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Using locally grown foods to revitalize economy focus of upcoming workshop in Huntington, WV

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Courtesy: Heritage Farm Museum Courtesy: Heritage Farm Museum
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HUNTINGTON, WV - Huntington residents can learn more about revitalizing the region and growing their economy by raising -- and consuming -- local foods at a two-day workshop beginning Monday, Aug. 18 at Heritage Farm Museum & Village, 3300 Harvey Road.

The program is a joint effort led by local nonprofit Unlimited Future and the City of Huntington.

“We are excited to have so many local residents willing to volunteer their time and expertise toward creating a strong, workable plan to improve our region's economy and livability by promoting local foods,” said workshop organizer Gail Patton, executive director of Unlimited Future. “This workshop will be a first step toward crafting an action plan for helping to revitalize the Huntington region by supporting local food producers and increasing the availability of local foods throughout our community.”

Some of the ideas that will be explored at the workshop include organizing a Local Foods Council to connect various efforts to strengthen local foods; increasing local agricultural production and growing the market for local foods; providing entrepreneurship support for value-added producers; and increasing sustainable use of rural lands and promoting community vitality.

The planning process is supported by a grant awarded to the City by the Appalachian Regional Commission, U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency, all of which will be represented at the workshop along with the project consultant, Renaissance Planning Group of Charlottesville, Virginia.

The plan will highlight opportunities for the City and Unlimited Future to obtain ARC funds for implementing strategies.

For more information, contact Patton by calling (304) 412-3171 or emailing her at gail@unlimitedfuture.org or Jason Espie, EPA/ARC Technical Assistance consultant, at 540-435-0718 or jespie@citiesthatwork.com.