The Central Appalachian Foodshed Conference opened with a series of short, "speed talks" to give participants a quick overview of some of the work happening in the region.  Each presenter was given 3-5 minutes to address the following questions:

  • Overview: What aspect of the local food system are you focused on, and for what purpose?
  • What are the top 2 needs you hope to address through regional connections/collaborations?
  • Who are the partners in your collaboration and what about the partners or the partnership helps hold it together?
  • What are the top 1- 2 tools or models you have to share? (Especially related to collaboration, but these do not have to be “best practices” - they may be emergent tools or models you are still figuring out.)

Community Farm Alliance
West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition
Rural Action
Appalachian Sustainable Development
Community Food Strategies
Southeast Farm to School Network (ASAP)
Appalachian Foodshed Project


Community Farm Alliance (Mae Humiston)

  • Top 2 Needs:
    • Increasing Farmer Production
    • Farmer Development - access to larger more reliable markets while maintaining the value of being a small farmer
  • Partners: One-on-One relationships have been really important for the development of working partnerships to meet the top 2 needs.. The partners mission's overlap with CFA's mission
  • Top 2 models: 
    • Farmacy Program - prescriptions for local foods
    • Kentucky Food Policy Network - In the working phase. Increasing capacity for local food system councils around the state and then to get them talking together to inform policy makers


West Virginia Food and Farm Coalition (Liz Spellman)

  • Top 2 Needs:
    • Foodsheds: How do we map assets regionally. What assests are we mapping. How can we measure impacts, not just for grant reports
    • Market Viability: What markets are most viable for small farmers to make a living? What factors can we use to assess viability
  • Partners:
  • Top 2 Models:
    • The development of small scale rural food aggregators and markets over the past 3 years.
    • Policy engagement model.
    • Transparency and honesty


Rural Action

  • Partners:
    • Many many partners
  • Top 2 Models:
    • How to build and leverage more infrastructure. The logistics of taking a global supply system and making viable rural liveliehoods
    • Wealth-building impacts 


Appalachian Sustainable Development - focusing on one program Appalachian Harvest (food hub)

  • Top 2 Needs:
    • How do we link our food systems (local and regional) so we don't rely on outside funding. New models of collaboration.
    • Get to the root cause of the lack of supply in food hubs. 
  • Partners:
    • Many, many
    • Buyers: Ingles
    • Extension
    • SWVA Farmers Market & Andrews FArming
    • BTS Trucking
    • Other non-profits, like KIRSA
  • Top 2 Models:
    • Transparency and Transparency about self-interest
    • Distribution - finding mutually beneficial arrangements


Community Food Strategies  (Abbey Piner)

A network of networks of food policy councils

  • Top 2 Needs:
  • Partners:
  • Top 2 Models:
    • Network Weaving - June Holley
    • Collective Impact Toolkit  for Food Councils


Southeast Farm to School Network (Emily Jackson - ASAP)

  • Top 2 Needs:
  • Partners:
    • Many, Many. National and Regional (Southern)
  • Top 2 Models:


Appalachian Foodshed Project  (Nikki D'Adamo-Damery)

  • Top 2 Needs:
    • Collaboration
    • Connecting to people that are outside of the food system.
  • Partners:
    • NC State University
    • Virginia Tech
    • West Virginia University
    • Cooperative Extension
    • Bountiful Cities
    • Grayson Landcare
    • WV FoodLINK
    • Toe River Food Security Network
    • Many, many NGO-partners
  • Top 2 Models:
    • Assessment Processes and relationship with burgeoning networks in SW VA and W. NC
    • Localwiki (for regional information sharing)