for the Food Economy. Download it HERE
“There has never been a better time to go into farming,” said Paul Mock, a well-established hydroponic farmer in Morgan County, in a speech at the 2012 WV Small Farm Conference. Though it may be surprising news at a time when America is losing farmers nationwide, more and more West Virginia farmers — and agricultural experts — are starting to say the same thing. Demand for local food in West Virginia has grown rapidly over the past few years, and the rush to meet that demand has opened up a myriad of new business opportunities, as well as chance to improve access to healthy food for our communities.
In response to these growing opportunities, the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition is pleased to release West Virginia’s Road Map for the Food Economy, a statewide “food charter” designed to help focus, measure and celebrate West Virginia’s progress towards stronger local food systems. Created through a series of public forums, the Road Map provides an action plan for seizing key opportunities in West Virginia’s food and farm economy. Its action items address both policy and practice, and include things that can be done by ordinary individuals and community groups as well as agencies and the state legislature. Partners in organizing the forums and developing the Road Map included the West Virginia University Extension Service and its WV Small Farm Center, the Office of Child Nutrition and Office of Career and Technical Instruction at the West Virginia Department of Education, the West Virginia Department of Agriculture, West Virginia State University and the West Virginia Community Development Hub. Continue reading