Food and Agriculture Coalition for Northern Colorado
What is a Food and Agriculture Coalition?
Food and Agriculture Coalitions (FACs) come in all shapes and sizes with a variety of visions and missions. These coalitions are typically composed of a board of stakeholders representing multiple sectors of the food system and discuss relevant community issues including local, regional, and state policy issues, economic development plans, project planning and funding, and community building. Although there are many organizations covering various facets of the food system, an FAC brings representatives from these organizations together to work collaboratively. They are more commonly referred to as Food Policy Councils (FPCs), however this term can be misleading since FAC’s are not limited to policy advocacy, nor do they always include policy advocacy in their goals and objectives.
A Brief History of Food and Agriculture Coalitions in Northern Colorado
Conversations about forming a Northern Colorado Food Policy Council started in 2000, with the help of the CSU Extension program and by 2005, it had the beginnings of a real coalition. During that process, a food systems assessment was recommended. This led to the Northern Colorado Regional Food Systems Assessment, which was carried out in 2009 and again in 2010. “Strengthening the connections between elements of the food system to expand and enrich it as a whole through more coordinated planning, nurturing partnerships and targeted investments,” was one of the key "Next Steps" identified by the Food Systems Assessment. But so far as we know, this is where the conversation stopped.
So what IS next?
The Growing Project is gathering information and input about the potential formation of an actual Northern Colorado Food and Agriculture Coalition. This research has included one-on-one conversations with various community leaders, interviews with other FAC leaders, and now widespread outreach and general public engagement.
Town Hall Meeting!
In collaboration with Matter Bookstore, The Growing Project is proud to host a Food and Farming Town Hall Meeting on February 21st, 2012 at 6:30 pm at Matter Bookstore, 144 N. College Avenue in Fort Collins. This Town Hall Meeting will feature presentations from community members regarding current projects, ideas, and goals for the community’s food system, followed by break-out sessions on forming a Food and Agriculture Coalition, changes to the Poudre School District Food System, and a grower’s networking session.
Support the Formation of a Food and Agriculture Coalition
At this time, The Growing Project’s staff is supporting these effort by providing their time and their infrastructure through email and website resources. It is not TGP’s intention to “own” this effort--only to start the conversation and participate in it. Please consider supporting The Growing Project by donating some of your time, hosting additional events, or writing grants to support food systems projects. If you or your organization are willing to contribute in these ways, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements. The Growing Project is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization--your donations are tax-deductible.
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