Regional Food System Study Advances
This winter, The USDA Rural Development Business Grant funded food system study of Bennington will continue its research and interview process. The BCRC is partnering with Liz Ruffa and Northshire Grows, a project of Food Connects, to assess farm viability and food access issues in the greater Bennington area. Ken Meter from Crossroads Resource Council and Rosalie Wilson, a farm and food business development specialist based in Norwich, VT, are assisting with this work. Look for information about public input meetings in February and for a presentation of the study's findings this spring. Northshire Grows is applying for a second year of funding for market assessment work throughout Bennington County, with an eye toward partnerships in Windham County. Year Three will focus on developing the “enterprise” that this study is exploring.
In other food system related work, Liz Ruffa has been appointed Local Food And Agriculture Commissioner for the BCRC. Additionally, a Southwest Vermont Supervisory Union Farm to School professional development course is being offered to area teachers, administrators and food service staff. All area K-12 schools are welcome to participate! This course will be held, starting in February, at the MAU Middle School. Contact Liz@foodconnects.org for more information.