Stronger Together: How Community Farm Alliance Supports Kentucky’s Farming Community

Stronger Together: How Community Farm Alliance Supports Kentucky’s Farming Community
From, by Sarah Small

Community Farm Alliance (CFA) uses grassroots organizing to support and create real systematic change for family farmers in Kentucky. Through CFA’s leadership, strong public policies have been created for Kentucky’s farmers and the communities that depend on them. CFA members have been able to pass or defeat two dozen pieces of legislation in support of the farming community.

Food Tank had the opportunity to speak with Cara Meyer, Communications Director at Community Farm Alliance.

Food Tank (FT): How do you contribute to creating a better food system?

Cara Meyer (CM): Since 1985, Community Farm Alliance (CFA) has led grassroots campaigns to pass or defeat over 20 pieces of legislation to support family farmers in Kentucky. Most of those, especially in recent years, have been directly related to local food system development. CFA uses several strategies to create good public policy, aid community development, and build democracy. Through community organizing, leadership development, and strategic alliances with other organizations, CFA works to bring a critical public voice to policy makers.

FT: What is a project, program, or result you are most proud of?

CM: Breaking Beans: The Appalachian Food Story Project is an initiative of Community Farm Alliance to tell the story of how local food and farming in Eastern Kentucky can contribute to a bright future in the mountains. Eastern Kentucky is at the point where it can foster a food system that is equitable and accessible to all, provides fresh nutritious food, and serves as an economic generator that builds community wealth.

A group of five Fellows working on the Appalachian Food Story Project seek out, collect, and uplift the stories of individuals, families, and businesses that are working to improve Eastern Kentucky’s food system. The Fellows work in collaboration with other regional communications efforts and the collected stories are available through a variety of media, primarily through a blog on CFAKY.ORG.

FT: What are your goals for 2015 and beyond?

CM: We seek to create these long-term conditions in Kentucky:

  • Kentucky has an organized and diverse family farm, food, and fiber coalition that effectively influences and creates political, social, and economic change.
  • Family farms and local foods are a major driver of equitable economic growth in Kentucky.
  • Kentucky’s residents and communities are healthy, prosperous, and resilient because we have access to locally grown food and usable land.

FT: In one sentence, what is the most important thing eaters and consumers can do today to support a more sustainable food system?

CM: Vote with your dollar by purchasing food directly from your local farmer.

FT: How can individuals become more involved in your organization?

CM: Become a CFA member! Tell a friend about us. You can even send us their info and we’ll reach out. Become a sustaining donor to double the impact of your membership contribution. Like and share CFA’s Facebook page.

Download the 2014 Good Food Org Guide HERE.

Submit your suggestions for the 2015 guide HERE.

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