Hoosiers acquire a taste for local foods through Indiana Flavor
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – A new Purdue University program is helping Hoosier communities launch and sustain local and regional food networks.
The Indiana Flavor program provides presentation materials, sample survey questions, examples of community-based food network projects, and more. Resources are available on the program's Web site at https://pcrd.typepad.com/ecd/indiana-flavor/
"These materials can help people make the case for local and regional food networks, understand how the food economy works, effectively link and leverage assets to create food networks, use open innovation to identify food network projects and use strategies to quickly implement projects," said Scott Hutcheson, Purdue Extension assistant program leader for economic and community development.
Purdue Cooperative Extension Service and the Purdue Center for Regional Development developed Indiana Flavor. A pilot for the program was tested in Jackson County and led to an expanded local maple syrup festival, Hutcheson said.
"The next step was to refine what we had learned and develop a program we could use to teach others," Hutcheson said.
"In a nutshell, it's taking a community development approach to help people think about what stakeholders need to be at the table, how to go about setting priorities and how to stay organized," he said.
Several communities in Indiana already are using the Indiana Flavor program. One example is Montgomery County, where Quality of Life in Indiana grant facilitator Laura Conners assembled the Montgomery County Local Food Guide, said Joy Dugan, educator, Purdue Extension, Montgomery County.
"There's an overriding drive to have a variety of businesses that would meet someone's personal needs for local foods," Dugan said. "Conners' program was successful in creating a well-rounded directory that's focused on the county."
Additional information on Indiana Flavor is available by calling 765-494-7273.
The Indiana State Department of Agriculture provided the funding for Indiana Flavor, Hutcheson said.
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