In 2018, LFA engaged a 20-year food system analyst to develop a Food System Strategic Plan to identify, prioritize and create business plans for solutions to the Wood River Valley food system.
Food System Strategic Plan
In 2018, Blaine County Food Council was awarded a Western Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education (SARE) grant to bring 20-year food system analyst Ken Meter, president and founder of Crossroads Resource Center in Lansing, Minn., to our valley. At our May workshop, Ken engaged more than 40 local food system stakeholders - farmers, advocates, community leaders, economic analysts, and non-profit leaders - to create an overview of our food supply chain and brainstorm solutions.
After reviewing Blaine County metrics, Ken reported encouraging economic impacts that an increase in local food production would have on our community. For example, if each household spent $5 per week on Idaho farm products, our local farmers would earn upward of $56 million dollars each year! LFA helped coordinate this workshop to launch a more comprehensive project - the development of a Food System Strategic Plan,
Through a collaborative process involving key food system stakeholders, LFA is now working with Ken to conduct an in-depth study of our regional food shed. Based on data collected, he will recommend potential solutions to improve production, processing, storage and distribution of community foods to help supply schools, hospitals, organizations and the public with ultra-fresh, nutrient-dense food and strengthen our local food economy.
How to actualize these new business solutions? As a program of Sun Valley Institute, LFA will work with our parent organization to create business plans and capitalize the most feasible of the recommended solutions. Whether through private impact investment or a collective community fund, we will work to design the most appropriate funding structure.