Why is Local Food System Development Important for NH?
During the past decade, NH has experienced a dramatic rediscovery of land, local foods and farm and fishing enterprises. From farmers markets to community gardens, and community-supported farms and fishers to farm-to-school and-institution programs, we are making new food connections across NH and New England. We recognize the real and potential economic, social, and environmental benefits of supporting local and regional food systems from farm (and sea) to fork, including revitalizing rural economies, improving nutrition and health, and ensuring equitable access to food.
Benefits of developing a viable Local Food System
- Increase production, processing & marketing activities in the food/farm/fishing sectors
- Improve health, nutrition & food security for all NH citizens while decreasing societal costs of diet-related disease
- Create desirable, rewarding jobs throughout the food sector
- Maintain & enhance the natural resource base underlying a productive food economy
- Encourage citizens to actively seek information to make reasoned food choice.
- Buffer against disruptions in national/global food supply due to weather or other issues
- Resolve infrastructure needs such as processing capacity and local distribution
- Address policies that slow down the development of our local food economy
- Create opportunities to add value to local products and increase food sector jobs
Numerous innovative efforts are already underway to support community and regional food systems in our state and realize the benefits described above.
North Country RC&D is involved in a number of these. Below are links to a few great initiatives in NH.
NH Food System Network: nhfoodstrategy.weebly.com/
NH/Food Solutions New England: foodsolutionsne.org/
Lakes Region Food Network: lrfn.org
North Country Farmer’s Cooperative: ncfcoop.com
Keep Growing NH/VT: keepgrowingnhvt.org
Monadnock Menus: monadnockmenus.wordpress.com
NH Dept. of Agriculture Markets and Food: agriculture.nh.gov
UNH Cooperative Extension System: extension.unh.edu/Agriculture