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A Quick Look Back (at 2012), An Exciting Look Ahead (to 2013)!

ASAP as a whole is certainly greater than the sum of our parts, aka programs. That being said, our parts are great when called out to stand alone, too. And that’s exactly what we’re doing with this year-end post and what we plan to do in 2013. That’s right, be on the lookout for a brand new category here at From Here: Program Post! But let’s not leave 2012 behind just yet…

 A Great One (and More to Come) for Growing Minds

ASAP’s Farm to School program had a big year. We created a brand new Local Food Guide for Kids; hosted our Farm to School Institute, which representatives from 15 counties attended; launched our new and improved website, ran our fourth successful year of Kids Corner Market at Asheville City Market, held regional and national F2S trainings, and much more. Phew!

We’re ready to dig in (literally!) to 2013. Here’s some of what’s up our sleeve:

  • Focus our work on distributors and increasing school participation in our Get Local @ School initiative (which highlights a local food each month in the cafeteria and classrooms).
  • Expand Kids Corner Market beyond Asheville City Market.
  • Continue to offer farm field trip and school garden mini-grants, school garden seeds, and SO much more.

Local Food Campaign’s Consummate Year (and Thoughts on How to Top)

Where do we start? In 2012, ASAP’s Local Food Campaign trained farmers, produced the Local Food Guide and Mixing Bowl; created new Appalachian Grown materials for farmers like biodegradable Appalachian Grown produce bags (a BIG hit!); worked more than ever in the High Country, developing strong relationships; hosted our annual Farm Tour, provided SNAP (electronic food stamps) support to area farmers markets, and lots more.

What’s around the corner?

  • Our annual Business of Farming Conference, February 23.
  • The 2013 Local Food Guide and Mixing Bowl with changes you’ll have to wait to see.
  • Even more new Appalachian Grown products, like market tote/shopping bags, and the list could go on and on and on.

A Lively Launch (and Lots Planned) for the Local Food Research Center

It’s hard to believe, but ASAP’s Local Food Research Center launched one year ago, right around January 1, 2012. Excitingly, we launched to, well, excitement from the community! With that momentum, this year we published seven reports and assessments, including a large animal meat processing feasibility study for Western North Carolina, a farmers market guide to bridging the divide between markets and low-income shoppers, and a five-county food and farm assessment for the Southern Appalachians.

Our research team is ready for 2013. We plan to:

  • Conduct farmer and buyer interviews around local food sourcing and purchasing.
  • Conduct a local food and farm assessment of 34 counties in Northwest Georgia.
  • Conduct market research at grocery stores to test the impact of different local messages and promotional strategies on consumer choices, and more.

And did we mention asapconnections.org is getting a makeover?! We can’t fit all of our plans into this post, so you’ll just have to stay tuned.

PS: Support our work in 2013 with a year-end gift today!

PPS: Check out our Best of 2012 photo gallery!

 

 

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