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Rainelle, WV Receives 2016 Federal Local Foods, Local Places Award to Integrate Local Food Strategies into Main Street Revitalization and Public Health Efforts ARC Support to Help The Town of Rainelle, WV Implement Community Development Plans

Appalachian Regional Commission

Appalachian Regional Commission

 

Washington, DC, January 29, 2016—The Obama administration has announced that Rainelle, WV is one of six Appalachian communities among the 27 national Local Foods, Local Places awardees for 2016. Through the federal Local Foods, Local Places Initiative, Rainelle, WV will receive technical support to identify successful strategies for integrating local food into their community development efforts and create economic opportunities for local farmers and food entrepreneurs, revitalize main streets, and increase access to healthy food.

“The Local Foods, Local Places Initiative provides tools for Appalachian communities to make local food more impactful for local economies,” said Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) Federal Co-Chair Earl Gohl. “It’s exciting to see how community leaders leverage federal support to build stronger and healthier economies across Appalachia.”

Rainelle, WV was chosen from more than 300 applicants nationwide and plans to create new initiatives they may include a mentoring program for new farmers and producers, developing a community grocery store, forming a food alliance and putting vacant land into productive use.  The plan also includes expansion and support for ongoing projects with the farmer’s market, community and school gardens, etc.

The Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation, in conjunction with numerous local partners, completed the application for this technical assistance grant for Rainelle and surrounding communities.  GVEDC Peggy Crowder, Marketing/Financial Director states, “The GVEDC focus on Rainelle is to build a strong local food system within its community to increase access to healthy local food, promote childhood wellness and improve downtown/community revitalization.  We are very excited to work with the team of experts to create an action plan to better equip Rainelle for a brighter future.  These actions will ultimately boost economic growth in Rainelle and surrounding communities.”

With the 2016 awards, 60 communities nationwide are now participating in the Local Foods, Local Places Initiative. Twenty-two, or more than one-third, of these communities are in the Appalachian Region.  ARC is providing direct support to these communities to help them implement their local food strategies as part of their economic development efforts.

Local Foods, Local Places is a partnership between ARC, the Delta Regional Authority, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the U.S. Department of Transportation. Launched in 2014, Local Foods, Local Places is also part of the White House Rural Council’s Rural Impact work to improve quality of life and upward mobility for children and families in rural and tribal communities.

Previous Local Foods, Local Places communities in Appalachia include Corbin, Kentucky, which expanded its farmers markets and other small businesses; and Williamson, West Virginia, which integrated local food strategies into the town’s community health efforts.

Local food is a targeted investment sector in ARC’s 2016-2020 strategic plan. More information about ARC’s investment in local food development is available at www.arc.gov/localfood.

About the Appalachian Regional Commission

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) is an economic development agency of the federal government and 13 state governments focusing on 420 counties across the Appalachian Region. ARC’s mission is to innovate, partner, and invest to build community capacity and strengthen economic growth in Appalachia to help the Region achieve socioeconomic parity with the nation.

 

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GREENBRIER VALLEY: GROWING PROSPERITY

 

The Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation in Maxwelton, WV announces a published article in the Trade & Industry Development May/June 2015 magazine, a publication through Due North Consulting, Inc.  T & ID is a bimonthly publication that is dedicated to site selection. Each issue highlights a specific targeted market and is sent to decision makers within that market. 

 

The article, “Greenbrier Valley, West Virginia: Growing Prosperity”, written by Juli Anne Patty,  features a case study of the economic development program used by the Greenbrier Valley Economic Development Corporation (GVEDC) while, at the same time, showcasing the attributes of the region. Stephen Weir, GVEDC Executive Director, was instrumental with the development of the case study which conveys the GVEDC’s unique economic approach, an asset based, called integrated economic development.   This approach involves analyzing the area’s gifts and expanding on them to develop a better community. 

 

Stephen Weir stated, “We are trying to create sustainable ideas and programs, industries and businesses that will feed each other as they grow.”  The GVEDC’s Rahall Business and Technology Center, a 140,000 sq. ft. building, is filled to capacity including two new business startups ECER Technologies and the Greenbrier Valley Brewing Company. 

 

The GVEDC has progressed with many initiatives and collaborative efforts.  The Greenbrier Valley Local Food Initiative has been very successful in assisting local farmers.  The Greenbrier Valley Grown Brand is utilized by many local producers and recognized by many consumers. The next initiative that will soon be launched is the Local Food First campaign. 

 

Much support and partnerships have been formed due the great work of many individuals and organizations in this region.  The GVEDC anticipates greater growth for the Greenbrier Valley.  Tom Cross, VP of the GVEDC Board of Directors, stated, “I have always been excited about the future of our Greenbrier Valley, and this article just makes me more excited about our future.  The future of the valley starts now.”

 

The case study is a great article.  To read the entire article and links to all our websites, please visit gvedc.com.   Also, look for the GVEDC Quality of Life piece, written by Stephen Weir, in the T & ID July/August 2015 publication.

Read the full article: Greenbrier Valley: Growing Prosperity.

About the author, Juli Anne Patty

 

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