FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 9, 2012
Contact: Carolina Farm Stewardship Association
Victoria Bouloubasis, Barn Storm Tour Coordinator
(919) 260-1232 or email@example.com
Barn Storm Tour for Local Food Hits More Than 35 Stops throughout Carolinas
With a summer harvest in full swing, the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association launched its first Barn Storm Tour of the Carolinas last week. The tour sends two intrepid CFSA employees to more than 35 farmers markets and stops throughout North and South Carolina from now through October, providing resources to help farmers and restaurateurs grow their businesses.
The tour’s goals include creating a more robust Local Food Finder (www.carolinalocalfood.org), CFSA’s new one-stop website for finding local food, farms, food artisans, food trucks and restaurants. Consumers can search for local food purveyors based on location or specified search term and will be directed to full farm, restaurant and shop profiles with details on how to buy their goods.
Another focus of the tour is the 2012 Farm Bill, a piece of federal legislation that is revamped every five years, affecting food in a myriad of ways that includes farms, both big and small, and federal assistance programs like SNAP benefits. Just last week the US Senate passed its version of the bill, but there is still much work to do to ensure that this massive piece of legislation helps—rather than hinders—local, sustainable agriculture.
“People don’t think they can make a difference in big legislation, but they can,” says Jared Cates, CFSA’s Community Mobilizer. “Calling your representative is easy, and gives you a direct way to affect the local food system for the better. These representatives need to hear from North and South Carolinians to ensure that sustainable agriculture priorities are part of the bill.”
The House bill includes direct spending cuts of $35 billion, about $11 billion more than the Senate-passed bill. The bill is set to be addressed by the House of Representatives Agriculture Committee tomorrow, July 11.
At each tour stop, CFSA will collect local food stories that demonstrate just how much farmers and food businesses grow and support the local economy and why consumers should buy local and organic.
“Every city and small town here in the Carolinas has its own nuanced appreciation for local food,” said Victoria Bouloubasis, Barn Storm Tour Coordinator. “Our goal on the tour is to find what naturally matters most within each community. The big idea is to tell those powerful food and farming stories that will inspire more people to support sustainable agriculture.”
The tour features CFSA-sponsored community meetups at each stop, like the very successful and casual Meet Your Urban Farmer event at Durham’s Fullsteam Brewery on July 8. They’ll allow for farmers and food artisans to showcase their hard work, and for conscious consumers to learn how to become more involved and supportive of these efforts.
Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) is a 33-year-old non-profit with over 2,300 members that advocates for fair farm and food policies, builds the systems family farms need to thrive, and educates communities about local, organic farming. Our vision is the creation of a regional food system in the Carolinas that is good for farmers, good for consumers, and good for the land. To learn more, visit www.carolinafarmstewards.org.