- Sustainable Communities: community development, community planning, local and regional food systems, public participation
The project “Sustainable Farming: Wedding Agriculture and Community Development in McIntosh County, Georgia” is founded on the principles of linking sustainable agriculture and community development. Specifically this project will utilize results gleaned from a food system survey that will be developed and distributed by McIntosh SEED and its partners. This project will then solicit public participation to develop a Food System Plan for McIntosh County, conduct a Search Conference and organize a search committee to develop a strategic action plan regarding sustainable farming for McIntosh County, have the completed Food System Plan reviewed by McIntosh County local government officials, form an Advisory Council to implement the Food System Plan, and increase public awareness and knowledge of the benefits of sustainable farming on the farmer, consumer, community, and environment.
The project will build capacity through its partnerships with local government, state government, federal government, non-profit and community agencies and organizations. It will promote entrepreneurial opportunities that will benefit the agricultural sector as well as the community while having the potential to influence local government policy through ordinance development. By its very nature, the project will promote a long-term strategy that will be more productive and profitable to local farmers while integrating natural resource protection, cultural preservation and civic engagement.
With the coastal area becoming more diverse, there has been an increasing demand for alternative food products. For example, in adjacent Glynn County, retailers have opened an organic food market and expanded an organic café. Mainstream supermarkets, such as Wal-mart, have started selling organic products and overall awareness has been raised regarding the benefits of organic farming practices through newspaper articles and advertisements.
The purpose of this project is to build a stronger connection between sustainable agriculture and sustainable rural community development by promoting farming as a viable, sustainable initiative in McIntosh County, Georgia.
The overall goal of the proposed project is to build a stronger connection between sustainable agriculture and sustainable rural community development by promoting sustainable farming as a viable initiative in McIntosh County, Georgia and creating a Food System Plan. The following objectives will enable the goal to be met.
1. Solicit public participation to develop a Food System Plan for McIntosh County
2. Conduct a Search Conference and organize a search committee to develop a strategic action plan regarding sustainable farming for McIntosh County
3. Complete the Food System Plan and have it reviewed by local government officials in McIntosh County
4. Form an advisory Council to implement the Food System Plan
5. Increase public awareness of the benefits of sustainable farming on the environment