January 5, 2009
Contact: Bernadette Logozar, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Franklin County, 518 483-7403; Katherine Lang, Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County, 315-379-9192

New Website Offers North Country Regional Foods Info

More and more consumers are looking for local foods. Community leaders are increasingly supportive of developing farmers markets and other venues for regional farmers to sell their products locally. A new website developed by the North Country Regional Foods Initiative - www.nnyregionallocalfoods.org  - provides information on how to find regional foods and resources to help communities support and expand local food marketplaces.

The new website includes links to online tools designed to connect producers and consumers, research-based publications about North Country local foods, a calendar of local food events, and links to ongoing local foods work in the North Country.

Publications on the www.nnyregionallocalfoods.org  website range from how to find money to strengthen local food systems and guides to increase the consumption of local farm products to cookbooks, advice on how to serve local foods at events, and economic analyses of farmers� markets and other community-based food systems.

The site also includes the North Country Regional Foods Initiative�s series of research briefs, fact sheets and recommendations intended for other farmers, food business owners/operators, consumers, policymakers and community & economic developers working to enhance and sustain agriculture in Northern New York.

The report includes social and economic impact data generated by local/regional foods operations and the Northern New York-based organizations that support them and a summary of the spring 2008 conference on The Role of Adirondack North Country Foods in Community and Economic Development.

Katherine Lang, a senior extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension of St. Lawrence County, Canton, NY and Heidi Mouillesseaux-Kunzman, Community Development Coordinator, with the Community and Rural Development Institute (CaRDI), in the Development Sociology Department at Cornell University,
co-coordinated the one-year North Country Regional Foods Initiative.

The initiative was developed through a partnership of the Cornell Cooperative Extension Associations of Clinton, Essex, Franklin, Hamilton, Jefferson, Lewis and St. Lawrence counties and the Economic Development Administration University Center at CaRDI and designed to document how local food businesses and activities benefit the northern New York region and identify strategies for enhancing those benefits.

According to CaRDI�s Ag Economic Development Specialist, Duncan Hilchey, �Consumer surveys, in particular the Empire State Poll conducted by the Cornell University Survey Research Institute in 2007, show us that 78.5% of the New York State residents age 18 and older buy local foods and 37.4% of that group said they go out of their way to buy local food.�

Project Co-coordinator, Katherine Lang says, �Tapping into this market audience can benefit North Country farmers and consumers directly. I am excited about the linkages that the North Country Regional Foods Initiative has documented in communities across Northern New York and the potential for further growth.�

Lang adds, �By learning about the existing efforts we�re able to highlight what has inspired people to sell locally, how that contributes to our communities, and what our communities might do to further these efforts. Groups like Adirondack Harvest and GardenShare, among others, have made substantial progress in raising consumer interest and awareness about our food sources, so now ensuring that agricultural producers have the resources needed to meet that demand is where working with community leaders, economic developers and planners will help.�

Partnerships between producers, consumers, community and economic developers and local officials can serve as a model for bringing community members together to support other regional development efforts.

Those interested in learning about and supporting local food activities in the North Country may now join a regional electronic network.

�The e-network is a convenient way to bring together farmers, consumers, and communities across Northern New York to work together to achieve local food buying and selling goals both locally and region wide,� Lang says.

To activate entry into the cce-nnylocalregionalfoods-l@cornell.edu  listserv, send an email to bel7@cornell.edu with �Add me to the NNY Local/Regional Foods List� in the Subject line. More information on local and regional food initiatives is available from members of the Northern New York Regional Agriculture Program Direct Marketing/Local Foods team and the Community and Rural Development Institute (CaRDI):
� Regional Coordinator and Franklin County: Bernadette Logozar, (518) 483-7403, bel7@cornell.edu
� Clinton County: Anne Barlow-Lennox, (518) 561-7450, alb326@cornell.edu 
� Essex County: Adirondack Harvest Coordinator Laurie Davis, (518) 962-4810, lsd22@cornell.edu 
� Hamilton County: Nancy Welch, (518) 548-6191, naw5@cornell.edu 
� Jefferson County: Rosalind Cook, (315) 788-8450, rlc53@cornell.edu 
� Lewis County: Dolores DeSalvo, (315) 376-5270, dbd6@cornell.edu 
� St. Lawrence County: Katherine Lang, (315) 379-9192, kaa20@cornell.edu 
� CaRDI: Community and Rural Development Institute at Cornell University,
Heidi Mouillesseaux-Kunzman, (607) 255-0417, hmm1@cornell.edu

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Additional Info: The website at www.nnyregionallocalfoods.org includes links to:

Adirondack Harvest - a community organization focused on expanding markets for local farm products so consumers have more choices of fresh farm products and on assisting farmers to increase sustainable production to meet the expanding markets; www.adirondackharvest.com

Adirondack North Country Association - a 14-county association committed to economic improvement. Since incorporation in 1954, ANCA has worked to create a greater sense of regional identity and pride through advocacy and promotion; www.adirondack.org

Community and Rural Development Institute (CARDI) - Since 1990, the Institute at Cornell University has responded to current and emerging needs in community and rural development; works with Cornell faculty and staff, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and other state and regional institutions; http://devsoc.cals.cornell.edu/outreach/cardi/

Cornell Farm to School Program - provides resource development, educational programs, and evaluation to support efforts to increase the amount of locally produced food served in NY's schools, colleges, universities & other institutions; http://farmtoschool.cce.cornell.edu

Farmers' Market Federation of New York - a grassroots membership organization of farmers' market managers, market sponsors, farmers and market supporters, offering services to increase the number and capacity of farmers' markets in NY, develop the scope of professionalism in farmers' market management and improve the ability of markets to serve their farmers, their consumers and their host communities; www.nyfarmersmarket.com

FoodRoutes - a project of FoodRoutes Network, a national nonprofit organization that provides communications tools, technical support, networking and information resources to organizations nationwide that are working to rebuild local, community-based food systems; www.foodroutes.org

GardenShare - a non-profit organization working to end hunger in northern NY; focuses on local foods; harvest sharing; farm-to-school; food security; home gardening; and public policy; publishes free quarterly newsletter and St. Lawrence County Local Food Guide; and operates the EBT terminal for Food Stamp Program participants at the Canton Farmers Market; www.gardenshare.org

MarketMaker - interactive mapping system locates businesses and markets of agricultural products in NY, providing an important link between producers and consumers; http://nymarketmaker.cornell.edu/

Pride of NY Member Search � The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets Pride of NY Program promotes and supports the sale of agricultural products grown and food products processed within New York State; http://www.prideofny.com/

USDA Community Food Systems - A Nutrition Assistance Program through USDA, contains general resources and information from farm to table and links to specific topics such as eating in a community food system; food entrepreneurship; and, community food systems research; http://fnicsearch.nal.usda.gov/fnicsearch

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