Last week, at the Wallace Center’s National Food Hub Conference in Atlanta, USDA officials named Fair Food one of ten nationwide value chain coordinators to participate in their Leveraging Investment for Network Coordination (“Food LINC”) initiative.
So what does this mean? First, a little background.
Food LINC stems from USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food (KYF2) Program, which was founded in 2009 to help foster the growth of local and regional food systems across the country. Within that mission, Food LINC’s charge is to link demand for local food in urban areas with supply from farmers and other food producers—to create a stronger food value chain, where suppliers and consumers team up to achieve the common goals of both business success and social benefit.
With the support of Food LINC funding, we at Fair Food will be able to develop not one but TWO food value chains in our area. First, we’ll work to reestablish our regional grain economy by assessing market demand and existing infrastructure for grain storage and processing, and helping to connect and support grain producers and processors. Second, we'll develop and market a regional brand for artisan cheese, and help to create a better distribution system linking small dairy farms to restaurants and other businesses.
Stay tuned for more details and updates as we delve into these two exciting projects, and click here to learn more about the USDA's Food LINC program.