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.
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.
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 […]
Food hubs are increasingly popular as a means of bridging the gap between small and medium-sized farms and mainstream markets. Hubs located in rural areas, however, face numerous challenges when it comes to logistics and distribution. This report, prepared for CAN by MIT, summarizes existing research on food hubs, profiles several national case studies, and […]
In August of 2013, CAN hosted a “CAN Tank” event which brought together regional economic development leaders to address the challenge of expanding market access for rural-based enterprises and economic sectors. In preparation for this event, CAN partnered with Brian Dabson of the University of Missouri’s Institute of Public Policy to conduct research on the […]
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 […]