Hey everyone, Maria here in Williamson, WV.

Several months ago, Williamson’s own Health Innovation Hub was the winner of the Local Foods, Local Places grant. The Local Foods, Local Places is a federal initiative providing technical support to integrate local food systems into community economic action plans.

Under this effort, a team of agricultural, transportation, environmental, public health and regional economic experts will work directly with the communities to develop specifically identified local food projects.

Next week, on May 12th and 13th, we will be hosting our strategic planning meeting (with a farm track on day 2!!!) and are inviting all local and regional partners. Here is the full schedule in detail.
For more info or to register, go to: localfoodslocalplaces.eventbrite.com
We would love for any of you to attend that are interested in regional collaboration and strategic planning. Also, on the 13th there will be a live shiitake mushroom inoculation and a lesson on planting three sisters!

Here are the quotes from stakeholders regarding the event:

“A strong economy is a diversified economy and agriculture is one path forward to strengthen our plans for the future.  We have to focus and prepare for the next hundred or the next two hundred years.”
-Delegate Justin Marcum

“I have worked hand in hand with Agriculture Commissioner Walt Helmick and welcome him to come and spend more time with us in southern West Virginia working to develop underutilized lands. Bringing together all of our resources could be a game changer for our local and regional stakeholders and for agriculture entrepreneurs.”
-Delegate Justin Marcum


“The Williamson Redevelopment Authority, working with other community groups, wants to show other communities how we have worked on health and wellness problems in our area through a multifaceted approach. This approach benefits our economy, tourism development and particularly strengthens our local food sytem.”
-Anne Werum Lambright, Williamson Redevelopment Authority Chair

I am an advocate for the health and wellbeing of children. It is exciting to see an emerging emphasis on healthy eating and on growing fresh foods in our community and in our schools. I am pleased to participate in the collaboration of our community organizations and school agricultural education in providing the education, skills and experiences that will sustain a focus on health and nutrition with homegrown foods as a vital component.
– Jackie Branch, Director Living Water Childcare, Mingo County Board of Education