Creating a Local Food Council

Galesburg, IL – The local foods movement continues to grow across the United States and a western Illinois county is jumping on board. Knox County is in the process of creating a Local Food Council. County Development and Communications Director Gary Tomlin is leading the initiative.

He says all of the elements needed for economic growth in the local foods sector exist in Knox County, but there is just one problem. "There is a disconnect between the grower and the buyer," Tomlin says. "Through county leadership I think this council can determine ways to help get products efficiently from the field to the grocery store shelves or to the tables."

"I think the first thing to do would be to get an inventory of who is actually growing produce and of them who are interested in increasing their production," says Tomlin. "Then we need to determine what we can do to support them in increasing production."

"We need to get the stake-holders to pull together," says Tomlin. "There is no central driving force. Right now market conditions are so favorable to increasing production that I think we can get there much faster as a community."

Tomlin some of the stake-holders include the Knox County Board, the Farm Bureau, GREDA, Carl Sandburg College, and local food growers and retailers.

Tomlin hopes to present a resolution to the county board for approval at this month's meeting. The resolution will officially create the local food council.

To hear more with Tomlin on the Local Food Council click the audio link above.