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Western Prairie Food Farm and Community Alliance among 11 councils selected to participate in nationwide community of practice to advance regional approaches to food system policy


Posted date: Nov 8, 2022

by: Admin My Local Life
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November 8, 2022

Western Prairie Food Farm and Community Alliance has been selected to participate in a community of practice focused on regional food systems development. After a thorough review of over 50 applications by a team of project organizers, 11 food policy councils from across the country were selected for the 18-month project, reflecting a diversity of approaches to regional food systems work. Regional food policy councils are collaborative groups that seek to address food-related issues across county and/or state boundaries. As part of this community, Western Prairie Food Farm and Community Alliance will help guide research and the creation of resources to support other councils in taking regional approaches to food system development.

The community of practice is a central part of a cooperative research project being led by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA AMS), Ohio State University, the John Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, and Colorado State University that aims to better understand regional approaches to strengthening food systems. Regional food policy work has emerged as a promising approach to developing equitable, sustainable, and vibrant food and agriculture systems. Yet, there is need for more resources and information to support the work of food system practitioners working at this scale.

"A more competitive, fair and resilient food system requires investment in regional supply chains, and food policy councils can play a critical role building bridges between rural communities and consumer markets." said Tricia Kovacs, Deputy Administrator of the Transportation and Marketing Program of USDA-AMS.

"Western Prairie Resource Conservation & Development Inc. is proud to host the Western Prairie Food, Farm and Community Alliance and serve as the fiscal agent.  We look forward to and are very honored to be chosen to participate in this most important project," said Sandy Rodgers, President of Western Prairie Resource Conservation & Development Inc. and Treasurer of Western Prairie Food Farm and Community Alliance.

In addition to Western Prairie Food Farm and Community Alliance , the community of practice will include representatives from the Boston Food Access Council (MA), Cass Clay Food Partners (ND/MN), Columbia Gorge Food Security Coalition (OR/WA), Food Policy Council for Fresno County (CA), Greater Cincinnati Regional Food Policy Council (OH), Hudson Valley Food System Coalition (NY), Just Foods Collaborative of Nash and Edgecombe Counties (NC), Metropolitan Washington Food Policy Directors/Food Security Coordinators Work Group (DC, MD, VA), Northwest Indiana Food Council (IN), and Roanoke Foodshed Network (VA).

Western Prairie Food Farm and Community Alliance is represented by 9 counties in Northwest Kansas. Cheyenne, Decatur, Gove, Logan, Rawlins, Sheridan, Sherman, Thomas, and Wallace Counties will be represented by several members in those counties.

If you are interested in more information about what is going on in your county, please reach out to Misty Jimerson at Misty.Jimerson@gmail.com.
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