Upper PeeDee Farm and Food Council – “Frequently Asked Questions”
What is the vision? – The vision of the Upper PeeDee Farm and Food Council is a sustainable, locally based, economically resilient farm and food system.
What is a farm and food system? – A farm and food system is a network of people, organizations, associated government and non-government institutions, and activities connecting the growing and harvesting, processing, distribution, consumption and residue utilization of food and other farm products.
What is the mission? – The mission of the Upper PeeDee Farm and Food Council is to encourage, support, and coordinate the local farm and food system through:
- Agriculture – Strengthening the economic vitality and viability of farming; promoting a vibrant community of farmers; maximizing opportunities for farms of all sizes; searching out mentors and farm land available for new farmers; and supporting farmland protection
- Economic Development – Enhancing the broader economic viability of local and regional farm and food systems; increasing farmer profitability through better marketing, aggregation and distribution to markets; and increasing the number of local food and agriculture jobs
- Education – Promoting the education and understanding of farm and food systems, agriculture, and environmental protection; and educating new small farmers about growing local food
- Accessibility – Promoting access to and distribution of affordable, nutritious food
- Health – Promoting improved public health by broadening access to locally produced food and providing education on nutrition, food preparation and preservation, and safe food-handling practices
Who is involved in the FFC? – All interested citizens of Anson, Montgomery, and Stanly Counties
What are the counties’ roles? – The three County Commissions endorsed the FFC vision and mission with resolutions in the fall of 2012.
What are the benefits to the tri-county region? – The creation of the UPFFC will address the following needs and opportunities:
- Support and promote agribusiness as it is our region’s number one business. The opportunities for economic development are extensive, as only 8% of our fruits and vegetables consumed in the Charlotte region are grown locally.
- Support younger farmers as they replace older farmers who are retiring. Economic development will be stimulated as the development of their small farm businesses promotes additional business development especially as the niche of locally grown foods expands as the need for more local, healthy food grown by more farmers in our region.
- Increasing access to affordable, locally grown fruits and vegetables will aid in addressing the obesity epidemic. Healthier eating habits will result in healthier citizens which will decrease health care costs and attract businesses to move here.
- Preservation of farmlands will assure our regions’ future food needs.
What are the “5 Bold Steps” needed to get to the vision? – As established in 2012:
- Establishment of a farm and food council
- A public awareness and education campaign about our local farm and food system
- Agricultural business and workforce training, with emphasis on small farms
- Processing and distribution infrastructure to best aggregate and distribute food to markets
- Farmland preservation and food waste management
Who leads the Council? – A Council of five representatives from each county from the following categories: Farmer; Government Official/Economic Development; Public Health/Medical Professional; Education Representative; and Interested Individual, plus one representative from Union County. An Interim Director (volunteer) supports the Council part-time.
What does UPFFC do? – UPFFC encourages, supports and initiates programs that fulfill the vision and mission. It promotes all tri-county activities such as farmers markets, CSA’s, the new regional farmers coop (Farm Fresh Ventures,) conventional farmers using sustainable methods, high school and college programs promoting local farms and food production, community gardens and much more. It is involved at the Charlotte regional level in helping to coordinate with and develop other such councils in the region. It is part of the NC Sustainable Local Foods Advisory Council network of state-wide organizations, and it help promote statewide programs such as the Cooperative Extensions’ NC 10% Campaign.
How can the public be involved? – The public is invited to join our listserv that receives monthly farm and food updates and other special events announcements, to use our website, www.upffc.org, to get involved with our various initiatives by emailing email@example.com or calling 704-474-9134 for more information.
Updated April, 2013