Farm to Market Alliance

Project Overview

CS10-080
Project Type: Sustainable Community Innovation
Funds awarded in 2010: $10,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2011
Region: Southern
State: Georgia
Principal Investigator:
Christine McCauley
Madison-Morgan Conservancy

Annual Reports

Commodities

  • Agronomic: barley, corn, cotton, potatoes, sorghum (milo), soybeans, sunflower, wheat, grass (misc. perennial), hay
  • Fruits: melons, berries (other), berries (blueberries), figs, peaches
  • Nuts: pecans
  • Vegetables: sweet potatoes, artichokes, asparagus, beans, beets, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucurbits, eggplant, garlic, greens (leafy), leeks, lentils, onions, parsnips, peas (culinary), peppers, radishes (culinary), rutabagas, sweet corn, tomatoes, turnips, brussel sprouts
  • Additional Plants: herbs, native plants, ornamentals
  • Animals: bovine, poultry, swine, sheep
  • Animal Products: dairy
  • Miscellaneous: mushrooms

Practices

  • Animal Production: feed/forage
  • Education and Training: workshop, youth education
  • Farm Business Management: e-commerce, farm-to-institution, agritourism
  • Sustainable Communities: community planning, local and regional food systems, new business opportunities, partnerships, public participation, urban/rural integration, community services, social networks

    Abstract:

    Farm to Market Alliance

    The Madison-Morgan Conservancy’s Farm to Market Alliance (F2MA) was created to support the marketing and transportation of local food fresh from farm to table through providing education and marketing materials. This SARE grant funded the creation of FARMeander, a map-based educational and promotional piece designed to locate and promote the farms and farm-related activities in and around Morgan County. FARMeander was successful in promoting agritourism, local farms, and local agricultural businesses and is the first step in branding this area of Georgia as the hub of the local food movement.

    Introduction

    FARMeander

    The Madison-Morgan Conservancy was inspired and assisted by a local group of sustainable farmers to create FARMeander in order to market the area’s farms, festivals, and inns that celebrate Morgan County’s agrarian heritage.

    Project objectives:

    As stated in our grant application:

    1 – Educational Forums and Materials: The Conservancy will provide two forums designed to bring important information to farmers, residents, the markets (restaurants, foodies, grocers), and local elected officials that will be helpful in the marketing and transportation of local food fresh from farm to table. Two educational forums could consist of "Who can sell what to whom, when and where"; and "Farmland Preservation and Conservation Easements". Additional informational sessions could include meeting with Morgan County Board of Commissioners and Planning Staff to create agricultural zoning ordinances and/or overlays (already involved per their request in this activity, but need to be able to sustain our involvement). Partners in this effort would include Morgan County Board of Commissioners and Planning Staff, The Center for Preservation and Planning (Covington), Smart Growth Newton County, Friends of Walton County, UGA Ag Economics, GA Organics, the Madison-Morgan Chamber of Commerce, the Farm Bureau, the NRCS, the GA Land Conservation Program, and the USDA, in addition to residents, restaurant owners, farmers, landowners, etc.

    2 – Agritourism Map and Web Presence: The Conservancy has mobilized a group of sustainable farmers to compile a map and tour guide of farms, farm-stays, and farm events in Morgan County in order to promote agritourism in an effort to “Keep Farmers Farming.” Additionally, this group is working to create a web presence in a variety of forms (Chamber of Commerce website, Conservancy website, individual farm websites) for the many farms in Morgan County to promote and sustain that critical mass of agriculture that is needed for any individual farm to be successful. This project will require: coordinating farmers, collecting information about each farm, scheduling farm events, drafting text, creating graphics and map, printing maps and brochures, and marketing through other means the map and agritourism available in Morgan County. Partners involved in this project could include farmers, grocers, restaurateurs, GA Organics, local agribusinesses, Morgan County Board of Commissioners, Chambers of Commerce, Ga Department of Economic Development, as well as residents and the local community.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.