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Be part of the local foods revolution

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 15, 2013 10:53 a.m. CDT

From Alexi Groumoutis

Local Foods Coordinator

My name is Alexi Groumoutis, and I'm the local foods coordinator for Southern Iowa Resource Conservation and Development in Creston, Iowa. I serve Adair, Adams, Union, Clarke, Taylor, Ringgold and Decatur counties.

My focus as a local foods coordinator is to promote fresh, focal foods in our communities. By supporting local farmers and growers, we can support sustainable food practices that improve health, the environment, community ties and local commerce.

I would like to encourage local institutions: grocery stores, hospital cafeterias, restaurants and nursing home kitchens, for example, to sell or incorporate local foods when preparing meals.

Therefore, if you are a local grower/farmer, you work for an institution or maybe you would just like to be a part of the conversation, I'm inviting you to attend a meeting Wednesday, Jan. 30, at A&G Steakhouse & Lounge in Creston, Iowa, located at 211 W. Adams Street (across from the train depot) at 3 p.m. This meeting will serve as forum to network, ask questions and hopefully forge business relationships that will result in more local, fresh foods being served in our communities. Please bring business cards if you have them.

The meeting is being held in January before the planting season begins. This way, farmers can plan on which produce and how much of it they need to plant to fulfill future orders.

Compliance officer James Romer will be on hand to answer food processing and farmer market questions, as well as Dale Raasch from Bridgewater Farm. Mr. Raasch is an organic farmer who raises cage-free chickens and eggs and grows chemical-free produce. He has experience selling to local institutions, so he will be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Please R.S.V.P by Friday, Jan. 25, by calling my office at 641-782-4033 (leave your information with secretary if I'm not there) or by emailing me at sircddev1@iowatelecom.net.

When you R.S.V.P., please let us know if you are a grower/farmer or if you are with an institution and let us know the name of the company you work for.

By supporting the local foods initiative, we can build healthier, more prosperous communities and create a viable local foods system. So, please take this opportunity to be a part of the local foods revolution!

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