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Contact: Kathlyn Terry, 
Executive Director

Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD) adds staff to expand capacity and deepen collective impacts in economic development and health 

Abingdon, Virginia, 1/31/2017 – Appalachian Sustainable Development, a non-profit committed to transitioning Appalachia by supporting local agriculture, exploring new economic opportunities and connecting people to healthy food, expands capacity by growing staff size in some very creative ways.

Jenni Roop joins ASD as an Appalachian Transition Fellow. Based out of New Market, Tennessee, the Appalachian Transition Fellowship (AppFellows) program is designed to develop young leaders to aid with Economic Transition in Central Appalachia over a 1 year period. 

In 2017, 10 AppFellows will work in West Virginia, Kentucky, northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia to focus on: connecting local food systems and health care actors, strengthening community capacity by building trust relationships across sectors and by engaging communities to develop effective local leaders. Impacts of this effort are likely to include: strengthening local markets for food & farm businesses, expanded food access through increased SNAP utilization, heightened consumer education and purchasing of local products, coordination of messaging and education among health professionals about the benefits of fresh, local foods, promotion of agriculture education, youth engagement, workforce development and food system actors and constituencies being more informed about the issues and policies that affect local foods, food access and health. 

Dale Craig also joins ASD this year to launch a “2nds Produce” project aimed at giving farmers a retail grocer distribution network and point of sale for graded “2nds Produce” which in the past was only able to be sold at Local Farmers Markets or donated to Food Banks/Pantries.  With Lowe’s Home Improvement for more than 26 years, Craig is a natural leader with extensive experience in retail management, store planning and visual merchandising. Craig plans to create an initial pilot program which can be replicated on a national scale.

ASD Executive Director, Kathlyn Terry explains, “Because of our 22 year history working in 15 counties in Tennessee and Virginia, we know first-hand, what people in rural communities face. We see that chronic poverty, limited jobs, poor health and hopelessness are complicated and intertwined social issues. When there are so many challenges, you need leaders that are able to convene partners willing to create and execute solid strategies to make progress. ASD is developing the leadership necessary to move the needle. Jenni and Dale bring so much energy to the ASD team. Dale’s position is currently a part-time, grant funded position. Because we had no budget for Jenni’s position, we had to fund it creatively. ASD will split the annual salary for Roop’s position and share her time with Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast TN and the First Tennessee Development District. By partnering with Second Harvest and First Tennessee Development District, we all get increased capacity to deepen regional collective impact.” 

About Second Harvest Food Bank of northeast Tennessee

The Second Harvest Food Bank has a long track record of providing food to those in need in northeast TN, including providing over 8.5MM meals in 2015, working with 228 agency partners and programs, and serving as leaders in food access strategies in northeast TN.

The First TN Development District (FTDD)

The First TN Development District (FTDD) is a regional association of the local governments of 8 counties in northeast Tennessee.  For 50 years they have led a cooperative approach for making federal, state, and local governments within the region stronger and more efficient partners.

About Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD)

Appalachian Sustainable Development is dedicated to its mission to transition Appalachia to a more resilient economy and a healthier population by supporting local agriculture, exploring new economic opportunities and connecting people with healthy food. Since 1995, ASD has been serving northeast Tennessee and southwest Virginia. As ASD’s work continues, it will expand its focus to include regional partnerships that build important connections to increase market access and bring necessary resources to the rural communities in its physical footprint.  ASD operates programs in sustainable agriculture and food access. 

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