Connect SI: Collaborating for Regional Prosperity
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Local Food System Development for Southern Illinois
The Connect SI Foundation is working on a Local Food System Development initiative for our region. We are currently in the process of organizing a Local Food System Forum. Various sectors of the community will be invited to participate in collaborative discussions as we work to achieve the following goals:

  • To begin an inclusive and cohesive dialogue that encompasses
    local food system development in southern Illinois. 
  • To set the stage for better networking, shared information, and
    collaboration across the region that ultimately results in leveraged
    resources, stronger proposals and greater success in advancing
    local food production as an economic driver for the region. 
  • To lead the rest of the state by example, bringing the level of
    cooperation, inclusiveness, and cohesiveness that is needed for
    broad-based regional success.

The forum will begin by framing the "big picture" of local food system development. Presentations will include a model that highlights various aspects of our local food system and how they are interconnected. This is the beginning step in creating a shared vision and possible strategic plan for southern Illinois.
As a neutral convener, the Connect SI Foundation seeks to provide and support a forum for dialogue that inspires, builds trust, and finds common interests among diverse partners — laying the groundwork for region-wide success. We hope
to include all interested stakeholders as we foster a symphony of activities that collectively and cohesively accomplish significant advancements in local food system development.
For additional information on our Local Food System Development initiative, contact Stephanie Brown, Connect SI Ag, Energy, and Natural Resources liaison, via email.

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