[Ok-sus] Regional Food System Speaker in Tahlequah-October 29th 1-3pm, Food Day and more

Rita Scott rita at okfarmandfood.org
Tue Oct 9 17:26:45 CDT 2012

Hello Friends,

Just letting you know about a few really good food related events:

-October 24th-National Food Day. Events listed at Foodday.org for Tahlequah and Stillwater. Tulsa and Pryor will be posting more details soon.

-October 29th, the Cherokee County Food Policy Council will be hosting  a USDA expert, Debra Tropp , specializing in food hubs and regional food systems (see press release below) Free to attend.

-October 30th & 31st, The Annual Northeastern Oklahoma  Regional Alliance ( NORA) Summit will be  held  at NSU, Tahlequah . $50 registration fee.
On the morning of the  30th, a panel will include USDA Marketing Specialist , Debra Tropp, to highlight the national perspective of food systems, as  Bud Scott  and Sophie Oppenheimer, with the Ok Farm and Food Alliance,  give the state and local report.

Rita Scott
OSN_SGC_BFBL_Food Policy Councils
Ok Farm and Food Alliance

> October 1, 2012
> The Cherokee County Food Policy Council will be meeting on October 29, Monday, from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm at the Tahlequah Armory on Water Street.  The meeting is open to anyone interested in the local foods system and working to create linkages among our consumers, producers, processors and our local food services.
> Through a collaboration with the Northeast Oklahoma Rural Alliance (NORA), we will be hosting Debra Tropp - Branch Chief, Farmers Market and Direct Marketing Research 
> Marketing Services Division at the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. Ms. Tropp will share her experiences and resources regarding the creation of actively managed  regional food hubs, which will include the broader concept of health and sustainability through locally sourced foods. We are learning that food hubs allow growers to diversify their consumers as they decide what to sell, when and to whom. We hope to encourage the entrepreneurs among us to engage in the local food system, as we work together to create a greater value chain and retail volume opportunities for producers throughout our region.
> You may review some of the work of Ms. Tropp and the USDA regarding food supply systems in their recent publication, “Moving Food Along the Food Chain” : Small and mid-size farmers are the backbone of farmers markets, but they often face particular obstacles when trying to sell products in markets like grocery stores, restaurants, hospitals, and schools. The study included eight food organizations that are overcoming the infrastructure and logistics challenges that smaller producers face. The in-depth interviews, research, and thorough analysis contained in this report focus on four themes: timely infrastructure investments, how stand-out products are complemented by effective marketing, the benefits of an informal network, and the need for strategic partnerships.
> For the first theme, we found that businesses are more successful when their investments match their growth. For example, during their early business development, the Oklahoma Food Cooperativedecided to use a church basement as a warehouse and focus on developing their unique online ordering platform and farmer-customer communication. As the business matured, they eventually leased a proper warehouse to manage the co-op. Their innovative online marketing platform, designed to address their needs, has been successfully adapted by businesses around the country with similar communication challenges. The publication is free to download online at http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/getfile?dDocName=stelprdc5097504
> The meeting is free and open to the public. We hope to see you there!

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