- Education and Training: demonstration
- Farm Business Management: marketing management, new enterprise development
- Sustainable Communities: local and regional food systems
CFA members will expand our institutional buying demonstration project for farmers that represents a successful marketing strategy for rural counties, builds a market for the Agricultural Education and Marketing Center in Bath County, provides fresh local food to Kentucky school children, and provides additional income to local farmers. By developing a diversified and stable market for Kentucky farmers this project will facilitate new entrepreneurial and value added activities.
Kentucky farmers have historically depended on the stable income provided by Burley tobacco, but that crop and the program that made it profitable now belong to a bygone era. CFA members responded to this crisis in 2000 by advocating for the expenditure of tobacco settlement funds for diversification, new farm enterprises and new markets and by advocating for local buying legislation. CFA has been the catalyst for instigating some of the most significant economic development strategies required by the loss of tobacco. While members have been successful on the urban front, rural counties too far way from Lexington and Louisville to do direct marketing are in dire need of successful strategies.
CFA members envisioned and helped write local buying legislation, House Bill 669, which was passed by the Kentucky legislature in 2006, requiring state agencies to purchase local agricultural products, making the State Parks local buying program permanent and broadening the program to other state institutions as well. Especially in rural areas, state parks can give farmers the summer market that school systems do not provide in their off season.
Bath County built a regional marketing and processing center with tobacco settlement funds that includes a community kitchen and processing, cooling and storage facilities for distribution of local products. Four state parks are within 65 miles of the center.
Farmers remote from urban centers need local marketing and value added options to provide a reliable income. A successful demonstration project will help local farmers create new markets in schools and state parks and provide information for farmers in other rural areas to develop similar projects.
Continue and expand the model institutional buying demonstration project to include two county school systems and four state parks. Double the number of farmers to twenty participating in the project, producing quality food for local markets and customers without an intensive investment in the amount of land or capital, and receiving additional income of at least $5,000. The project will combine the State Park local buying program with farm to school markets to create a nine-month market for local farmers utilizing facilities and services at the Bath County Agricultural Education and Marketing Center.
Five new value-added farm product ventures toi provide additional income for farmers and food products for the schools and/or parks.
Create a how to handbook containing the model demonstration project materials and make it available to assist other farmers and communities in creating institutional and farm to school markets.