West Virginia's Road Map for the Food Economy is a statewide “food charter” designed to help us all focus, measure and celebrate our collective progress towards stronger local food systems. The Road Map offers a vision for West Virginia's local food economy and provides ways of measuring how statewide and local policies, programs, and community efforts are contributing to the strength of that food economy.
The Road Map is based on a series of seven public forums and several issue-specific meetings in which West Virginians told us what how would like to see West Virginia’s local food economy grow and improve. The forums included six "Regional Roundtables" held at locations across the state, and then a statewide summit in January 2012. Altogether, over 310 people participated, including farmers, teachers, food service staff, economic developers, restaurant owners, lenders, food assistance organizations, and many others. The forums were convened by the West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition with key partners including West Virginia University Extension and its WV Small Farm Center, the WV Department of Agriculture, the WV Department of Education and its Agriculture Education program, the WV Office of Healthy Lifestyles, a multi-university partnership called the Appalachian Foodshed Project, and many other local and statewide groups. Core funding was provided by the Benedum Foundation, with contributions from a variety of other sponsors.
The Road Map contains two parts: an action plan for building a food and farm economy over the next five years, and a “Food Economy Score Card” which allows us to measure collective progress towards the big-picture goals of the action plan. Starting in 2013, the Food Economy Score Card will be updated annually, and progress in achieving the goals and actions of the Road Map will be celebrated in an annual report. Cited sources for the data in the Score Card are available here.
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Read the Road Map for the Food Economy here.
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Perspectives from the 2011 Regional Roundtable Series
To gather ideas for the Road Map for the Food Economy, six Regional Roundtables on West Virginia Food and Farms were held in Wheeling, Hico, Parkersburg, Berkeley Springs, Philippi, and Charleston during April - May 2011. Over 233 people participated in the roundtables. The variety of issues raised at each roundtables reflect the agricultural and economic diversity of the state.
Press Coverage on the Regional Roundtables:
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