2018 Regional Peer-to-Peer Convening Highlights

In November of 2018 the Central Appalachian Network held its first Regional Peer-to-Peer Convening at Tamarack in Beckley, West Virginia. Approximately 115 people attended the event, including economic development practitioners, community change makers, funders, and sector experts working in the Central Appalachian region. Discussions were focused on individual sectors and topics, and on cross-cutting issues affecting the equitable transition of the Central Appalachian region. The three concurrent session tracks focused on the three topics of CAN’s working groups: Food and Agriculture Systems, Clean Energy, and Creative Placemaking.

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Healthy food access in Appalachia – summary video!

Over the months leading up to this past winter, I was given the opportunity to work with CAN and their many partner organizations across the Appalachian region to highlight the work they are doing to improve healthy food access in their communities. I captured these initiatives through a number of short videos, each highlighting a different project described in recently completed case studies conducted and published by CAN and the Appalachian Funders Network.

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Healthy Food Access in Central Appalachia – Case Studies of Community-Based Innovations

The joint Food & Ag Systems Working Group between CAN and the Appalachia Funders Network worked together to conduct and publish six case studies of projects at the intersection of food access and health. Several members of the Funders Network funded the work to document and highlight lessons from innovative projects around the region, and CAN […]

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Forest Farming & Agroforestry in Central Appalachia

This Food & Ag Systems Working Group learning call, hosted by CAN and the Appalachia Funders Network, featured a collection of leading practitioners and funders who work on agroforestry and forest farming around the region. They shared key concepts and definitions, highlighted current projects taking place across the region, and emphasized the economic potential, environmental impact, […]

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Federal Food & Farm Policy: Farm Bill 101 with NSAC (April 2017)

CAN members, practitioner partners, and Appalachia Funders Network members of the Food &Ag Systems Working Group (FASWG) were joined by policy experts from the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC). NSAC staff shared an overview of the Farm Bill process,identified critical USDA programs that are funded through the bill, and laid out opportunities to get involved in […]

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Regional Food Security Data Scan

Authored by the Appalachian Foodshed Project for CAN and the Food & Ag Systems Working Group of the Appalachia Funders Network, this report provides state-level data snapshots related to food, agriculture, poverty, and health of the Central Appalachian region and suggests approaches to creating and utilizing data as a means of understanding and addressing food, […]

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The Vital Role of Food Systems in Central Appalachia’s Public Health

Central Appalachia’s public health disparities are staggering compared with the rest of the country. However, this data-driven analysis and video presentation by Dr. Randy Wykoff, Dean of the ETSU College of Public Health shows that there is great potential to impact the major health factors of social determinants and behavior. Education outcomes, public health, and […]

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Red Mantra Convening Report: “Building a Thriving Regional Agricultural Economy in the Rural South and Central Appalachia”

In August 2013, the Red Mantra Group brought CAN members and other local food system developers and supporters together with a diverse group of corporate buyer representative. Executives from Whole Foods, Wal-Mart, Kroger, Nestle, CH Robinson, Harris Teeter, and others sat down to discuss the obstacles to a thriving regional food economy, particularly the challenges […]

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Branding Study for Appalachian Food Economies

CAN partnered with the MIT Keeping Wealth Local Clinic to produce this exciting report on place-based branding strategies for food systems. The report includes an overview of branding theory, a series of case studies of place-based food brands from within Central Appalachian and outside of the region, and an analysis of lessons learned and recommendations […]

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Chesterhill Produce Auction: A Case Study

In this publication, rural Action and the Voinovich School at Ohio University chronicle the story of the Chesterhill Produce Auction in this case study. Tom Redfern from Rural Action explains the produce auction is part of a larger sustainable agriculture picture. “It keeps the farmer on the land; it keeps local people working; it keeps […]

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Healthy Food Systems: A Toolkit for Building Value Chains

This publication from 2009 profiles the work of CAN member Appalachian Sustainable Development and their Appalachian Harvest food hub as a case study of local food value chain development. In this toolkit, ASD shares experiences and lessons from Appalachian Harvest and other value chain initiatives. It’s designed to help new and emerging value chain efforts and […]

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