The Texas Center for Local Food aims to leverage the incredible talent we have in our state to be a catalyst for creation of regional food systems in Texas that support prosperous family farmers, healthy Texans and vibrant rural economies.
Examples: -- I want to have my own farm, where do I start? (TOFGA, FarmShare Austin, ACC Elgin) -- I want to find a caterer who uses Texas grown ingredients. -- Where can I learn more about food policy issues? (FARFA) -- Where can I find out how to start a farm-to-school program? (TDA, SFC, existing F2S programs) -- Where can I learn about vegetable production for my farm? (TOFGA, Texas AgriLife) -- Where can I buy local food? (Buy Fresh Buy Local, Local Harvest) -- I need a farm CPA. -- I want to start a poultry farm. (NCAT, TOFGA) -- I want to know what the rules are for selling goods I make at home. -- Where can I buy organic feed? (Coyote Creek) -- Where can I find investors for my local food business?
Examples: Develop and catalyze development of new enterprises that use local farmers’ crops and employ local residents. -- Hold regional seminars and webinars to educate county and city economic development officials about the value that local food enterprise can bring to their community. -- Support development of new food enterprises that use Texas grown crops. -- Share information online about existing projects and local food enterprises. -- Stimulate regional collaboration and “food shed” development to increase local food supply. -- Help create replicable models for food production and distribution. -- Work with funders to identify potentially successful enterprises. -- Help communities design local food projects to leverage the use of existing resources and complement existing activities.
Examples: Share information about existing projects to develop new markets including value-added processing and food hubs. -- Research and report on how new markets may impact farmers' net income. -- Find funding for specific projects that explore and develop new markets. -- Share news and the best thinking on market trends for Texas family farmers. -- Collaborate statewide to facilitate supply chain development. -- Collaborate statewide to understand trends in consumer demand to support family farm and rural community prosperity. -- Collaborate on projects that explore in-state supply and demand for Texas grown crops.
Examples: Support capacity building through leadership training. -- Collaborate to increase food access for the neediest Texans. -- Provide business training for farmers and other local food enterprise owners. -- Training in organizational development. -- Collaborate to create statewide marketing campaigns. -- Support and initiate regional food studies. -- Find ways to fill regional food system gaps. -- Work with education groups to support food and nature education for children. -- Build bridges with FFA and 4-H. -- Be a welcoming gateway for conventional farmers to consider sustainable practices.