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LOCAL COUNCILS 2017-10-18T21:48:03+00:00

OUR LOCAL COUNCILS

As of September 2017, there are 24 local food councils in the state, not including several that have been active in the past decade but have since dissolved in order to transition to new forms of community engagement.

In the fall of 2016, the OFPN received funding from the Stinner Endowment to conduct an assessment of Ohio’s local councils and their needs. Read the report here.

To learn more about a council’s areas of expertise, networking interests, and contact information, simply click on the county on the chart.

If you have updates to any of the information listed, please contact Amanda Osborne at osborne.414@osu.edu. Updates will be made once a month on the last business day of the month, though time-sensitive updates can be made as well.

Adams Allen Ashland Ashtabula Athens Auglaize Belmont Brown Butler Carroll Champaign Clark Clermont Clinton Columbiana Coshocton Crawford Cuyahoga Darke Defiance Delaware Erie Fairfield Fayette Franklin Fulton Gallia Geauga Greene Guernsey Hamilton Hancock Hardin Harrison Henry Highland Hocking Holmes Huron Jackson Jefferson Knox Lake Lawrence Licking Logan Lorain Lucas Madison Mahoning Marion Medina Meigs Mercer Miami Monroe Montgomery Morgan Morrow Muskingum Noble Ottawa Paulding Perry Pickaway Pike Portage Preble Putnam Richland Ross Sandusky Scioto Seneca Shelby Stark Summit Trumbull Tuscarawas Union Van Wert Vinton Warren Washington Wayne Williams Wood Wyandot

active local food council

part of a regional council

Contacts
Areas of Expertise
  • Local food assessment
  • Food council structure and process
  • Relationships with local government
Areas of Networking Interest
  • Farm-to-school
  • Local food systems in rural communities where commodity farming is dominant
  • Vacant land use
  • Fundraising
Contacts
Areas of Expertise
  • Farm tours
  • Events
  • Farmers markets
  • Cooking classes
  • Appliance library
  • Chicken-keeping ordinance
  • Poultry processing infrastructure
  • Working with local elected officials
  • Promotional events
Areas of Networking Interest
  • Marketing
  • Operational fundraising
  • Food hubs
Contacts
Areas of Expertise
  • Food council structure
  • Sugar tax
  • Local food business formation
Areas of Networking Interest
  • Strategic planning
  • Hosting public meetings
  • Statewide policy advocacy collaboration
  • Collaborating with existing community groups and agendas
Contacts
Areas of Expertise
  • Community surveys
  • LLC formation
  • USDA grant applications
  • Hosting community events
Areas of Networking Interest
  • Building leadership in team
  • Fundraising
  • Capacity-building
  • Community organizing
  • Commercial kitchen
Contacts
Areas of Expertise
  • Community gardens
  • Council structure
  • Commercial kitchen
  • Goal setting and agenda creation for meetings
  • Public meetings
  • Collaborating with existing community groups and agendas
Areas of Networking Interest
  • Community organizing
  • Commercial kitchen
Contacts

Areas of Expertise

  • Community gardens
  • Social media
  • Stakeholder engagement

Areas of Networking Interest

  • Leadership distribution
  • Fundraising
Contacts
Areas of Expertise
  • Building diverse coalitions
  • Local policy change
  • Establishing structure and strategic planning for food coalitions
Areas of Networking Interest
  • SNAP and produce perks in grocery stores
  • Finding niche in urban community food systems
  • Getting funding for paid staff
Contacts
Areas of Expertise
  • Local food community survey
  • Food business development
  • Facilitating changes in institutional procurement
Areas of Networking Interest
  • Strategic planning for food councils
  • Setting goals for activity
  • Finding niche in community
Contacts
Areas of Expertise
  • Working jointly with city and county government (Local Food Action Plan)
  • Strategic planning
  • Listening sessions
  • Policy audit
  • Local foods resource guide
Areas of Networking Interest
  • Member leadership development
  • Community engagement
  • Connecting with other councils in region/state
Contacts
Areas of Expertise
  • Education and awareness
  • Urban-rural interface
  • Farm tours and promotional events
  • Master Urban Farmer program
Areas of Networking Interest
  • Local policy
  • Working with local policymakers
  • Urban agriculture
  • Small business development related to agriculture
  • Farm-to-school
Contacts
Areas of Expertise
  • HEAL MAPPS community needs assessments
  • Food council strategic planning
  • Creating community directory for networking
Areas of Networking Interest
  • Economic development
  • Food gleaning programs
Contacts
  • Michaela Oldfield (michaela@greenumbrella.org)
Areas of Expertise
  • Council self-assessments
  • Fundraising
  • Local policy advocacy
  • Local and state legislative process
Areas of Networking Interest
  • Policy collaboration
  • Community engagement
Contacts
  • Sabrina Schirtzinger (schirtzinger.55@osu.edu)
Areas of Expertise
  • Educational programming
  • Community surveys
  • Fundraising
Areas of Networking Interest
  • Statewide food charter
  • Capacity-building
Contacts
Areas of Expertise
  • Working with farmers
  • University-based grants
Areas of Networking Interest
  • Strategic planning
  • Development of mission
  • Hosting community events
Contacts
Areas of Expertise
  • Education and awareness
  • Urban-rural interface
  • Farm tours and promotional events
  • Master Urban Farmer program
Areas of Networking Interest
  • Local policy
  • Working with local policymakers
  • Urban agriculture
  • Small business development related to agriculture
  • Farm-to-school
Contacts
Areas of Expertise
  • Economic development
  • Education and promotion
Areas of Networking Interest
  • Capacity-building
  • Volunteer management
  • State food policy
Contacts
Areas of Expertise
  • Farmland preservation
  • Building leadership team
  • Engaging local government officials
  • Economic development
Areas of Networking Interest
  • Health departments’ interpretation of Ohio revised code
  • Marketing opportunities for local food in rural counties
Contacts
Areas of Expertise
  • Fundraisers and community events
  • Virtual farmers’ market
  • 501c3 incorporation
  • Local food directory
Areas of Networking Interest
  • Capacity-building
  • Organizational structure
  • Statewide collaboration on health department codes
Contacts
Areas of Expertise
  • Food map
  • Council structure
  • Strategic planning
Areas of Networking Interest
  • Meeting facilitation
Contacts
Areas of Expertise
  • SNAP at Farmers Markets
  • Voucher program with WIC
  • Community health assessment
  • Community garden
Areas of Networking Interest
  • Relationships with food retailers
  • Local food system infrastructure
  • Food justice and food security
  • CSA’s
  • Economic development
Contacts
Areas of Expertise
  • Food council development
  • Healthy food access
Areas of Networking Interest
  • Strategic planning
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Forming relationships with local government officials
Contacts
Areas of Expertise
  • Pop-up markets
  • Produce prescription program
  • CSA
  • Community surveys
Areas of Networking Interest
  • Volunteer recruitment
  • Marketing channels in rural areas
Contacts
Areas of Expertise
  • Policy inventory
  • Kitchen inventory
  • Local food guide
  • Educational events
Areas of Networking Interest
  • SNAP at farmers markets
  • Leadership development
  • Volunteer management
  • Marketing and education of council
Contacts
Areas of Expertise
  • Educational and promotional events
  • Fundraising
  • Working with farmers
Areas of Networking Interest
  • Building capacity
  • Recruiting volunteers
  • Strategic planning
Contacts
Areas of Expertise
  • Marshall University grant
  • Hiring Americorps VISTA
  • Community organizing
  • Community needs assessments
  • Food security
Areas of Networking Interest
  • Strategic planning
  • Community and stakeholder outreach
  • Fundraising
  • Food council structure
  • Policy manuals
  • Community organizing in rural communities

FOOD COUNCIL FAQS

What is a local food council?

Food councils are diverse, cross-sector groups of food-system stakeholders who collaborate to transform their local food systems. Work can range from drawing synergistic connections among members’ existing work, to identifying and filling gaps in local food system infrastructure, to campaigning for public-policy change. As communities work to change their food systems, they  encounter legal and regulatory barriers. Food councils strategize to cultivate a policy landscape that cultivates sustainable, equitable local food systems.

Who is on a local food council?

Ohio’s councils are composed of diverse and dynamic coalitions of individuals, organizations and institutional representatives. Each council has a unique story regarding membership; there are many forms of involvement and “membership,” and each council has different levels of formalization of those categories.

The above diagram developed at Michigan State University demonstrates the complex and multifaceted nature of the food system. Food councils, as coalitions of diverse food-system stakeholders, seek representation from all parts of this diagram as they build toward comprehensiveness. On the ground, all of us participate in our food systems in multiple, often overlapping roles.

In general, Ohio’s council’s often involve :

This graphic was adopted from the CS Mott Group at Michigan State University.

    • Extension educators
    • Farmers
    • University professors
    • School administrators and teachers
    • Hospitals and other care institutions
    • Nonprofits that focus on food, farming and hunger
    • Restaurants, chefs
    • Grocery stores
    • Food distributors
    • Farmers’ market organizers
    • City and regional planners
    • Food processors
    • Local government members
    • Health departments
    • Departments of Job and Family Services
    • Concerned citizens
    • Chambers of Commerce
    • United Way
    • Soil & Water Conservation Districts
    • Farm Bureau
    • Food Banks
    • Land Banks
    • YMCA
    • Farmers unions
    • Large local employers

How many food councils have paid staff?

Paid council staff is a rare form of capacity, currently only found in two Ohio councils. The Greater Cincinnati Regional FPC as an initiative of the non-profit organization Green Umbrella, has been funded since its initiation, and has a permanent Director position. The Summit Food Coalition got started without any funding and went through the process of seeking support from its local Community Foundation. After building a relationship with the foundation, the Coalition was able to hire one of its founders  to work part-time as director. She will be transitioning to full-time in 2018.

The most common form of supported labor for food councils arises from a council organizer’s position working for an organization other than the council, often when they find their job goals align with the goals of the council. This allows them to spend time when they are at work to maintain and develop the council. Council labor provided in this way varies in formality, flexibility, and actual capacity.

Food councils need three interrelated forms of capacity in order to thrive:

LABOR

Labor devoted to the council, either through an organizer or paid staff

LEADERSHIP

A broad distribution of leadership and community buy-in

MOMENTUM

Momentum from recent accomplishments to drive future endeavors