The Power of Food: Local Food Supply Chain Development in Eastern Kentucky

Areas Served: SOAR Counties
PROBLEM: Agricultural producers in south eastern Kentucky need assistance in starting or expanding their business. The local food supply chain has many barriers for these producers, and producers often have difficulty finding and connecting with the appropriate resources. In addition, there are few existing connections between producers and potential markets.
SOLUTON: Through "The Power of Food," KCARD and its partners are working with agricultural producers to scale up operations and take the steps necessary to access new markets through business planning and connecting them to potential buyers. From farmers markets and institutional sales to processed food and wholesale buyers outside of the region, we are providing farmers the resources and expertise necessary to grow their business. We continue to develop tools and strategies as the project progresses to overcome newly identified barriers.
Solution Summary: Last updated 07-26-2017

The Power of Food addresses the need for agricultural business expansion by bringing partners to the table to connect producers to local and regional markets. Producer outreach connects farmers to valuable resources , including production expertise, marketing, funding, and business planning. As part of the project, an Eastern Kentucky Farm to Table Coordinator is actively seeking new markets for agricultural products. Additional market demand and research is being performed to understand how to overcome barriers within the local food supply chain. Existing infrastructure, such as the Jackson County Regional Food Center, will be used to access regional markets and create more jobs in the region.

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Kentucky Department of Agriculture helping Kentucky farmers and keeping Kentucky Agriculture growing...(Read More)
PROBLEM: People in the Appalachian counties of KY suffer from extreme poverty, high unemployment, and health issues tied to a shortage of fresh local foods. Farmers are capable of producing food products but don’t always have a convenient way to reach consumers. Many consumers have to travel long distances to find fresh foods, and they may not have a reliable means of transportation while others find the cost of fresh foods to be beyond their reach. Many residents in the Appalachian counties and other regions across the nation have little choice but to buy processed foods and foods with little to no nutritional value. A robust regional food system would help mitigate all of these challenges. Producers would have a means to sell their products and Consumers would have convenient sources of nutritious local foods, which would improve their health outcomes.
SOLUTION: The Kentucky Proud farm marketing program seeks to help family farmers and small food-producing businesses find markets for their products. Administered by the Kentucky Department of Agriculture (KDA) and funded by the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund, Kentucky Proud is the official state brand for farm products raised, grown, processed, and/or manufactured in Kentucky. KDA marketing specialists work to develop supply lines of Kentucky Proud products from the farm to the retail shelf or the farmers’ market stand. Farmers’ markets have plenty of room to grow in eastern Kentucky, and the KDA offers many services to help them maximize their sales and profits. KDA staff travels the state to provide assistance and education to markets and vendors. The KDA helped many markets obtain Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) equipment that enables consumers to pay for their purchases with debit, credit, or SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) cards. KDA works very closely with the Kentucky Department for Public Health, Food Safety Branch, and the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment to provide markets and consumers the most up-to-date information. The KDA launched Appalachia Proud in 2013. The Appalachia Proud logo designates farm products produced in 37 eastern Kentucky counties. In the spring of 2016, Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles created the Kentucky Hunger Initiative and convened a task force of leaders in agriculture, government, business, education, and the faith community to seek solutions to food insecurity in Kentucky. As a result of the Hunger Initiative, the Kentucky General Assembly passed legislation shielding businesses and individuals from legal liability when they donate food to a food bank, and in July, Farm Credit Mid-America and CoBank announced that they would donate some 140 chest freezers to food pantries across the Commonwealth.
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Regional Food Systems Healthy Communities Agriculture

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The Power of Food addresses the need for agricultural business expansion by bringing partners to the table to connect producers to local and regional markets. Producer outreach connects farmers to valuable resources , including production expertise, marketing, funding, and business planning. As part of the project, an Eastern Kentucky Farm to Table Coordinator is actively seeking new markets for...(Read More)
PROBLEM: Agricultural producers in south eastern Kentucky need assistance in starting or expanding their business. The local food supply chain has many barriers for these producers, and producers often have difficulty finding and connecting with the appropriate resources. In addition, there are few existing connections between producers and potential markets.
SOLUTION: Through "The Power of Food," KCARD and its partners are working with agricultural producers to scale up operations and take the steps necessary to access new markets through business planning and connecting them to potential buyers. From farmers markets and institutional sales to processed food and wholesale buyers outside of the region, we are providing farmers the resources and expertise necessary to grow their business. We continue to develop tools and strategies as the project progresses to overcome newly identified barriers.
Like: 
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0
Agriculture

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2017 Kentucky Proud® Farm to Fork Program The 2017 Kentucky Proud® Farm to Fork program will increase the awareness of the local food movement by partnering with organizations to benefit a charity in their community. These organizations can host dinners that will highlight local farms, farmers, producers and Kentucky Proud® products. The program will also promote local Agritourism businesses a...(Read More)
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Regional Food Systems Healthy Communities

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2017: Now more than ever means ACTION. This is a Summit designed to support you, connect you to resources and partners to help you make a lasting change in your community. Please join Congressman Hal Rogers and Governor Matt Bevin for the 2017 SOAR Summit. Taking last year’s concept a step further, we will showcase solutions currently driving economic growth in the region centered around our sev...(Read More)
Time: 9:00 AM
Date: 8-04-2017
Location: East Kentucky Expo Center Pikeville KY, 41501
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Regional Food Systems Broadband Expansion Healthy Communities 21st Century Skills and Leadership Development Agriculture Small Business Regional Tourism Development

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Building the number of agriculture producers throughout the region. In order to advance agriculture in the region whether it is through Farmers Markets, value-added production, food hubs, aggregation-distribution-processors, etc., we need additional ag producers to collectively meet the demands of users for example, institutions such as restaurants, health care facilities or school systems. ...(Read More)
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