Why Food Councils and Food Networks?


By Stephanie Campbell, CFSA’s Outreach Coordinator

Grace and Cary Kanoy, of Davidson County, NC, believe putting down deep roots in a place and being an active part of a community are important. They are always being asked, “Why do we need a food network?” and “Why is food so important to you?”

Kanoys-EOY-2015 - GIVE“For a thriving community to exist,” Grace explains, “residents need to be healthy. Health comes from clean air, clean water, healthy food, physical activity, and a loving, supportive community. A healthy community that feeds itself is an independent and stable community. This is the kind of place we want to raise our family in.”

From a business standpoint, when residents, neighbors, and family members are healthy, it means healthy workers and better productivity. A healthy workforce attracts businesses and companies. Healthy students mean better attendance, better school performance.

CFSA is working with Grace and Cary to establish the Davidson County Local Food Network. CFSA staff provides resources, support and technical assistance through our partnership with the Center for Environmental Farming Systems’ Community Food Strategies initiative. Food councils are being formed at county, regional and state levels to create intentional networks around food system issues and to provide members with the skills and knowledge to identify local solutions to food systems challenges.

A healthy community that feeds itself is an independent and stable community. This is the kind of place we want to raise our family in.

Grace and Cary are filmmakers and photographers by day and concentrate their professional work as well as their community service on issues of social justice. “We have particularly valued CFSA’s efforts to affect and influence farm and food policy both in our state and on a federal level,” says Grace. “Through our relationship with CFSA and learning about other members’ efforts, we realize how much federal and state policy affects our local economy, community and even our family’s health.”

In their volunteer work helping establish the Davidson County Local Food Network, the Kanoys have learned much to share with other groups forming across the Carolinas: the greater impact that can be made working together as a community, taking time to weave a diverse network of community leaders committed to a shared purpose, building a sense of community responsibility and accountability, and sharing actual stories, both successes and failures. The Kanoys credit the leadership, experience and involvement of CFSA staff in helping establish credibility and facilitating positive change in their county.

“CFSA is our go-to resource for agriculture policy and sustainable ag resources for us in our own homestead and for our community network,” says Grace. “CFSA has had an enormous influence on our lives, introducing us to a wealth of experts, leaders and role models – from participating in farm tours, the Sustainable Ag Conference, learning about food councils and food policy, and becoming part of a larger community who are trying to live honest lives and make the world a better place.”

Read more about CFSA food council support and development at: www.carolinafarmstewards.org/food-councils/

What Mazie Learned About Food You Can Trust


By Stephanie Campbell, CFSA’s Outreach Coordinator

Why does a retired school teacher become a member of CFSA and a champion of sustainable farming? Ask Mazie Smith of Swan Quarter, NC, and she’ll quickly tell you how she believes her own health was seriously affected by adverse reactions to defoliants being sprayed on the cotton plants in her area. She will enthusiastically go on to convert you to CFSA membership and support for local, organic food!

mazie-EOY-2015 - GIVE“I became intent on learning as much as I could about what is sprayed on plants around me in conventional agriculture and the impact on humans and animals,” Mazie shares. “My research led me to an NC State University webpage on Organic Farming Information. It was here that I learned of the work CFSA accomplishes and the resources, workshops and other learning opportunities provided by CFSA.”

CFSA members know that where your food comes from and how it was grown is very important. As Mazie learned, CFSA members believe that food you can trust starts at the source – with the farmer.

“I now seek out local farmers and farmers markets to find humanely and organically raised meat and dairy products, along with vegetables that I can feel safe eating, preserving and serving to my family. The things I have learned from CFSA have empowered me to ask better questions and to seek out those food businesses that take stewardship of the land seriously. I take comfort in dealing with businesses that are already CFSA members and to encourage those who are not, to join. I am truly excited to be a new member and I look forward to continuing to learn and make a difference – for the health of us all – together with CFSA!”

Read more about CFSA and membership at www.carolinafarmstewards.org/what-we-do/

Your gift to CFSA is one of the best ways you can support local farmers and champion food that is good for consumers, good for farmers and farmworkers, and good for the land.

Please give today.

You can donate online at /give

or mail a check to CFSA, PO Box 448, Pittsboro, NC 27312.