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Forming a Regional Food System Council/Coalition. What is the difference between a council and coalition ? What organization structure is best for my community? What  is working in other areas?. FEAST Leadership Network Webinar February 5, 2014. Agenda. Introductions

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Forming a regional food system council coalition

Forming a Regional Food System Council/Coalition

What is the difference between a council and coalition?

What organization structure is best for my community?

What is working in other areas?

FEAST Leadership Network Webinar

February 5, 2014


  • Introductions

  • Background: What’s in a Name?

  • Presentations

    • Established Regional Food System Coalition

    • Establishing Regional Food System Council

    • Statewide Food System Council

  • Q & A

Our speakers

Our Speakers

Kristin Frost-Albrecht, Executive Director

Sharon Thornberry, Community Food Systems Manager

Sara Miller, Economic Development Specialist

Wendy Peters Moschetti & Ron Carleton

What’s in a Name??

Musings of a

Grassroots Organizer

Sharon Thornberry

Community Food Systems Manager

Oregon Food Bank

Council, Coalition, Alliance, Network, Food Web or Not


1. an assembly of persons summoned or convened for consultation, deliberation, or advice.

2. a body of persons specially designated or selected to act in an advisory, administrative, or legislative capacity: the governor's council on housing.


1. a combination or alliance, especially a temporary one between person, factions, states, etc.

2. a union into one body or mass; fusion.


1. the act of allying or state of being allied.

2. a merging of efforts or interests by persons, families, states, or organizations.

3. the persons or entities so allied.


1. an association of individuals having a common interest, formed to providemutual assistance, helpful information, or the like.

2. a system of interrelated buildings, offices, stations, etc., especially over a large area or throughout a country, territory, region, etc.: a network of farms or gardens.

Food Web:

1. Noun Ecology.

2. a series of organisms related by predator-prey and consumer-resource interactions; the entirety of interrelated food chains in an ecological community.


  • What is your mission or purpose?

  • How formal do you intend to be?

  • Policy group? Is your existence codified?

  • What will your legal status be?

  • What kind of organizing documents will you need? MOU, Bylaws, Charter?

  • How does this collective fit into or serve the existing community food system?

Thank You!

Sharon Thornberry

Community Food Systems Manager

Phone: 971-205-5028

For more information:

Oregon Food Bank

Food for Oregon

Wallowa county food system council

Wallowa County Food System Council

Sara Miller, Northeast Oregon

Economic Development District

History of wallowa county food system organizing
History of Wallowa County Food System Organizing

  • 2006 first local food meetings and work plan

  • April 2010 Wallowa Chapter of Slow Food USA forms

  • May 2011 FEAST workshop in Enterprise

  • August 2011 NEOEDD receives AmeriCorps volunteer to complete a Community Food Assessment

  • October 2011 FEAST Funding & Organization committee becomes Wallowa County Food System Council, begins monthly meetings

History of wallowa county food system organizing1
History of Wallowa County Food System Organizing

  • September 2012 Community Food Assessment complete

  • October 2012, planning workshop with Sharon Thornberry, OFB; create 2012-2013 Strategic Plan

  • October 2013, planning workshop, review of first year accomplishments, educational presentation from Matt Buck, create 2013-2014 Strategic Plan

Strategic plan priorities
Strategic Plan Priorities

  • #1 Local Food Production and Processing - Strengthen producer network (communication and information) through increased collaboration (share information, resources, transport, marketing, etc.).

  • #2 Develop and expand farm/community - school gardens, including collaboration for additional funding

  • #3 Encourage development and collaboration among farmers markets

Accomplishments 2012 2013 plan
Accomplishments 2012-2013 Plan

  • Goal #1: Local Food Production and Processing

  • One farmer accessed USDA funds to construct a hoop house

  • One rancher made first sales of product to a buying club serving low/moderate income neighborhood.

  • Additional beef donated to the Food Bank.

  • Slow Food Wallowas started mini-grant program for producers.

  • NEOEDD provided matched savings funding for food/farm businesses.

  • At least 32 articles about local food and farms.

Accomplishments 2012 2013 plan1
Accomplishments 2012-2013 Plan

  • Goal #2: Develop and expand farm/community - school gardens

  • Magic Garden awarded non-profit of the year at WC Chamber banquet, raised more than 3 tons of food for food access

  • Joseph Charter school, elementary and Enterprise Head Start students participate in Magic Garden activities.

  • First paid intern at the Magic Garden.

  • Wallowa Community garden increased production and provided food to the food bank, children’s summer lunch program and senior meals.

  • Wallowa High school student mentored in organic food production through Wallowa Community Garden

Accomplishments 2012 2013 plan2
Accomplishments 2012-2013 Plan

  • Goal #3: Encourage development and collaboration among farmers markets.

  • Lower Valley Farmers Market was approved to accept SNAP EBT and Debit cards.

  • Communication and trust among farmers markets allowed them to develop a joint SNAP match project.

  • Slow Food Wallowas PigNic fundraiser raised $2,700 in funding for the joint SNAP match project.

Success factors
Success Factors

  • Community spirit, hands-on attitude

  • Growing awareness of need for change

  • More people want to be self-sufficient

  • RARE volunteer support

  • Participation of partner organizations

  • NEOEDD staff support

  • Catalytic leaders


  • Participation at meetings fluctuates

  • Changing leadership and lack of formal structure

  • Opportunity driven

  • Progress in some goal areas and not others

  • Need for ongoing support for convening, record keeping, coordination and resource acquisition

Where we are now
Where We Are Now

  • Regrouping – who wants to stay involved and why

  • Gardens and markets are moving ahead with their work

  • Food production/processing actions stuck

  • Possible RARE to support a few key goal areas: SNAP match sustainability; community garden sustainability and expansion; Wallowa County brand standards for ag/food.

Cofsac history
COFSAC History

  • Initiated by LiveWell Colorado,

  • Based on state and national recommendations to improve healthy food access

  • Established in 2010 by Senate Bill 10-106

  • Renewed in 2013 by Senate Bill 13-168

Cofsac organizational structure
COFSAC Organizational Structure

  • Legislatively-mandated, Governor-appointed, volunteer, 15-member advisory body

  • Meets quarterly

  • Provides recommendations to the General Assembly, Governor’s Office, and the appropriate regulatory agencies

  • Does not make policy

  • Must issue two reports per year

  • One chair, one vicechair (only one from a state agency)

  • Consensus-building decision making framework

  • Very part-time staff funded by LiveWell CO

Cofsac members
COFSAC Members

  • Fifteen Appointees/Representatives

    • Dept. of Agriculture

    • Dept. of Education

    • Dept. of Human Services

    • Dept. of Public Health and Environment

    • 2 Food Wholesaler/Retailer (small and large)

    • 3 Agricultural Production

    • 2 Nutrition and Health

    • Rural/Community/Economic Development

    • Anti-Hunger/Food Assistance

    • Academic

    • Extension

Cofsac charge

  • To advance recommendations that strengthen healthy food access for all Coloradans through Colorado agriculture and local food systems and economies. 


  • Communications & Engagement:

    • State tour

    • Listening sessions

    • Logo design

    • Survey & interviews of local councils

    • Issue submission form

    • Open meetings

  • EBT at Farmers Markets Working Group

  • Issue Briefs on EBT at markets and direct market technical assistance


  • Slow process

  • Diverse knowledge base amongst members

  • Hard to secure state-wide representation

  • Lack of funding

  • No “teeth” (restricted to elevating issues and providing suggestions)

  • No tangible projects/outcomes

Building a state wide network
Building a State-wide Network

  • Survey & interview of local councils:

  • Monthly networking calls of councils

  • Summit of local councils! Feb 11 & 12th 2014!!

Additional information
Additional Information



  • Ron Carleton, Deputy Commissioner of Agriculture,

  • Wendy Peters Moschetti, WPM Consulting,

Sharon Thornberry

Community Food Systems Manager

Phone: 971-205-5028

Spencer Masterson

Community Resource Developer

Phone: 971-313-8585

Connect With Us on Social Media!!/OFB_SharonT