Southern Tier West received a grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission to enhance local food efforts across the southern tier region. The program demonstrates the nutritional, economical, and environmental benefits of consuming locally grown produce and locally made goods. Program activities include maintaining the 'Local Foods: From the Ground Up' website that list the producers and farmers markets with their product and contact information; providing education and outreach to consumers and producers to expand and develop the local food system in our region; and providing support for creation of community gardens in the region.
Local Food Brand
STW was awarded a $18,550 "Buy Local" grantfrom NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets to support the development of a regional local food brand, a strategic marketing plan, and assistance for media marketing placements. STW is working with local food stakeholders not only in the Chautauqua-Allegheny agricultural region, but also with representatives from adjacent agricultural regions to develop complementary brand and marketing campaigns that will have maximum returns on increased consumer awareness of local foods and create increased demand for sales of local food products.
Food Producer Survey
STW developed a Food Producer Surveyand distributed it to a target audience of over 150 farmers, growers, food producers, and other local food participants. The comprehensive survey was designed to capture several areas of vital information including food producer profiles, production methods and capacities, processing and sales/distribution methods, business growth needs, and level of interest in participating in a local food branding program.
Rural Business Opportunity Grant (RBOG)
STW received a USDA Rural Business Opportunity Grant (RBOG)in the amount of $45,910 to do a consultant-driven study to look into the feasibility of creating a food hub for the three-county area and developing a potential business plan and business model along with possible locations. The proposed facility will be a food hub (aggregation, processing, and distribution) for the three-county service area, containing food aggregation and processing operations, dry and frozen storage, and warehousing and distribution operations. The project involved a feasibility study and business plan, used to provide documentation of viability of the concept and strategy, so as to secure grant and other funding for the creation and initial operation of the facility.