Recap: Local Foods Day 2016: Day At The Legislature

January 27, 2016  
WVU Student prepares for legislative meetings.

WVU Student prepares for legislative meetings.

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.

_MG_5755A 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

Members of Trail Magic and Ben Gilmer perform during lunch.

Members of Trail Magic and Ben Gilmer perform during lunch.

provided by members of a local Charleston band, Trail Magic and Ben Gilmer of Refresh Appalachia.

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!

Mid-Ohio Valley Edibles shows off their mobile market.

Mid-Ohio Valley Edibles shows off their mobile market.

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.

What’s next?

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! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elizabeth Spellman addresses the attendees

Elizabeth Spellman addresses the attendees

Food Access Working Group Chair, Kristen McCartney speaks about new projects in the state.

Food Access Working Group Chair, Kristen McCartney speaks about new projects in the state.

School Gardens Working Group Chair, Emily Landseidel speaks about what most surprised their foodshed.

School Gardens Working Group Chair, Emily Landseidel speaks about what most surprised their foodshed.

Agriculture Commissioner, Walt Helmick speaks to attendees.

Agriculture Commissioner, Walt Helmick speaks to attendees.

Sky Edwards takes questions about his McDowell Co. Mobile Market

Sky Edwards takes questions about his McDowell Co. Mobile Market