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Dec 2013--NM Food Hubs

One Community at a Time:  A New Mexico Network of Food Hubs

AFSC Statewide farmer network mtg

If you attended the November "State of Local Food" Ag Collaborative Meeting, you may remember hearing from Sayrah Namaste about recent additions to New Mexico's growing collection of food hubs. Sayrah is the Co-Director of the American Friends Service Committee in New Mexico(AFSC New Mexico). AFSC New Mexico has been helping build the capacity for local food production and distribution through a variety of programs that have, rather organically, resulted in farmer-initiated food hubs. Farmers in four New Mexico counties (Doña Ana, Bernalillo, Mora and Rio Arriba), supported by AFSC, are working to formalize a statewide network to support the production, aggregation and distribution of local fresh food throughout the state.

Three "hubs" of farmers--incubated by the AFSC-NM--in Española, Las Cruces, and Albuquerque have linked together to "take advantage of New Mexico's unique bio-regions". According to a recent AFSC New Mexico publication:
 
Farmers intentionally coordinate farm plans before seeds are planted, resolve logistical issues [concerning] markets, and... find ways to transport the right produce at the right time to buyers.
 
It is through these well-established relationships with one another and their communities that more than 30 farmers from ages 19 to 75 have made this burgeoning statewide network a success, and an exciting model to follow as it develops! This network is already providing farm fresh food to a variety of markets, including three local school districts, one senior center, as well as local food co-ops and restaurants.

Attend the upcoming January Ag Collaborative meeting (Jan 8th from 9am-12pm at MRCOG, 809 Copper NW) to learn more about this network of New Mexico food hubs, as well as AFSC New Mexico's programs like Farmer-to-Farmer Training with Sayrah Namaste, Don Bustos, fellow AFSC New Mexico staff and AFSC New Mexico's farmer graduates now participating in the statewide network. Then deepen the "food hub conversation" with a facilitated discussion from 10:30 until noon.

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