Established in 2014, Bluegrass Farm to Table is an initiative of the City of Lexington's Office of Economic Development. Bluegrass Farm to Table serves as a mechanism to increase coordination and collaboration among stakeholders at all levels of the local food system - from production to consumption. Bluegrass Farm to Table’s mission is to promote the development of a more vibrant local food economy by supporting food-related agricultural development. Specifically, Bluegrass Farm to Table:
Facilitates coordination and collaboration among stakeholders of the local food economy.
o Convenes the Bluegrass Farm to Table Advisory Committee.
o Convenes farmers, processors, distributors, buyers, community organizations, and policy makers, as needed, to streamline communication, programs/activities, funding opportunities, and future planning efforts.
o Maintains strategic partnerships—local, regional, and statewide.
Supports market development for local food products by connecting Kentucky farmers and local food producers with buyers (wholesale distributors, retailers, institutions, restaurants, etc.), with a particular emphasis on developing the supply and demand in the Lexington area and the Bluegrass Region.
Supports value chain development for Kentucky farm products by:
o Supporting the development of regional aggregation, distribution, and processing infrastructure for local food products.
o Supporting educational efforts to promote local food purchasing among consumers, chefs, distributors, and other food purchasers.
o Encouraging education about the benefits of local food production and consumption.
Supports a more equitable distribution of local food sales across the community.
Supports farmers’ markets throughout Lexington and the region.
Ashton Potter Wright, Lexington's first Local Food Coordinator, manages and provides operational support for Bluegrass Farm to Table. She works in partnership with Mayor's Office Staff, Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council members, and an Advisory Committee.
Read how Ashton has generated $2.7 million in sales for local growers in the Herald-Leader article, “How This Woman Helped Create a Booming Market for Locally Grown Food.”
Read about Ashton's work in the article "Lexington’s Local Food Coordinator Turns Harvests into Economic Development" featured in The Lane Report.
Bluegrass Farm to Table has an Advisory Committee comprised of diverse community stakeholders that meet on a monthly basis. The Advisory Committee has established two working groups, Infrastructure & Capacity Building and Consumer Outreach & Education.