FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 2/26/2019
Contact: Kathlyn Terry, Executive Director
Appalachian Regional Commission awards $1,250,000 to ASD Seed-to-Sale: Strengthening the Central Appalachian Food Corridor
ABINGDON, Va. – Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD), a nationally known and respected non-profit working to transition Appalachia, has been awarded $1,250,000 from the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) to help expand and diversify the economy in Appalachia’s coal-impacted communities through the POWER (Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization) Initiative.
ASD, in partnership with Refresh Appalachia, Sprouting Farms, the Kentucky Center for Agriculture and Rural Development, Community Farm Alliance, and Whitlock Farm, will expand the impact and scale of the Central Appalachian Food Corridor across four Appalachian states, (Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee).
Through previous POWER funding, the Central Appalachian Food Corridor effectively connected established and emerging farmers and value added product entrepreneurs throughout Central Appalachia to wholesale distribution markets, leading to increased agricultural business development and job creation. The current project will expand the number of farmers served and food enterprises engaged while building a collaborative business model that connects various parts of the food system in Central Appalachia with the intent of attracting private investment and positioning the collaborative for significant growth and financial sustainability. The project will span 91 counties in four states, and serve 349 businesses and 938 participants. It is anticipated that the project will improve 238 businesses and 786 participants, create 38 new businesses and 85 jobs, and leverage $732,666 of private investment.
Thirty-three awards totaling $22.8 million dollars were announced on February 19, 2019 and are projected to create or retain nearly 1,000 jobs, benefit over 3,300 students and workers, and leverage more than $21.8 million in private investment into manufacturing, agriculture, technology, substance abuse recovery, broadband development, and other industry sectors across coal-impacted communities in nine Appalachian states.
ARC Federal Co-Chair Tim Thomas explained, “Today’s announcement continues an ongoing commitment for innovative economic development in Appalachia’s coal-impacted communities. Investing in key regional needs now—like comprehensive substance abuse recovery strategies, broadband development, and skilled workforce training—will benefit Appalachia, and the rest of the country, well into the future.”
ASD Executive Director Kathlyn Terry shared, “We are so grateful for the support of the ARC which will enable us to continue and expand this transformative project. We are looking forward to working with the many partners and farmers in Central Appalachian who are committed to an Appalachian transition and to leveraging the long history of agriculture in our beautiful region.”
About Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD)
Since 1995, Appalachian Sustainable Development (ASD) has been working in 15 counties in Central Appalachia. ASD’s reach has expanded to include eastern WV and KY and southeast OH. ASD uses 6 strategies to accomplish its work: education, increasing local food production, developing markets, increasing distribution of local agriculture products, engaging strategic partners, and researching/consulting and advising. ASD operates programs that create jobs in farming and agriculture and address food insecurity. For more information about ASD go to www.asdevelop.org, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Twitter.