August/September 2016 — NCGT’s Local Food Economies initiative has released a new Government Guide on Building Local Food Economies. The guide’s online format makes it easy for planners, economic developers, and local government administrators to quickly and easily access information they need, for example regulations that impact agriculture at the local level.

The guide is a resource for information about planning and economic development issues that impact the success of farms and food businesses. It includes updated regulations and examples of policies that support farmland protection planning, farm-friendly land use and zoning ordinances, ways to expand local food supply chain infrastructure, and innovative new strategies including conservation development and “agrihoods” (communities  situated around a farm).

It also includes updated information for small business and entrepreneurship development, such as financing tools, business planning for non-traditional farm and food businesses, and the role of new partners in supporting these businesses. Collaboration among diverse stakeholders is also a featured topic, with resources for food policy councils and other groups.

“This guide is important because it gives local government staff and administrators quick and easy access to information about common issues between local governments and food systems,” said Emily Edmonds, NCGT’s Extension & Outreach Program Manager. “Making sure they can access up-to-date information about this field quickly and easily helps them to make decisions that support local agriculture and food access.”

You can read the full indexed guide on the CEFS website.

This article originally appeared in the August/September 2016 NC Growing Together Newsletter.