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Website launched for local food resources

A new website, Community and Local Food Resources, is aimed at assisting rural community food systems and development. Sparked by a tri-state collaboration, the site's mission is to improve local food resources, no matter where people might live in the upper Midwest.
"Farmers and community members can face a variety of unique struggles and opportunities when working to develop strong local food systems," says Greg Schweser, Community Food Systems Planner at the University of Minnesota's Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships. "We worked with rural communities in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota to find out what those issues were and addressed them as best we could in this website."
The university collaborated with North Dakota State University Extension Service, Buy Fresh Buy Local South Dakota, and non-profit organization FARRMS to craft a site that will be useful for those working in local food systems. Topics include production, marketing tactics, business advice, sourcing options, education, and public policy.
The site comes at a crucial time, as community support for the farm-to-fork movement is growing. By providing online resources to rural communities, the site's developers hope to connect farmers with local organizations and also assist consumers who might be searching for affordable farmers market options or looking to start a community garden.
"While there is a wealth of information online to help those working on local foods, this website combines and organizes hundreds of resources into one easy-to-use interface," says Schweser.
As food systems change over time and community food strategies develop, the site's developers hope that people will forward new resources so the site can be kept up to date. Schweser is confident that the website can be a major force for change, and a central point for those aiming for stronger, community-based food systems.
Source: Greg Schweser, University of Minnesota
Writer: Elizabeth Millard
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