ENCOURAGE BUY LOCAL OPPORTUNTIES

There are several opportunties for towns to encourage the purchase of locally grown products. Towns can play an instrumental role in the success of a local farmers' market. Although not every town can or should hold a farmers' market, those communities with the appropriate setting, such as a town green, along with willing farmers and a strong customer base can be a recipe for a successful farmers' market. Towns can also encourage 'Farm-to-Institution'; town officials can facilitate discussions and encourage stakeholders to work toward these goals. Town officials can also publicly recognize and applaud institutional administrators that are successful in this endeavor. Towns can encourage 'buy local' principles as they set their own bidding and purchasing procedures for food service programs under their administration.

There is also an opportuntiy to highlight local farm products and destinations. Local product guides are an increasingly popular way to highlight local farms and food products. Brochures often include maps identifying farm stands, pick-your-own farms, farmers' markets and other retail opportunities, along with their hours of operation and available products. The same type of information can also be placed on a town Web site to reach an additional audience. Developing a local product guide may be a good project for a town agricultural commission or advisory board. This same information could be broadcast on local TV to reach additional audiences and promote farms.

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