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Regional Partners

Fresh Central is part of the Central Louisiana Local Foods Initiative, a community effort that aims to strengthen Central Louisiana’s local foods economy while increasing access to fresh foods for all residents of the region. The initiative was created in 2012 with a Challenge for a Healthier Louisiana Grant from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Foundation of Louisiana and matching funding from The Rapides Foundation. The initiative is being continued through funding from a Healthy Behaviors Program Grant from The Rapides Foundation, the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service, and a philanthropic investment from Keller Enterprises, LLC. It is connected by the Central Louisiana Economic Development Alliance.

The Louisiana State University Agricultural Center, known as the LSU AgCenter, is one of 11 institutions within the Louisiana State University System. The LSU AgCenter’s mission is to provide the people of Louisiana with research-based educational information that will improve their lives and economic well-being. The LSU AgCenter includes the Louisiana Agricultural Experiment Station, which conducts agricultural-based research, and the Louisiana Cooperative Extension Service, which extends the knowledge derived from research to the people of the state. The LSU AgCenter plays an integral role in supporting agricultural industries, enhancing the environment, and improving the quality of life through its 4-H youth, family and consumer sciences, and community development programs.

CREATE - Culture, Recreation, Entertainment, Arts, Tourism, Economy - is a collaborative initiative to strategically cultivate our creative economy in Lafayette Parish.  Launched by Mayor-President Joel Robideaux in March 2017, it offers a unique opportunity to celebrate and maximize the potential of our local food culture.   Through this initiative, CREATE will seek opportunities to fund existing gaps in our cultural economy in intentional and strategic ways to generate sustainable revenue and adequately support our cultural brand.

In recognizing the cultural economy as the second largest economic driver in Lafayette Parish, CREATE brings the cultural wealth of our community to the forefront through sustained focus and innovation.

The New Orleans Food & Farm Network (NOFFN) works to build the local food economy in greater New Orleans area.  With a focus on farm and food-product entrepreneurship, NOFFN's work is aimed toward supporting the building blocks of a new food economy.  With an array of experience,  NOFFN has helped catalyze projects that fill critical gaps in the system while also providing support, capacity-building, and technical assistance to a diversity of food and farming projects. 

NOFFN aims to localize the food system in the New Orleans region by increasing the number of edible gardens, developing collaborative urban agriculture projects, and supporting food system linkages within the New Orleans foodshed.

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