FARMINGTON – Community agencies and the city of Farmington are looking for ways to boost the market for local food while revitalizing downtown.
Farmington and Silver City are the New Mexico cities chosen this year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Local Foods, Local Places program, the Farmington Daily Times reported last week.
“America’s farmers and ranchers are some of the nation’s first environmentalists,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt in a release.
“We look forward to helping our community partners develop local food enterprises that support local farmers, improve public health, protect the environment and grow local economies.”
More than 75 applications were received this year, according to the EPA release. Farmington and Silver City are two of 16 communities selected to participate.
Representatives from New Mexico State University San Juan County Extension Office, the city of Farmington, San Juan County Partnership, Four Corners Economic Development, the San Juan College Enterprise Center and San Juan Soil and Water Conservation District formed a steering committee to apply for the program.
The public is invited to provide input during a meeting June 12 at the Bonnie Dallas Senior Center in Farmington.
The program will provide Farmington with a team of experts that will help identify local assets and opportunities to support food enterprises.
The team will also set goals for Farmington and develop an implementation plan. It will also help identify resources from federal agencies to support the implementation plan.
Silver City is hoping to identify ways to reduce food waste in its downtown area and create more garden spaces.
The Downtown Albuquerque Main Street Initiative used the program in 2017 for an economic revitalization project.
The program also works with Native American tribes.