This blog is a place to find and share stories and resources related to economic transition and community economic development work in Appalachia. You’ll find everything from personal perspectives to research reports to informational webinars. You can also contribute stories or resources from your work that you think can benefit others, using the guest post option. If you’re looking for a particular post or interested in a sector or topic, you can search or sort by category in the toolbar on the right.


 

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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New Policy Toolkit for Expanding Central Appalachia’s Energy Leadership in the 21st Century

Central Appalachia’s emerging clean energy economy has potential benefits for economic development, job creation, community resilience, and sustainability. Yet, the policy context at the state, local, and regulatory level is critically important to this emerging market. This policy analysis toolkit from the Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI) looks at the region’s policy landscape and provides a set of recommendations and priorities to guide future policy change and advocacy efforts in Appalachia.

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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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Briefing Paper: “Cross-Sector Collaboration in the Small Business Support Ecosystem”

In December 2014, CAN partnered with the WV Alliance for Economic Inclusion to host a Small Business Trainers Workshop in Charleston, WV. Building on a series of learning calls between entrepreneurship support actors, this 1-day strategy session brought together banks, Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs), non-profit organizations, business incubators, community groups, investors, USDA, US Small Business Administration, […]

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Research Report: “Improving Systems of Distribution and Logistics for Regional Food Hubs”

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 […]

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Report on Appalachia’s Rural-Urban Continuum and Strategies for Expanding Market Access

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 […]

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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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