Hoosier Harvest Council represents members in the
Central Indiana Counties of Delaware, Hamilton, Hancock,
Henry, Madison, Marion, Rush, and Shelby.
Hoosier Harvest Council was formed in 2004 as a grassroots, not-for-profit organization, by a group of farmers in the area looking at farm sustainability and to expand the local food movement. The group was originally named Hancock Harvest Council; name was changed in 2013, to be more inclusive of the general region of the members of the organization.
The group works in partnership with the Purdue University Extension Service – Hancock County to promote education and networking of the producers and the public on the availability of local foods by direct to consumer sales, CSA’S, farmers markets and other means.
We have held several farm tours over the past few years to allow more people to visit the local farms and learn more about where their food comes from. Farm tours have included beef and dairy farms, nurseries and greenhouses, and orchards. We plan to continue farm tours in the surrounding areas.
HHC has been a chapter of the Buy Fresh Buy Local® program since 2007. Buy Fresh Buy Local® is a national campaign of FoodRoutes.org. The program was designed to increase demand, consumption and production of local foods – thus providing healthier food for all and supporting local agriculture. Improving access to local food through farmers markets, CSAs, farm stands and other direct market opportunities is essential to this cause, as is encouraging the continuation and expansion of local agriculture. We used this program or branding and marketing tools for the past several years, which has helped to increase our visibility and recognition.
We received a SARE grant in 2007 which helped us get off the ground initially. We continue to have a web site which includes a page for each of our members including farmer’s market members. We produce an annual directory of our members that includes the type of products sold by those members (this can be accessed online or in print). We also produce a newsletter that we use to promote our events and to do member profiles. Our Facebook page is also used to promote our members and events.
We do welcome associate members who want to be involved in the promotion of local foods and also have sponsorships available which will be listed as sponsors on our web site and directory.
We generally hold intermittent meetings at the Purdue Extension Office –Hancock County, 802 North Apple Street, Greenfield, IN 46140. We meet 3-4 times per year, mostly in the fall and winter months.
Hoosier Harvest Council consists of a president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer along with committee chairs to serve as the board of directors. All members are encouraged to provide input for the organization.