local farmers

  • 2018 Farm Bill Forum

    2018 Farm Bill Forum in Springfield

    DUE TO EXPECTED BAD WEATHER, THIS EVENT HAS BEEN RESCHEDULED FOR SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 18TH, FROM 12-4 PM.

    Small-scale and environmentally-responsible farmers, join Missouri Coalition for the Environment and Missouri Farmers Union in Springfield on February 18, 2018 12-2 pm to provide feedback on what Farm Bill programs that matter most to you! Urban and rural farmers alike are encouraged to attend. The forum will be held at Farmers Gastropub, 2620 S Glenstone Ave, Springfield, MO 65804.The forum is free and lunch will be provided.

    Please RSVP below!

     

  • Food and Farm Program

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Food & Farm Director

    MCE works to change the status quo of Missouri’s agriculture industry so that our farmland supports a robust, sustainable, secure, and equitable food production system that preserves the environmental integrity of our air, land, and water.

    Why is an environmental organization working on food? 

    Our current, industrialized agriculture system threatens the quality of our water, soil, and air - all of which MCE has worked to protect for over 47 years - and has adverse impacts on the health of Missouri residents.

    There is a massive disconnect between people and food. Our current food system is not feeding our children, supporting our communities, or ensuring the protection of our soil and water resources. Missouri is fortunate to have naturally high quality soils capable of producing an array of fruits and vegetables, yet most of our land is dedicated to growing corn and soy - crops used primarily to produce livestock feed, processed food, and ethanol. Much of the fruits and vegetables found in grocery stores comes from far away places - California, Mexico, Chile, and Canada. Our grocery store shelves are lined with cheap sugar-, salt-, and fat-laden processed foods. Federal policies make Hostess Twinkies(R) cheaper than a bag of carrots. Issues of limited food access and no true consumer choice hit home for many families in urban and rural communities across Missouri and the nation. 

    It's time to back control of our food supply.Through our Food and Farm Program, MCE works to ensure that all Missourians have access to affordable, healthy food that is produced by local farmers who care for the land and are paid decent wages.

    Goals for MCE's Food and Farm Program

    1. A diversified farm economy

    2. Conservation of fertile soils and protection of clean water

    3. Access to a healthy, secure food supply

     
  • Growing Food in the City of St. Louis

    Thank you to all who participated in the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition's survey about growing food in the city! The survey is now closed. We were able to hear from 854 people from 75 of the city's 79 neighborhoods! Through this survey effort, we sought to learn from city residents: 1) what they and their neighbors are already growing, 2) what types of agriculture activities they would like to see in the city, and 3) how they would like those activities to be regulated. Five participants will receive a gift basket of food and farm swag from STLFPC members! We will use the survey responses to draft an urban agriculture ordinance that meets residents' needs and desires.
     
    We developed this survey with the assistance of Andy Bramman, a St. Louis University student, interning with MCE's Food and Farm Program this summer.
     

    The results are in!

    View results from the entire city here as well as the results for the neighborhoods in North CityCentral Corridor, and South City!
     
    See the survey results by ward below: 
     

    Click here to read our press release about the survey results. 

    Read articles from the St. Louis Post Dispatch and St. Louis Public Radio about the survey results. 

    Maps of the Survey Data

    Click to Zoom

     

    Alderwoman of the 19th Ward, a Champion for Food Access and Community Gardening

    Alderwoman Marlene Davis is committed to the issues expressed in the survey results above. Davis says, 

    "In neighborhoods with limited food access, residents must leave their neighborhood to access nutritious food. Many of these same neighborhoods have vacant lots, littering our neighborhoods with overgrown weeds and costing our taxpayers thousands to maintain. We can start to address both of these issues by organizing strategic plans for our communities, empowering residents to take back their vacant lots, put the land into productive use, and provide themselves and their neighbors with a source of healthy food."

    We thank her for her commitment to address food access and support food growing activities in the City of St. Louis!

     

  • MCE Receives USDA Grant to Expand Farm-to-Institution in St. Louis

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

    Date:October 4, 2017

    Contact:Melissa Vatterott, Food and Farm Director, (314) 727-0600, ext. 111, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE) was selected as a recipient for the USDA Local Food Promotion Program. They will receive approximately $45,000 to support local food efforts in the St. Louis region. MCE convenes the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition (STLFPC), a stakeholder group of organizations working in community development, urban farming, food access, public health, local food sales, and the environment. STLFPC’s mission is to promote a thriving local food system that supports the community, health, environment, and economy of the Greater St. Louis area.

    The grant provides funding to increase purchasing of local food by public institutions. MCE will conduct a study to identify, assemble the resources, and connections needed to build the system of sourcing of products to area institutions, and thereby increase product sales and local food access for consumers. Some of the short-term impacts include an increase in farmers understanding of the potential profitability of selling locally produced food to institutions as well as for increased understanding of Fair Shares CCSA of the potential for helping member farmers reach new markets. Project staff will specifically assess the 1) demand of locally sourced agricultural products from institutions; 2) regulatory demands of farmers with Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) certification training; and 3) available and potential supply from area farmers, including standardization of agricultural products in order to aggregate from farmers of various sizes, defining 10 target agricultural products area farmers can produce to meet the large volume requirements of institutions, and researching models for transportation of products and traceability back to the farmer for consumer awareness. Additionally, the study will promote the farmer narrative to institutions.

    “This funding will help us better understand how to meet market demands with local food products,” said Melissa Vatterott, Food and Farm Director at MCE.

    "MCE has taken the initiative, through the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition, to engage in conversations with us and other farmers in the St. Louis region about how to grow their farm business and reach new markets, such as institutions," says Holly Buck, owner of Rosy Buck Farm in Beaufort, Missouri. "We trust MCE to conduct the necessary outreach and information collection necessary to determine if getting our practices into institutions would be best for us, and the region."

    As the St. Louis region thinks about its response to extreme weather events from climate change, such as increased flooding, and its dependence on drought-prone places like California for its food supply, local food provides opportunities for gains in environmental sustainability, nutrition, and public health.


    For more information, visit www.moenvrionment.org/.

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  • St. Louis Food Policy Coalition Membership and Structure

    STLFPC Member Organizations

    The St. Louis Food Policy Coalition is a group of stakeholders who represent organizations, businesses, farms, local government, and other entities that either 1) work to advance at least one of the core values or 2) work in the counties that the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition supports. Each Organizational Member participates on at least one work group. The STLFPC functions as a formal multi-stakeholder entity.

    Coalition Allies

    Coalition Allies are organizations and individuals that have declared in writing, either by mailed letter or email communication, that they support the mission and vision statements of STLFPC and offer to provide resources to further the STLFPC’s goals, such as informational materials and support at events. Coalition Allies do not need to be willing to participate in grassroots lobbying or advocacy activities but they are welcome to participate in work group meetings as they see fit.

    Board of Advisors

    Advisors are individuals sought out by the Director, either with or without recommendation by other coalition members, that demonstrate particular expertise necessary to further the goals of STLFPC and who cannot participate in work groups given their geographic location, work schedule, or other conflict. The Director calls on the advisors for input, feedback, or other forms of assistance as needed.

    Work groups

    Steering Committee members and individuals in the community with related expertise and interest will come together to form workgroups to advance a policy or collaborative project initiative. The Steering Committee determines which initiatives the Coalition will lead and workgroups will be formed to take action on those initiatives. One or two Chairs will lead each workgroup and the role of Chair will be filled by a Steering Committee Member.

    Committees

    STLFPC currently has two committees: Community Engagement and Recruitment. All Members and Coalition Allies are welcomed to join.

    Community Member Involvement

    STLFPC welcomes and encourages community members to join a work group, become a Coalition Ally, or attend public community meetings. Without the involvement of individuals who live in the communities we seek to support, we cannot ensure that our strategy and projects will benefit those communities. Thus, STLFPC finds it essential to support the involvement of community members and arrange our meeting times and spaces accordingly to maximize the involvement of interested community members.

     

    Current Coalition Members

    Matt Schindler, Gateway Greening

     

    Brian Hurd, Rise

      

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Debi Kelly, Horticulture and Local Foods Specialist
    MU Extension in Jefferson County

     

    Ryan Albritton, Sprouthood 

    Mary Bolling, Family Nutrition Educator
    MU Extension in St. Louis City

    Leslie Bertsch, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist

    MU Extension in St. Louis County

     

     

    Kari Hartel, Operation Food Search

     

    Fair Shares CCSA

     

    Kaitie Adams, EarthDance Farms

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Brian DeSmet, Fair Food Network

    Shirley Jarman, Good Natured Family Farms

    Bonnie Harper, One STL

     

    Mary Ostafi, Urban Harvest STL

     

    Lucas Signorelli, STL MetroMarket

     

     

     

    Rev. Audrey Hollis and Steve Hollis, United People Market

    Ellen Barnidge, Saint Louis University

    Individual Members

    Lynn Peemoeller, Food Systems Planner

    Jenn DeRose, Program Manager and Communications Specialist for the Green Dining Alliance

     

     

     

    Current Coalition Allies

     

    Miranda Duschack, Lincoln University Cooperative Extension

     

    Community Builders Network

     

     

     

     

     

    BJC's Healthy Schools Healthy Communities

     

     

     

    Illinois Stewardship Alliance 

    City Greens Market

      

     

     

    For more information about how you or your organization can be involved in the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition, contact MCE Food and Farm Director, Melissa Vatterott, at mvatterott@moenviron.org or by phone at 314-727-0600, ext. 111. 

  • Survey: Help MCE Improve the Interactive Local Foodshed Map!

    Help MCE Improve the Interactive Local Foodshed Map!

     

    Click here to further explore the Interactive Local Foodshed Map! 

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