Cass Clay Food Systems
The Cass Clay Food Systems Initiative formed the Cass Clay Food Systems Advisory Commission in late 2014 and began meeting in March 2015. The goal of the Commission is to work across jurisdictions in Cass and Clay counties to increase access to safe, nutritious, and affordable food by strengthening all aspects of the local food system.
One of the key goals of this initiative is to address necessary policy and systems changes to improve the food system. The steering committee chose to develop a series of food policy blueprints. Community gardens, urban bees and urban chickens are topics selected by survey. Blueprints have been created on these topics.
Blueprints are jurisdictional and advisory documents that provide background, a framework to evaluate the benefits and concerns from social, economic, health and environmental domains. They also look across the region to see what other communities are doing with regards to the issue and provide example policies and ordinances from communities across the country.
- Cass Clay Food Systems Advisory Commission
- NW Regional Sustainable Development Partnership
- UMN Extension
- Clay-Winkin Community Health Board
- Partnership 4 Health
- The Commission approved two blueprints in 2015 (community gardens and bees), and have reviewed and discussed urban chickens.
- Three other blueprints are in the research phase including: residential gardening, farmers' market, and composting. These will all be reviewed and approved in 2016.
Already, two jurisdictions have made requests to move the issues forward in their communities. A Clay County Commissioner asked Commission staff to meet with county planning staff to establish an ordinance recognizing community gardens within the county. This work is still in progress. A Moorhead City Council person requested that the Commission staff present to the Council following the approval of the urban beekeeping blueprint. The steering committee sees the need to continue public education and input.
NW RSDP - $5,000