Announcing the Viability Working Group

Author: 
Erin Allgood

The Viability Initiative, the the first strategic effort of the NH Food Alliance, outlines approaches and recommendations to address the challenges and opportunities identified by farmers, fishermen, and food entrepreneurs. The NH Food Alliance has convened a Viability Working Group, a diverse team made up of individuals representing various sectors of the food system and regions of New Hampshire.

Purpose of the Viability Working Group

The Viability Working Group will collaborate within the network structure to support these enterprises and to promote a growing, healthy food system that benefits all New Hampshire residents. Specifically, the Viability Working Group will ensure agreement and clarity on the goals, approaches, and indicators established to advance the Viability Initiative. They will engage with the NH Food Alliance network to understand what kinds of projects and enterprises already exist in New Hampshire and how to best implement actions that support the Viability Initiative. They will also work to understand where there are gaps within the food system and determine best practices to fill those gaps.

Viability Working Group Membership

After an open call for nominations to the Viability Working Group, 14 individuals were chosen based upon their knowledge of the New Hampshire food system and connections across diverse sectors. We are pleased to introduce the Viability Working Group members:

  • Charlene Andersen, NH Community Loan Fund
  • Gabby Bradt, NH Sea Grant
  • Rebecca Brown, Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust
  • Joanne Burke, UNH Sustainability Institute
  • Andrea Cadwell, Seeds of Community
  • Cara Cargill, NH Agricultural Mediation Program and Land for Good
  • Helen Costello, NH Food Bank
  • Jeremy Delisle, UNH Cooperative Extension
  • Bob Haefner, NH House Representative
  • Amanda Littleton, Cheshire County Conservation District
  • Erin Norton, Three River Farmers Alliance
  • Tom Serafin, Concord Hospital
  • Matt Scruton, Ten Rod Farm
  • Megan Straughen, Monadnock Food Co-op

The Viability Working Group will be facilitated by Rick DeMark and Mark Hews. To learn more about Mark and Rick, please read their bios.

How the Network can Support the Viability Initiative

As the work of the Viability Working Group gets underway, they will be reaching out to network members for feedback or guidance on particular topics. In the meantime, there are plenty of opportunities to advance the Viability Initiative in your communities.

  • encourage your friends and family to get out to a local winter farmers’ market
  • consider purchasing a CSA
  • buy goods from a local farm stand or food hub

Also, consider getting involved in the network by attend an upcoming Strategy Team meeting (dates pending) or by sharing your story.