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Times community review article

March 29, 2011

In case you missed it, Glasgow Daily Times in its Time Community Review, just did a fine set of articles on Barren County's biggest industry, agriculture. By special permission, the following copy of the article they did on us is copied below. Thanks so much to Glasgow Daily Times for allowing this reprint and for caring about our work enough to do this fine article explaining what we are trying to accomplish so well.

 

By Amanda Loviza

Glasgow Daily Times

Printed in the Times Community Review (TCR) 2011 Published on March 27, 2011

 

When the recession hit Glasgow in 2008 along with the rest of the country, a small group of people decided they wanted to do something about it.

We wanted to help build a more durable economy in Glasgow, said Billy Ray, superintendent of the Electric Plant Board. Ray is a board member of Sustainable Glasgow, an organization focused on creating a more sustainable economy by focusing on building a local movement in Glasgow.

The idea was that if residents spent more of their money in local businesses, buying produce from local farmers, etc., that those dollars would continue to circulate within the Glasgow economy and would make the city's economy stronger.

 

"Ownership matters," Ray said. "It makes a difference. Every time they pick up a fork, they are in effect voting for which economy is going to be more durable."

Sustainable Glasgow began with a group of five people who started talking about what they would do to improve Glasgows economy. They began meeting in each others homes, and decided their first goal was to foster a sustainable, local food economy, Ray said. Barren County was ranked one of the top agriculture-producing counties east of the Mississippi River, but local residents were not eating a lot of Barren County food.

 

Why are we producing so much food around here but not consuming it locally? Ray said was the big question. In order to promote a local food economy, Sustainable Glasgow began the Bounty of the Barrens Market, a farmers market that stemmed from an earlier market at St. Andrews Episcopal Church. St. Andrews had begun their market after the tobacco buyout had hurt so many livelihoods in Glasgow. It started out as kind of a justice issue and a community issue, said Suzanne Barrow, the vicar at St. Andrews. The farmers market was something we realized people really wanted, said Barrow, now a Sustainable Glasgow board member. Sustainable Glasgow was able to build upon that market to create the Bounty of the Barrens, which was first held in the BB&T parking lot on West Main Street at the end of 2008.

 

From a physical health standpoint, local physician and Sustainable Glasgow president William Travis said that food bought from farms is much healthier, without hormones and antibiotics pumped into the animals. Theres also the benefit of being able to trust the source of your food.

One of the great things about buying food at a farmers market is that you can talk to the person who grew it, look them straight in the eye, Travis said.

Barren County farmer Joe Trigg sells beef and produce at the market, and said Sustainable Glasgow has done a good job of trying to be an advocate for farmers, which is easier said than done. To emphasize gardening, produce production goes against the normal thing, said Trigg, also a board member. But Sustainable Glasgow wants Barren County farmers to lean their focus away from cash crops like corn and soybeans and focus more on produce that can be eaten locally.

Dr. Jerry Ralston, superintendent of Barren County Schools and Sustainable Glasgow
board member, has already seen the positive benefits of providing local produce

for consumption. Ralston has pioneered efforts to promote healthy,

local eating in the Barren County school system.

 

Barren County students eat apples and salads from local farms, and some elementary schools are creating edible schoolyards, where the teachers and students grow their own gardens on school property. Ralston said that consumption has increased dramatically since the schools started providing healthy local food. I think its a way we can better take care of ourselves,?

Ralston said. But Sustainable Glasgow still sees building a local food economy and having a farmers market as just the beginning. I see it as a broad effort to not only bring the availability if local foods to a local market, but as a way to address local concerns, Ralston said.

Members of Sustainable Glasgow, especially Ray, would like to see the groups efforts expand into the development of biking and walking paths throughout the city. Sustainable Glasgow has started a push called Bicycles of the Barrens, submitting a plan to local government for a network of paths. Unfortunately, that proposal has met with nothing more than a yawn from local government,? Ray said. We have a long road to hoe to get this community to

think about anything but wider roads, more vehicles,? he said.

 

Kentucky was found to be one of the top five least-active states in a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released in February and based off data from 2007-2009.

Its a quality of life thing,?  Travis said.The organization has also started talking to local banks about the possibility of starting a local Slow Money movement, where banks would help residents invest in local businesses, so their money would remain in the local economy helping local businesses.

Rhonda Trautman, now mayor of Glasgow and a Sustainable Glasgow board member, said that it was the economic development aspect of Sustainable Glasgow that caught her attention. There are many studies that show that if a person spends one dollar in a local business, it circulates within the local economy much more than it would if that dollar were spent in a nationwide chain.

Its a multiplier effect, its just better for everyone,? Trautman said.

 

Dan Iacconi, Sustainable Glasgow board member and director of the Industrial Development Economic Authority (IDEA) board, said that Sustainable Glasgow improves the local economy not only by creating jobs in the farming sector, but by attracting businesses to settle in Glasgow.

Prospective clients really appreciate that we have a grassroots movement committed to benefitting our community, Iacconi said. He added that it is a pleasure to showcase Sustainable Glasgow to prospective clients. That commitment to benefitting the community is what drives the members of Sustainable Glasgow. Its more than just a market on Saturday, its a way of life, Barrow said. Ray said that having a sustainable community wont happen without risks, but he wants Glasgow to be as appealing as a small European town. He doesnt want people to feel like they have to travel thousands of miles for a scenic bike ride.

Why dont we just make it so we can live a vacation lifestyle here all the time?? Ray said. Why not? Why cant we do that?By Amanda Loviza Glasgow Daily Times

 

When the recession hit Glasgow in 2008 along with the rest of the country, a small group of people decided they wanted to do something about it.

We wanted to help build a more durable economy in Glasgow, said Billy Ray, superintendent of the Electric Plant Board. Ray is a board member of Sustainable Glasgow, an organization focused on creating a more sustainable economy by focusing on building a local movement in Glasgow.

The idea was that if residents spent more of their money in local businesses, buying produce from local farmers, etc., that those dollars would continue to circulate within the Glasgow economy and would make the city's economy stronger. "Ownership matters," Ray said. "It makes a difference. Every time they pick up a fork, they are in effect voting for which economy is going to be more durable." Sustainable Glasgow began with a group of five people who started talking about what they would do to improve Glasgows economy. They began meeting in each others homes, and decided their first goal was to foster a sustainable, local food economy, Ray said. Barren County was ranked one of the top agriculture-producing counties east of the

 Mississippi River, but local residents were not eating a lot of Barren County food.

 

Why are we producing so much food around here but not consuming it locally? Ray said was the big question.  In order to promote a local food economy, Sustainable Glasgow began the Bounty of the Barrens Market, a farmers market that stemmed from an earlier market at St. Andrews Episcopal Church. St. Andrews had begun their market after the tobacco buyout had hurt so many livelihoods in Glasgow. It started out as kind of a justice issue and a community issue, said Suzanne Barrow, the vicar at St. Andrews. The farmers market was something we realized people really wanted, said Barrow, now a Sustainable Glasgow board member. Sustainable Glasgow was able to build upon that market to create the Bounty of the Barrens, which was first held in the BB&T parking lot on West Main Street at the end of 2008.

 

From a physical health standpoint, local physician and Sustainable Glasgow president William Travis said that food bought from farms is much healthier, without hormones and antibiotics pumped into the animals. Theres also the benefit of being able to trust the source of your food.

One of the great things about buying food at a farmers market is that you can talk to the person who grew it, look them straight in the eye, Travis said.

Barren County farmer Joe Trigg sells beef and produce at the market, and said Sustainable Glasgow has done a good job of trying to be an advocate for farmers, which is easier said than done. To emphasize gardening, produce production goes against the normal thing, said Trigg, also a board member. But Sustainable Glasgow wants Barren County farmers to lean their focus away from cash crops like corn and soybeans and focus more on produce that can be eaten locally.

Dr. Jerry Ralston, superintendent of Barren County Schools and Sustainable Glasgow board member, has already seen the positive benefits of providing local produce for consumption. Ralston has pioneered efforts to promote healthy, local eating in the Barren County school system. Barren County students eat apples and salads from local farms, and some elementary schools are creating edible schoolyards, where the teachers and students grow their own gardens on school property. Ralston said that consumption has increased dramatically since the schools started providing healthy local food. I think its a way we can better take care of ourselves,?

Ralston said. But Sustainable Glasgow still sees building a local food economy and having a farmers market as just the beginning. I see it as a broad effort to not only bring the availability if local foods to a local market, but as a way to address local concerns, Ralston said.

Members of Sustainable Glasgow, especially Ray, would like to see the groups efforts expand into the development of biking and walking paths throughout the city.

Sustainable Glasgow has started a push called Bicycles of the Barrens,

submitting a plan to local government for a network of paths.  Unfortunately,

that proposal has met with nothing  more than a yawn from local government,? Ray said.

 

We have a long road to hoe to get this community to think about anything but wider roads, more vehicles,?he said. Kentucky was found to be one of the top five least-active states in a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, released in February and based off data from 2007-2009. Its a quality of life thing,? Travis said.

The organization has also started talking to local banks about the possibility of starting a local Slow Money movement, where banks would help residents invest in local businesses, so their money would remain in the local economy helping local businesses.

Rhonda Trautman, now mayor of Glasgow and a Sustainable Glasgow board member, said that it was the economic development aspect of Sustainable Glasgow that caught her attention. There are many studies that show that if a person spends one dollar in a local business, it circulates within the local economy much more than it would if that dollar were spent in a nationwide chain.

Its a multiplier effect, its just better for everyone,?  Trautman said.

 

Dan Iacconi, Sustainable Glasgow board member and director of the Industrial Development Economic Authority (IDEA) board, said that Sustainable Glasgow improves the local economy not only by creating jobs in the farming sector, but by attracting businesses to settle in Glasgow.

Prospective clients really appreciate that we have a grassroots movement committed to benefitting our community, Iacconi said.  He added that it is a pleasure to showcase Sustainable Glasgow to prospective clients. That commitment to benefitting the community is what drives the members of Sustainable Glasgow. Its more than just a market on Saturday, its a way of life, Barrow said. Ray said that having a sustainable community wont happen without risks, but he wants Glasgow to be as appealing as a small European town. He doesnt want people to feel like they have to travel thousands of miles for a scenic bike ride. Why dont we just make it so we can live a vacation lifestyle here all the time?? Ray said. Why not? Why cant we do that?

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