Food and Agriculture Systems Working Group

The Food and Agriculture Systems Working Group and the Central Appalachian Network are working together to strengthen the region’s capacity for food system development by connecting funders and practitioners within specific sub-regions and across the region. We have formed a joint working group to achieve the following:

Priorities

  1. Deepen Relationships

    Create and deepen relationships between grantmakers and practitioners working in local food systems.

  2. Foster Deeper Learning & Analysis

    Create and deepen relationships between grantmakers and practitioners working in local food systems.

  3. Leverage Resources

    Increase resources within the region targeted at creating stronger local food systems.

  4. Enhance Connectivity

    Enhance the connectivity and capacity of the region’s key food system actors.

Impact

This working group serves as a collaborative space where funders and practitioners come together as peers to share learning across the region, establish best practices, and explore collaborative opportunities. Impacts include: 

  • We've developed a shared analysis of critical regional issues through in-depth learning activities on topics as varied as Farm to School, Forest Farming, and the 2018 Farm Bill. 
  • We've conducted field-building, research and communications projects conducted on issues related to food access and nutritional health, including the report and video shown below. 
  • We supported planning and implementation for a $250,000 USDA Rural Community Development Initiative grant, matched with an additional $250,000 in funding from AFN members and other sources. This grant helped to build significant capacity in the local food systems of four sub-regions across Appalachia, and has leveraged over $3 million in additional follow-on funding. Read more about this project here. 

Co-Chairs of the Food Systems Working Group

Hylie Voss, Sugar Bush Foundation/Sugarbush Valley Impact Investments

Amalia Mendoza, Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky

Members of the Food Systems Working Group

Carol Pickering, Educational Foundation of America

Erin Prescott, Osteopathic Heritage Foundation

Marlo Long, Truist

Mieka Sanderson, Appalachia Regional Commission

Andrew Crosson, Invest Appalachia

Laura Boone, Pallottine Foundation (of Huntington WV)

Beth Jones, Greater Clark Foundation

Baylen Campbell, Invest Appalachia

Bill Woodrum, Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation

Lori Udall, Sacharuna Foundation