Congratulations to Saint Joseph’s College for announcing the launch of their Institute for Local Food Systems Innovation! The announcement comes as the institute recently received $4 million in funding from a Public Works Construction Project award from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration, and donations from the Hannaford Charitable Foundation, Organic Nutrition, Inc., and several private foundations and individuals.
This project “pursues the College’s long-standing initiatives in sustainability and community engagement, while contributing solutions to Maine’s need to recover manufacturing jobs, develop the state’s food and beverage industry, and meet regional food security goals.” These funds will allow the College to begin the initial phases of development for the institute. The institute will include “a food manufacturing incubator, a hydroponic farm, a traditional crop and livestock farm, an agritourism event center, and an entrepreneurship development and education program offering certificates in areas such as hydroponic farming, food processing, and good merchandising.” The college’s strategic plan seeks to positively affect those in need in the community, those learning from the institute, and the local environment.
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