable value-added processing facilities for small independent producers.
Defray cost of 3rd party audit & accreditation and insurance
Promote knowledge & experience of growing practices OVER accreditation and fear-based policies.
Website with all approved farms, products grown, seasonality & contact information.
County-funded cold storage facilities (2)
Mobile animal processing (3)
Small scale fixed facilities (3).
Create inspected slaughter plant for deer to feed everyone, not just hunters.
Create more ECOs.
Focus research on season extension strategies
Remove barriers to shelter growing
Inventory of available land and what is good for agriculture & programs to save it (2)
Statewide food assessment-where ar the markets, producers, processing plants, grain processing, transportation & distribution.
Create labeling system for NC producers to facilitate branding & marketing
Organized identification of local food at markets & restaurants
Require labeling and demand preferred location for local.
Use existing outlets to increase consumer education; grower profiles, features in local news, bundle with weather report & include pictures, make media efforts age appropriate, utilize internet; maybe work with Cooperative Extension
Dispel myths about “ignorant farmers” utilize field days, farm tours, internships, media coverage, FFA, 4-H, make farming a profession to be revered and aspired to.
Educational programs / farm tours for county commissioners & public policy makers.
Focus statewide media campaign on value of agricultural land for agritourism, food production, cooking & eating NC foods, etc…(study campaigns like this in other states.)
Focus on the real cost of food.
Create a reward for the “farmer” of the year to reward innovation in local food.
Utilize local government channels to publicize local food availability.
Educate consumers about current food system & need for local, sustainable.
Support for New & Transitioning Farmers
Connect farmers with landowners—Need a program to match up young farmers with “absentee” land holders; list or repository of farmers that want to buy/lease land that becomes available so it can be kept as a farm;
Craig’s List” to act as a clearing house for equipment, resources and information clearinghouse for farmers; NCDA could be a central location to provide resources for farmers/prospective farmers (2)
Cost share with county extension for large pieces of equipment that could be shared in the community.
Attention to the issues of middle-sized farms.
Programs to assess farms for energy uses & alternatives to current energy uses & a solution program (2).
Reevaluation of tax codes/incentives for farmland uses, ordinances, zoning, etc…
“Farm Corps” model of reimagining 4-H perception and outlet for school education.
Incubator farms with direct sales to schools, churches, non-traditional locales.
Encourage diversity among farmers; connect with Latino & other culturally diverse farmers.
Incubator projects – address land prices being too high to get started.
Ban GMOs-farmers need to be able to save their own seeds & not worry about cross pollination or the threat of being sued by Monsanto.
Victory garden approach (2)
Strategic placement of community gardens
Expand Parks & Rec community garden programs (2)
Find a model HOA that will change their policies to support gardens; planned communities with agricultural emphasis.
Incentives for folks who grow foods & use cisterns for their home & community gardens
Extension & community college support for “side businesses”; urban gardeners and others who may not intend to become full-time farmes but who wish to grow for a CSA or farmers’ market or specialty products.
Use of stormwater for irrigation of community gardens.
New development should include schools, small farmland, retail and related industries including rainwater harvesting, solar & wind power, etc…
Coalition in support of farm labor.
Grow More Farms
Know Your Farms, Christy Shi
-food buying club
-distribution for local farms
Farm to Table
Building community support and recognition of local farms
Local public services in agriculture areas to reduce housing pressure
Incubator Farm Atondo Road, Cabbarrus
Grow More Farms & Farmers HOW?
-land for farming is very scarce in this area
-emphasize alternative farming i.e. fish, green house veggies, mushrooms
-make grant money available to would be farmers for land
-create new ways to produce food in existing facilities
Landis Gourmet Mushrooms
Mushrooms in Old Cotton Mills
Farmer to Farmer Program
1. Cooperative Extension
2. Chatham County Farmers
3. Carrboro Farmer’s Market
Extension Field Days and programming
Demonstrate new methods of processing crops statewide
Town of Davidson
Environmental sustainability study group designing recommendations for local food including creation of healthy leases for new farmers, Christy Shi
Cabarrus County Coop Ext
1/4 to ½ acre plate to experiment with production to determine if they want to pursue a farm venture
Farmland Preservation Program
“Putting Small Acreage to Work” – educational workshops for small gardener
Lara Warden, Gaston County Extension Agent, 922-2118
Grow cities up not out
City planners involved in vision for farming
Local farms/access report of city planning
Marilyn Marks,SOSAWACD, End Hunger.org
FFA & 4-H
Connect interested kids with farmers
Connect to youth resources to make connections to farming
Vol. Ag. Dist.
Lard Preservation through land use planning
Farm Incubator in Cabarrus County
Farmland Preservation Ordinance
Webinar – Farm Incubator Seminar (CFSA)
Solution: market to “fringe” not choir
i.e. market to people who are interested but not yet engaged
Monthly meeting, 2nd Thursday 8:45 – 9:10 meeting, Friendship Trace
Nutrition Coalition Meetings
Central Clearing House with information classifieds
Direct sales through churches, schools (religious) hospitals and other institutions
Eating our local foods
Spend money locally
Incubator Farm Program
Bryan Green, Orange County; Cabarrus
Farm Incubator Program
Carolina Farm Stewardship Internships
Warren Wilson NCSU
Central Carolina U
Catawba Land Conservancy
NC Farmland Trust Fund
Strong & Diverse
Lack of Distribution
Community Kitchens, canners, freezer, slaughterhouse, pack houses, warehousing
Strong land use plans
Clean Water Source
Cruse Meat Processing in Cabarrus
Tim Will, Foothills Fresh
Local food distribution from mountains to Charlotte area restaurants
Potential for more organized programs such as seeds
1. Local hospital (First Health Community Services)
2. Cooperative Extension/Master Gardens
3. Moore County Schools
4. Town of Southern Pines
Working on education and support for farms, restaurants and consumers
Know Your Farms
Buying club for local foods
Contact: Christy Shi
New local meat producer and distributor from S.C.
Rolle Knokke is the principal
First Garden/First School Garden
1. First Health
2. Cooperative Extension/Master Gardens
3. Town of Southern Pines
4. Town of Aberdeen
5. Moore County Schools
Need to have more effort to develop marketplace network. Making sure everybody is on the same page.
BRAC Regional Task Force and Extension
Integrate Sustainable Ag. Trials into farmland preservation plans
Rent out cold storage and shares use of kitchen
Foster Caveness Distribution
Farm Fresh Market
Know Your Farms, LLC
Distributing from farmers in counties to restaurants, individuals, etc in Charlotte
Slaughter Facility in Cabarrus County
“Kitchen” available to process fruits, jellies, etc
Central database of “in season” crops to facilitate contacting growers
4H Club Fair
Providers Guides for Local Groups
(Restaurants, Institutions, Retail Looking for local products)
Elma C. Lomax
David Goforth, Cab County Extension
Cab Co. Fair/Sept
Cab. Co. Extension
Foothills Fresh Coop
NC Cooperative Extension
NC Farms to Schools
Come to the Table, Regional Conference, Charlotte, Myers Park Baptist Church 2/27/09
Stewardship of Creation
Presbytery of Charolotte
Cabarrus County CROP Hunger Walk
Project Food, Land & People (k-12 curriculum)
Dennis Testerman 704-920-3303
CPCC – 704-330-4826
Grows Some Things For
Farm Trials, Farm Tours: Generate Interest and educate
Greater Infrastructure in Triangle area
In CLT-interested consumer base
Public Education can get consumers interested
Farmer’s Market is an example of how it works
Farm collectives share equipment and resources
Barrier to Entry=product liability
Industrial Agriculture Model
How do market?
How do we overcome barriers/regulation?
How do we bring in new ideas to demographic that is perhaps set in its ways?
Great interest from school food providers
Demand outstrips supply
Need to connect to demand to suppliers→constraints (Govt regulated)
The Breeze Farm
Carolina Farm Stewards
WEbinar with incubators
Established land for an incubator farm
Access to land
Mentor people interested in farming
Cabarrus County Mgr.
Urban Farming Tour
Slow Food Charlotte
Local Cooking Classes including food preservation
Community Gardens alive and well
Omni Montessori Farm School
Blakeney Heath Road
ATTN: Gazae Baker
Future Farmers Assoc at high schools
Partner with Johnson and Wates
Ask Americorp – VISTA to provide staff support
Identify related college degrees and careers for expansions of health/food business
Talk to 4-H about local organic food and the Alice Waters Model for Edible School Yard
Start School chapters (K-12) and support existing ones
Nutritional Food Preparers
Nutrition and Public Health Policies for Youth Advocacy
Educational Facilities and Retreat Sites
Talk to “FFA” about local organic food and the Alice Waters model for Edible School with money that competes with corporation and is already integrated into schools but need to understand this
Finding young farmers
School Education Programs
(Food For Thought)
Expand Market Access
WIC acceptance at Farmer’s Market
Matthews and Stately County
$4 cards for purchase
Slow Food Charlotte
Slow Food Carolina
Charlotte Tailgate Farmer’s Market
New Farmer’s Markets for low produce purchases, Cabarrus Davidson
Murdock Farmer’s Market (new) Kann, NC
Community supported agriculture
Connect farmers with CO-OP, food clubs, restaurants, etc
Big food uses sales folks and advertising, small farms can’t afford brain-storm
Extension agents bring grant, cast share and new market opportunities to farmers, Melissa Hall, Moore County
Moore County Farmers Market
2. Town of Southern Pines
3. Cooperative Extension
4. First Health
To continue educating consumer to entry of market i.e. options
Know Your Farms – Christy Shi, Davidson
Bread Riot-Maria Thomson, Salisbury
Johnston & Wales, Charlotte
Regional local foods marketing effort coordinated by NC Cooperative Extension
School Gardening Program in Gaston County is coordinated by NC Cooperative Extension (D. Fogerty 704-922-2130)
Shamrock Elementary School, Thom Duncan Garden Slow Food
Farmer’s Market in Kann sponsored by the Research Center Murdock Committee
Local only markets (Charlotte area)
Matthews – website
Tailgate – website
Davidson – affiliated with Town of Davidson
Gastonia – Carol Schwab
Mt. Holly – Lee Brinkley
#5,000 grant to Health Dept for public school gardens
Murdoch Center, Kannapolis
Winter markets, Matthews, Davidson, Regional and Tailgate
Unity for Poverty and Hunger
Committee that includes heads of all food charities in Charl/Meek
Improving Regulatory Environment
Restaurants and Farm Markets
Gaston County Government Employees
Farmer’s Market Incentives
Linda Minges, Linda_minges@ncsu.edu
Farmer’s Markets in many counties
Direct marketing to restaurants, etc
“Goodness Grows” Program, NCDK
Purchase of local foods by school systems and other government agencies
Know Your Farms Local Food Club
“Foothills Fresh” promotes local food in six western Piedmont counties
Large institutional suppliers
Food Broker to connect farm to outlets
EX: Know Your Farms.com
ATTN: Christy SH
Abundance of Farmers Markets in Charlotte Metro area (too many to list)
Farmers to backyard gardens
-selling organic plants to homeowners
Local natural/organic food
Business-“Natural Gourmet”, Jane Little 704-788-2334
Very little being done nutritionally or for sustainability or organics
Incubator farm on Atanov Ro
(Eastern Carolina Organics)
New Urban Gardens-Belmont/Charlotte
New Area Farmer’s Market – Govt’s are supporting
Food buying clubs (Know Your Farms)
Christy and Joe Shi
Come to the Table
Farm to School
Edible School Yard
Farm to School Program
Volunteer to help at farms:
Gleaning, harvesting, weeding
Small Business Centers to support business planning and assistance
CPCC, Stanly CC
South Piedmont and others
Helps farmers and low income women, infants and children
Cooperative Extension and Tourism to support farm tourism, Davidson County
Farm tours as part of an education process, Davidson County
Friendship Trays preordered/paid for a local farm to grow food
Meals on Wheels, culinary school, gleaners share a location/kitchen in Charlotte
FFA & 4H need to improve local foods as pects in programs
Money to support partnership education and networking
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