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Working Issues

Research and development on a core number of issues, determined out of the data collected from the regional meetings, will provide the groundwork of Game Changer and Tool Box ideas for discussion at the Summit.

List of Working Issues

  1. Retail & Institutional Markets (for Small & Medium-Sized Farms)
    1. Facilitators: Maurice Totty, Compass Group, and Andy Kennedy, Food Logic
    2. Staff: Nancy Creamer
  2. Farm-to-School
    1. Facilitator: Emily Jackson, South East Farm to School Coordinator, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project
    2. Staff: Jennifer Curtis
  3. Public Health and Food Access Disparities
    1. Facilitators: Alice Ammerman, UNC at Chapel Hill, Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, and Diane Beth, N.C. Division of Public Health
    2. Staff: Warren Miller
  4. Direct Markets
    1. Facilitator: Debbie Hamrick, N.C. Farm Bureau
    2. Staff: Jennifer Curtis
  5. New & Transitioning Farmers Support
    1. Facilitator: Noah Ranells, Economic Development Orange County
    2. Staff: Tes Thraves
  6. Community Gardens
    1. Facilitators: Eva Clayton, former Congresswoman and Lucy Bradley, Urban Horticulture Extension Specialist
    2. Staff: Tes Thraves
  7. Land Use & Local Government Initiatives
    1. Facilitator: John Day, Cabarrus County Manager
    2. Staff: Warren Miller and Nancy Creamer
  8. Youth & Social Networking
    1. Facilitators: Shorlette Ammons-Stephens, Youth Program Manager for Wayne Food Initiative
    2. Staff: Tes Thraves
  9. Consumer Outreach & Marketing
    1. Facilitators: Natalie Hampton, Communications Specialist, NCSU
    2. Staff: Nancy Creamer
  10. Processing & Other Physical Infrastructure
    1. Facilitator: Smithson Mills
    2. Staff: Jennifer Curtis
  11. Formalizing the Initiative: Foundations & Baselines
    1. Facilitator: Charlie Jackson, Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project
    2. Staff: Nancy Creamer & Warren Miller


Working Issue R& D Teams (WITs)

Purpose & Process

As a part of the initiative "Farm to Fork: Building a Local, Sustainable Food Economy in North Carolina," CEFS has facilitated a series of regional meetings to listen to and learn from individuals, organizations and communities working around the state. Next, we propose to work with our Advisory Committee to convene several small Working Issue R & D Teams (WITs).

Purpose: During the next 2 months, the WITs will be asked to build on the information gleaned from the regional meetings and identify potential "game changer" ideas-those possible action items that are impactful, important, statewide in scope (including replicable regional models), and doable in a 1-2 year timeframe. The work these R&D teams do will comprise part of the Summit agenda and will help increase awareness and build consensus around collective next steps. These WITs are intended to gather small groups of experts in the field who can work quickly to identify and suggest priorities based on reviewing the broader input gathered at the regional meetings. The Summit will accomplish broader discussion and involvement as we move toward creating a Statewide Action Plan.

Process: One or more members from CEFS' Farm to Fork Advisory Committee will be asked to facilitate each WIT. This will involve identifying team members, hosting a working meeting (and related email and/or teleconference communications) during December and January, and summarizing results. Each team will be comprised of approximately 10 stakeholders around core issues agreed to by the Advisory Committee; CEFS will "staff" each group and provide, as a starting point, suggested team members who might have been identified through the regional meetings; a summary of ideas and issues discussed at the regional meetings; assistance with communications and setting up meetings. A teleconference for all facilitators will be held in early January to review the process and expectations for each group.

CEFS staff prior to the WIT meetings, will provide to each WIT facilitator:

  • Ideas From Regional Meetings

Summarize the issues and ideas generated at the regional meetings pertaining to issue topic.

  • Draft Language of Problem/Opportunity

Compiled from the discussions at the regional meetings, a draft of the problem and/or opportunity plus existing barriers will be provided to assist the WIT.


Facilitators will be expected to help their R&D group address the questions listed below. Our desired outcome is a thorough discussion of and written responses (2-3 pages) to the following items by January 30th.

  • Review Problem/Opportunity Statement

Review and edit as necessary the description of the problem/opportunity and existing barriers.

  • Action Items: Game Changers & Local Tool Box

List possible strategies and actions for moving forward (without prioritizing). Additionally, identify which of these require changes to local, regional, or state policies or regulations?  Which are most appropriate for the private sector? Which might be approached as a private/public partnership?

Ideal Outcomes

Game Changer: Select from this list ONE (and only one) action or strategy that your group considers a "game changer"—something impactful, important, statewide in scope, and do-able in a 1-2 year timeframe. Because it is hard to choose ONE, we ask that you also list the 3 or 4 ideas that your group also consider and/or would tackle next.

Local Toolbox: From this list, also 3-4 items that would be appropriate to discuss at the summit and incorporate in the action plan that can be incorporated into a "Local Tool Box" of resources (action items, ideas, resources) for local communities. The "Local Tool Box" is intended to help implement action items on the local level and assist groups across the state in replicating successful ideas and minimize duplication of effort or expenditure of effort, thus further coordinating North Carolina efforts.

Next Steps: Identify needed next steps for how to move forward on this issue at the March 2-3 summit and beyond, including next step suggestions, individuals who need to be involved, or other partnerships to explore.