It would be surprising to learn that more net income comes into Polk and Burnett Counties through SNAP (food stamps) than through farming. Residents of the two counties spend over $192 million each year buying food, but well over 90% of the food we eat is imported from other places. With the average farmer getting $.14 out of every dollar spent on food, it is a game changer for direct sales farmers to set their own price and get 100% of the profits.
The St Croix Valley Food Alliance (SCVFA) is a new initiative of the Polk-Burnett Chapter of the Wisconsin Farmers Union(WFU) focused on building community through local food. Their mission is to strengthen and promote a thriving, resilient, and equitable local food economy in the St Croix River Valley. The initiative was built by a steering committee of farmers and food workers passionate about issues around supporting farmers, food security, climate change and a healthy watershed.
In May of 2022, with WFU as their fiscal sponsor, they submitted a grant to the USDA’s Local Food Promotion Program. A requirement of the grant was to raise 25% of the amount in matching funds from community partners. Through grassroots efforts, SCVFA was successful in meeting the grant requirements. If awarded the other 75% from the USDA in September, they will be able to hire a staff person, over three years, to coordinate the mechanisms that will set in motion more opportunities for a local food economy to expand.
Learn more about this exciting initiative and how you can be involved. The official launch event will take place on Wednesday August 10, from 6:30 to 9:30 pm at Community Homestead Farm, 501 280th St Osceola, WI. Everyone, farmers and eaters alike, are invited to celebrate family farms feeding their communities.
Activities will include free farm fresh food, a guided honey tasting, a film debut introducing some of the participating farmers, speakers, a farmer round table, and kid’s activities including a live puppet show! Deb Ryun, Executive Director of Wild River Conservancy, will be sharing about how this work is important to keeping watersheds healthy.