The Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) commissioned a Feasibility Study for Food Hubs in Indiana. The purpose of the study was to assess the needs of growers and consumers regarding the potential for regional food hubs operating as part of a statewide network to facilitate the marketing and access to specialty crops. We were part of a team of consultants that conducted the study and supplied recommendations for next step programming. The concept of food hubs was not new to Indiana growers of specialty crops, but determining the widely varied needs of these growing across a diverse state was a challenge. We assisted with the communication planning and stakeholder engagement by setting up an outreach matrix and needs inventory, guided by survey input. Producers were surveys at the State Fair, local fairs, and through cooperative partnerships with local grocers and farmers markets. A project website was created and populated by resources collected and organized by our staff. This site is now the primary place for sharing information and organizing efforts across relevant agencies.
- Collaborated with interdisciplinary team to determine the feasibility and infrastructure needs associated with establishing local food hubs
- Assisted agency staff in determining outreach and communication objectives
- Authored stakeholder surveys and press releases
- Developed website content, key messaging for event and survey invitations, and overall tone and brand for project communications
- Explored partnerships with local food stores, co-ops, and other outreach partners
- Developed a framework for local marketing strategies