Tuesday, July 18, 2017 from 12:30 PM to 2:30 PM EDT
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Republic Food Enterprise Center 
40 Legion Street
Republic, PA 15475

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Jim Stark, Fayette County Community Action Agency 

SW PA Local Food Shed Inaugural Event

The Appalachian Regional Commission recently awarded Republic Food Enterprise Center through its parent organization, Fayette County Community Action Agency a $1.75 million grant. The grant supports local production ventures in four agriculture industry clusters – sheep/lamb/goat, poultry, produce and value added products.  These projects will increase opportunities for income and job creation in communities facing coal industry fluctuations and decline.

Speakers at the event include PA Dept of Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding and local, state & federal elected officials.  Attendees will include local farm organizations, school districts, media organizations and various civic leaders.  Additionally, we are setting up a Farmers Market/Tasting event to feature agricultural and local foods grown and produced in Western Pennsylvania. 

The SW PA Local Food Shed program is expected to produce positive benefits & outcomes for the region including:

  • Increasing agriculture in Western Pennsylvania
  • Building on our region's traditional agriculture legacy & increasing diversity and profitability of local food offerings through value-added products.
  • Introducing agricultural technology and food career pipelines to adults and young people 
  • Providing opportunities for more wealth to the local economy

The strengths of the SW PA Local Food Shed program:

  • Regional approach - transcends state lines to build awareness of local food systems in 38 counties in  Maryland, Pennsylvania & West Virginia
  • Ties awareness of local food systems in Pittsburgh, Morgantown and Wheeling
  • Includes multiple marketing channels: national, regional and local; culinary, ethnic, biotech and local food systems


Fayette County Community Action Agency and Republic Food Enterprise Center are dedicated to supporting a robust coaltion of farmers, entreprenaurs, community and economic development practitioners, institutions and elected officials to build upon existing assets in the agriculture and food industry.

PA Secretary of Agriculture Russell Redding states, "Southwestern PA is blessed with an abundance of prime farmland, fresh water, centers of innovation and technology, and good access to market.  These are prime assets for developing new agricultural clusters in local sheep, lamb and goats, poultry and produce.  This initiative supports Governor Wolf's commitment to expand employment opportunities for former coal workers and others looking for new careers in agriculture."

Thank you to the partnering organizations!