The Keep Growing/Strengthening Economies Together team met for the first time Oct. 19. Meeting notes can be downloaded here. Early in the discussion we named our “hopes” for this process. “Intent” would also be apt. Among our aspirations:
- that our region is less susceptible to the whims or vagaries of outside money
- our money stays local
- a sense of optimism
- our region is independent, and self-sustaining
- that the next generation is part of building the future
- our economy is not out-sourced
- we are food secure
- we focus on what we are for
- that our work is a unifier – systems fragment under pressure, working collectively/cooperatively can keep our regional systems together
- increase in value-added opportunities
- economic development encompasses quality of life issues, such as culture, education, and health
It was an inspiring conversation. We are trying to start at the beginning – no preconceptions, no assumptions – even though the people participating represent many years of experience in North Country and Northeast Kingdom farming, economic development, business enterprise, conservation, and just plain living. Our goal is an economic development plan centered on local agriculture. Our next meeting is December 7. If you’re intrigued – please join us.
We will endeavor to have meeting notes and other pertinent information available here.