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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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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Agriculture Community Organizations Community Planning Community Leadership

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Our project programs include: - Environmental Education - Fun Community Events - Stream/river Cleanups - Septic System Repair & Replacement - Stream-side Vegetation Improvement...(Read More)
PROBLEM: The health of Red River is being threatened, and this affects its inhabitants and the people who rely on its resources. Urban development, recreational overuse, failing septic systems, too much dirt getting washed into the stream (sedimentation), loss of streamside plants, and illegal dump sites are causing our water quality to decline.
SOLUTION: The Red River Gorge Watershed Plan was developed with the help of community, local stakeholders, and professionals in the field. This plan determined the best waters for protection and areas that need improvement on both private and National Forest lands in the Red River Gorge area. Through our programs, we can foster a love, desire, and action to protect the Red River Watershed.
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Agriculture Access

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The KCFM is once again looking forward to offering fresh, local food raised by friends and neighbors as well as locally handcrafted items. Local early spring produce includes: lettuce, green onions, kale, chard, radishes, beets, sugar snap & snow peas and more. The market accepts EBT cards and certified vendors take WIC and Senior vouchers. New vendors are welcome with preregistration. ...(Read More)
Time: 5:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Date: 5-11-2017
Location: Knox County Extension Service Barbourville KY, 40906
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Agriculture Healthy Communities Small Business

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OVERVIEW OF PROJECT: For the last three years, Community Farm Alliance in cooperation with partners University of Kentucky, Grow Appalachia and Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation has been working in Letcher County and neighboring counties creating food access opportunities to low-income families and people with diet related chronic health issues. The initial project was the USDA Summer F...(Read More)
PROBLEM: CHALLENGE: In addition to the current economic issues, communities in eastern Kentucky are struggling with an unhealthy populace. The Robert Woods Johnson Foundation’s 2017 Health Factors map for Kentucky bears a strong resemblance to the map of the SOAR region and highlights similar results as SOAR’s Healthy Communities addresses in the goal to “reduce the physical and economic impact of obesity, diabetes and substance abuse.”
SOLUTION: SOLUTION: Create new and support existing community based initiatives that combine the health benefits of locally sourced produce and community fitness projects with the economic impact of farmers’ markets.
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Regional Food Systems Healthy Communities Agriculture Community Organizations

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One Health Index Project Goals: • Identify human, animal, and environmental health datasets as well as gaps in data for Laurel, Lincoln, and Pulaski counties in Kentucky • Evaluate and incorporate datasets into an index for One Health for each of the 3 listed counties • Interview individuals within these communities and gain perspective for which One Health-related issues are pertinent...(Read More)
PROBLEM: Three issues every community in Appalachia faces are human health, animal health, and environmental health. Where those three overlap is where Lincoln Memorial University and the Center for Animal and Human Health meet the challenge toward developing healthy communities. Currently, three counties in the SOAR region have been targeted to developing a OneHealth index: Lincoln, Laurel and Pulaski. Through aggressive community outreach, students at the LMU College of Veterinary Medicine will identify the criteria necessary to establish the baseline index and then engage professionals in each discipline to communicate with each other toward improving overall community health.
SOLUTION: OneHealth is an initiative of the LMU College of Veterinary Medicine and the College of Osteopathic Medicine working in collaboration with the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture. OneHealth will change how communities evaluate their overall health. The pilot project in Kentucky can be expanded to include the entire SOAR serve area and throughout the 13-state footprint of Appalachia.
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Healthy Communities Agriculture Health