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Resources to EmPOWER

EMFS has resources to support businesses, students, supply chain intermediaries, educators, and others in a variety of food system settings. Our project team is excited to hear from you and to work with you to support the food & farm economy in WNC! 

Recent Resources and Presentations:

Blue Ridge Food Ventures:

Making Money on the Farm:

Value Added Series:

Scholarships for Food and Farm Businesses

This application for scholarship funds is for farmers, food businesses, nutrition educators, and extension educators interested in attending conferences, workshops, and training’s that will support business development in the seven western counties and on the Qualla Boundary. You can apply to receive a scholarship for any training you would like to even if the training, class, workshop or conference is not being held by EMFS!

Apply Now!

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WNC Food System Assessment

EMFS has partnered with the Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP) to conduct a regional food assessment to identify supply chain, local food infrastructure, technical knowledge, marketing and agritourism opportunities throughout the seven-county region. The assessment will serve as a guide to help EmPOWERing Mountain Food Systems staff meet the needs of regional stakeholders including farmers, producers, educators and consumers. The assessment consisted of in person interviews, an online survey and a review of recent regional reports and USDA census data. The full report was published November 26, 2019.

Please click here to read more about the food system assessment, view the recorded webinar presentation, and download the full report.

For more information about the assessment process, contact Amy Marion, Program Coordinator, at amy@asapconnections.org or Charlie Jackson, Executive Director, at charlie@asapconnections.org. You can also visit them online at https://asapconnections.org/.

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Agritourism Assessment & Smart Training Series

Through interviews and focus groups with tourism destination marketers, economic development leaders, farmers, agritourism providers, and other tourism stakeholders this project will generate an asset map of existing agritourism resources in the region. Based on this assessment, recommendations will be made to establish agritourism initiatives and businesses that will capitalize on existing resources and create opportunities to expand agritourism experiences in the region. (While EMFS is focusing on the ability of agritourism to make a larger economic impact in the region, agritourism resources for individual producers and farms are widely available from the NC Department of Agriculture and the NC Agritourism Association.) 

For more information about the assessment process, contact Dr. Carla Barbieri or Dr. Whitney Knollenberg.

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Curriculum Development

EMFS offers a variety of education and training opportunities for business owners, farmers, teachers, faculty, and others in the WNC region. Program participants are eligible to receive scholarships and travel support to regional educational and technical training events. 

Curriculum Development: EMFS offers training support and curriculum resources for regional leaders to expand their knowledge and expertise on a variety of county and region-specific food system topics. Educational modules and tools are also available for use in universities, community colleges, and school districts. If you’re interested in these resources or in providing a training or curriculum enhancement through your agency. Visit the Curriculum Development page to learn more!

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