The Upper PeeDee Farm and Food Council (UPFFC), serving Anson, Montgomery and Stanly counties, announces that its interim director, Nancy Bryant of Norwood, is retiring at the end of June.
Bryant first volunteered as the administrator for the fledgling organization in 2012, having worked for over a year, together with her husband, Ron, to bring together people from the three counties to form an interim board. That board formed the vision and structure of what was to become the official UPFFC beginning in 2013. At that time, the new council appointed Nancy Bryant as the unpaid interim director.
In her final report to the council and the three counties, Bryant reflected on the tri-county farm and food system.
“These past years have seen us sow the seed of something special to help promote the local farm and food system (an incubator farm at first, as some will remember) and have seen that seed grow into something far more visionary, our Upper PeeDee Farm and Food Council, thanks to countless people who have been involved.
From Lori Ivey, Stanly Cooperative Extension Director, in December 2010, to Robin McCree, a SCC VP, and the Interim Board in 2012, to the present-day Council representatives, the 300 people on our listserv and others in the three counties, people have seen the value in nurturing the Upper PeeDee Farm and Food Council to the creditable organization it is now.
We have helped the citizens and elected officials of our counties and beyond begin to understand more fully the benefits of a sustainable, locally-based, economically resilient farm and food system. They are realizing that local farms, local food and local economies are all inter-connected and connected to more than just the food in the fields.
It’s the people and organizations and activities of all who preserve our farmland, who grow, harvest, process, aggregate, distribute, sell, consume and who provide for the waste….it’s all of us who are recognizing the value of working together to protect our food shed and food supply as more development and climate change are occurring.
UPFFC has been a leader in the region (there were only two other such councils in our 14-county region when the council began its business officially in January of 2013.) State leaders have repeatedly told us how we have been a model for new councils to build on around the state.
Thanks to the support of the Anson, Montgomery and Stanly County Commissions and other county agencies and the hard-working council representatives and volunteers, we are poised to transition the Council to fund and to bring on a new, part-time paid Director in the near future. We take much pleasure in the collective strength of the past and present Council representatives and those many volunteers as they tackle the opportunities and challenges ahead.”
Bryant will remain involved in the work of the council as a different kind of volunteer, helping to train the leadership to work with the events or whatever is needed
The council encourages the public to save the dates for two exciting events they are sponsoring: Sept. 19, a special fundraiser event at Stony Mountain Vineyards, and Nov. 8, an event- and food-filled day at Lucky Clays Farm near Norwood.
The council has appointed Stanly representatives, Shannon Johnson and Shawn Hatley, as interim co-directors. You may contact them after June 30 at 704-984-9415 and 704-617-0852, respectively, and also at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.upffc.org or Facebook.