CFA has become a national leader in linking urban and rural economies on the grassroots and state-wide level. Through a series of efforts across the state, this organization made up of members from urban and rural communities, is strengthening economic and social ties between its state’s residents.
In May of 2007, CFA completed and published its community food assessment, “Bridging the Divide: Growing Self-Sufficiency in Our Food Supply.” This assessment has contributed greatly to CFA’s efforts to create a local food system for Louisville, which they envision will solve the city’s food insecurity issues as well as the retail and wholesale needs of the region’s farmers. In working to achieve this local food system, CFA has expanded their market network to three farmers markets serving low-income neighborhoods in Louisville. One of these markets is operated by Urban Fresh, an entrepreneurial local food distribution business run by youth, ages 16-26. Urban Fresh has also developed two commercial accounts with West Louisville restaurants and sells products at various community events and in corner stores in West Louisville.
Working with regional farmers, CFA helped to develop Grasshoppers, a producer-owned food distribution business located in West Louisville. Participating producers service restaurants, grocery stores, cafeterias, school systems, special events and members of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). The company offers their urban customers an authentic connection to regional farmers while also providing a retail and wholesale opportunity for small farmers who do not have the capacity to both farm and manage a distribution business on their own.
On the policy level CFA organizes and mobilizes their members to advocate at the state and regional level; effect policy changes; and connect and empower rural farmers, community leaders, and low-income residents. CFA continues to initiate conversations and attract attention on both a state-wide and national level for issues such as local food and farming, disparities in food access, failed urban and rural economic policies, health and race.