On January 26, more than 80 supporters of local food and agriculture attended the West Virginia Food & Farm Coalition’s Local Foods Day 2016: a Day at the Legislature!
During the morning hours, supporters arrived at the Capitol to speak with legislators about food and farm issues including the WV Food & Farm Coalition’s three policy issues for 2016.
In the Well, Working Groups, WVFFC, mobile market, and WV Farmer’s Market Association’s display’s were visited by delegates, staff members, and others visiting the Capitol. At 11:30 a resolution declaring January 26, 2016 as Local Foods Day, was read by Senator Williams.
A celebratory luncheon was held at the University of Charleston, complete with locally grown potatoes from the WV Department of Agriculture, squash from Cardinal Island Farms, and greens from West Virginia Homegrown Farms. Music was
During the afternoon session, WVFFC Executive Director,
Elizabeth Spellman spoke about how relational the work of Food and Agriculture is, giving us reasons to celebrate the work we all do. Later, attendees live mapped food and farm projects that have been started in past couple years. More then 30 projects were listed!
Dr. Kelly Nix of WVU Extension facilitated conversations within the state’s eight foodsheds. Participants were asked four questions:
1. Where is our foodshed at now in relation to the goals of the Road Map? How do we compare to other areas in West Virginia?
2. What special resources are lacking in our foodshed (structures, support, growers, funding, etc.)?
3. Where do we want our foodshed to go? What are projects or programs that will fulfill our goals for our foodshed?
4. What can prevent us from achieving these goals?
Lastly, participants were asked to report out what surprised them the most. Overwhelming, the response was that they were surprised how much work has been done in this realm!
We were visited by WV Agriculture Commissioner, Walt Helmick,
who spoke about advancing agriculture business in WV. The day finished with rainy tours and a Q&A with two mobile farmers markets.
If anyone miss Local Foods Day or really enjoyed meeting with Legislators, there are two more opportunities to meet with them. Join us on February 9th and 23rd for Food & Farm Day of Action! Click here for more information about both events!