This past week we had the pleasure of meeting with all nine of our Regional Food System Partnership grant collaborators in Athens, Ohio. This cooperative was formed as an innovative solution to uplift local food economies across the region through the Supporting Appalachia brand.
Each partner is a key player in the local food and agriculture sectors in their respective communities in Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky, and Virginia.
Together, the Regional Food Systems Partners have established distribution routes of local produce and value added food products in the Huntington, West Virginia area. Some of these products include SE Ohio favorites like Snowville Creamery, Shagbark Seed & Mill, and Frog Ranch Salsa. We joined together in Athens, Ohio for three days to plan for marketing, sales, logistics, production, and future cooperative efforts. These efforts will expand the distribution of local products to schools, grocers, and food hubs throughout the region.
In addition to ACEnet, the RFSP partnership includes the Kentucky Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (KCARD), Rural Action, Sprouting Farms, New Roots Community Farm, West Virginia University, Grow Ohio Valley, Coalfield Development Corporation, and Appalachian Sustainable Development.
Community Update by ACEnet Value Chain Coordinator, Brianna McGuire
Photos by ACEnet Multimedia Designer, Avery Snyder