From Coal to Kale: Food Systems & Economic Resilience

Regular readers of this blog know that I’ve had the good fortune to spend a lot of my recent working time helping America’s coal-dependent regions identify new economic engines and wealth creators.   As these regions seek to diversify their economies, many are embracing their pasts as agriculture centers and are developing strong and resilient food systems based on locally grown products.   A recent Civil Eats article profiles some exciting new efforts in Delta County, CO (organic produce) and West Virginia’s Sprouting Farms training programs.

Exciting work is underway in coal regions around the US. In addition to promoting this recent article, let me add a few other relevant plugs.  First, check out Civil Eats, an excellent (and new to me) resource on food and food policy.  Second, the coal transition article rightly praises a new St. Louis Federal Reserve e-book, Harvesting Opportunity, that should be your current one-stop-shop for what’s happening in food systems development around the US.   Finally, if you’re interested in learning more on these topics and are based in Utah (or interested in visiting Utah), check out an upcoming event sponsored by the National Association of Counties and the National Association of Development Organizations: Strengthening Economies in Utah:  A Forum for Coal-Reliant Communities.  The forum will be held in Richfield, UT from Oct. 18-20.  Hope to see you there.

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