VALLEY CITY, ND, Jun 30, 2011 -- The North Dakota Food and Agriculture Council (FAC) will meet today to identify and assess agricultural and rural issues throughout the state. The meeting will take place from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m. at the Student Center on the Valley City State University campus.
The council is made up of federal, state and local agriculture entities with a focus on coordinating interagency activities to promote the goals and objectives of agriculture related industries. Jasper Schneider, FAC Chairperson, encourages interested organizations and individuals to attend the meeting as it is a good venue to share information and work together to address the needs of North Dakota.
The FAC meeting will cover several issues, but an emphasis will be put on local food systems with presentations from Sue Balcom, FAARMS Marketing and Outreach Coordinator; Sharon Clancy, Valley City Farmers Market Manager; and Sue Buhr, Sanford Health Nutritionist and Young People’s Heart Healthy Program Director. USDA has put in place the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food (KYF2) initiative to support local farmers, strengthen communities, promote healthy eating and protect natural resources. Through this effort, the critical connection between farmers and consumers is strengthened while supporting local and regional food systems.
Before the FAC meeting begins, a mobile processing unit will be parked in front of the campus Student Center for tours. The unit, a 24’ commercial kitchen on wheels, was purchased in 2010 through the North Dakota Department of Agriculture’s Local Foods Initiative. It was designed to help promote North Dakota foods and agriculture, produce commercial products, and offer opportunities to showcase local growers and local foods throughout the state.
In each state, the Food and Agriculture Council was established by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The state councils are utilized as a tool to gather feedback on procedural issues, receive recommendations on policies, and to keep informed on agriculture and rural development concerns.