Background: In June 2007, Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley asked OSU Extension to lead an initiative to help connect local food growers and producers with local buyers. This has expanded into the "Miami Valley Grown" campaign, which is now bringing people together and encourage healthy, fresh, and locally grown foods. This benefits area growers, consumers, the economy and the environment.
Statement of Purpose: Miami Valley Grown is a dynamic resource that connects local growers, farmers, and producers with local buyers. Our group includes local government and non-profit agencies, restaurants, grocers, farm markets and others. By educating our community as to the benefits of buying locally produced foods and goods, we will "Cultivate Community" as growers and buyers meet, talk, and conduct local commerce!
Current Activities: On February 13, 2008, Miami Valley Grown sponsored a Local Foods Workshop that taught over 50 local growers, grocers, restaurants, and agencies new methods for marketing and adding value to their products.
Farm Market Map and Web Site: New resource for local consumers (projected for early May).
Local Marketing Campaign: New logos, publicity / media blitz to increase public awareness of buying locally produced items.
Small Farm College (tentative for 2009): Local vegetable growers learn farming techniques, business planning, marketing, and strategy
Local Meats Task Force: Studying how to offer locally grown beef, pork, lamb, poultry, and goat at local retailers and restaurants. Looking into a modified CSA at University of Dayton and Wright State University.
Kitchen Incubator Team: Investigating opportunities to develop a program similar to Center for Innovative Food (Toledo) and the ACEnet facility (Athens).
Impacts: MVG is educating the community to the benefits of buying locally produced foods and goods. Seminars, workshops and a mass-media campaign expand awareness of the benefits of fruit and vegetable consumption, local foods, urban gardening and related topics.
Long term, a healthier Montgomery County will result in people and economic measures. Producers will have higher incomes as demand rises. More producers will shift production or join the marketplace. Transportation costs will be lowered. Consumers will gain knowledge of healthy eating which can help lower disease and obesity rates in this urban area.
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Created: 2008-04-11, Updated: 2008-04-30