Forest

Agroforestry Acceleration in Central Appalachia:

Strengthening Market Connections and Collaboration for

Long-Term Sector Impact and Sustainability

Executive Summary

Statement of Opportunity

Project Description

Project Team (incl. secondary page)

Project Outputs and Outcomes

(Alignment with ARC Strategic Investment Goals and Objectives)

[reorder logos and dev graphic:, grow Appalachia]

HorizontalStacked_RGB.png
FGU.png
ASD_logo_920x400.jpg
ABFFC.jpg
cals-2x2-uc_v-rgb.png
logo.png
Logo-1.png
ups-logo17.png
wvff-logo-color-white.jpg
PRINT_Organic Growers School.jpg
ruralaction_logo__notag-2-e1455302455117.png
ruralaction_logo__notag-2-e1455302455117.png
wwc-logo.png

-Develop Template for each section

-Linked list with anchored headings (jump to section)

-Sticky section menu on scroll down?

-Check length of page/load time

PROPOSED PROJECT
The Appalachian Beginning Forest Farmer Coalition (ABFFC) is a decade-old multistate partnership focused on helping producers of non-timber forest products (NTFPs) improve marketing and business development for forest-derived medicinal, culinary, and decorative products. An estimated 50% of forest-derived species that are consumed in the global market are native to the Appalachian region  The NTFP agricultural sector has expanded for 17 consecutive years, driven by a multi-billion-dollar industry with domestic and international consumers. As recognized in the April 2022 report entitled Agriculture and Local Food Economies in the Appalachian Region and produced by ARC, the agroforestry cluster in Appalachia offers significant economic potential. 

[add media]

Logic Model

Led by Virginia Tech University and comprised of more than 10 non-profit organizations, universities, and agency partners, the ABFFC was formally established in 2015 and demonstrates how a regional approach to marketing, producing, aggregating, and distributing (MPAD) directly improves cluster output and individual profitability. There are more than 2,000 ABFFC producer and stakeholder members. Through USDA and some private foundation support, VT and partners have developed, marketed, and implemented a broad assortment of technical assistance and training activities, which has generated a substantial wave of new practitioners (forest farmers) while also connecting established harvesters (often called diggers) with improved pathways to increase earnings. Over 85% of responses to an open member survey from over 300 people report beginning to farm in the past five years (VT-led study, ABFFC participants, 2021).

The Proposed ARISE Project is designed to accelerate existing ABFFC partnerships and producer engagement by expanding technical assistance to ensure economic viability of individual and collective business ventures across Central Appalachia and increase the long-term sustainability of a value-added NTFP supply chain. The project strengthens existing partnerships in Virginia, North Carolina, and Ohio, while engaging new development partners in Kentucky, Maryland, and West Virginia.

This multi-faceted strategy draws industry attention and investment, which, in turn, supports value-added supply and revenue generation. Broad system change will occur when investments and an expansion of collaborating partners, all coordinated through a regional cluster, increase capacity to meet growing domestic and international buyer demand. Ancillary impact through coordinated workforce development programming and asset-based tourism planning is also anticipated. 

The work represents a continuation of tested and proven activities that translate directly to ARC Project Performance Measures. The ARISE funding will provide additional resources to accelerate and dramatically expand the impact of the ABFFC work while introducing next phase work of creating a more sustainable NTFP economy in Central Appalachia. 
 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Executive Summary: Agroforestry Acceleration in Central Appalachia: Strengthening Market Connections and Collaboration for Long-Term Sector Impact and Sustainability

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Statement of Need or Opportunity
• Describe the need or opportunity this project seeks to address and identify the states involved in the multistate proposal.

Section Header 

Descriptive copy

Develop media, maps, and visuals

Links and documents

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Project Description

 

Section Header 

Descriptive copy

Develop media, maps, and visuals

Links and documents


• Clearly describe how the proposed project significantly advances the regional economy.
• Describe the proposed scope of work and intended results.
• Identify the proposed project area, highlighting geographic areas of focus.
• Explain how the proposed scope of work and the project’s goals align with one or more of the ARC Strategic Investment Goals and States Priorities.
• Explain how the proposed scope of work will address priority areas of (1) advancing equity by engaging underserved communities and designing plans for future implementation projects so that underserved communities enjoy equitable access to the benefits and opportunities of those projects and/or (2) addressing the climate crisis through resilient and energy efficient project design.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Project Team—Evidence of Collaboration Among All Partners

 

Section Header 

Descriptive copy

Develop media, maps, and visuals

Links and documents


• Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is required as proof of partnership collaboration.
• MOU shall identify project partners in the proposed project and each partners’ role, responsibilities, contribution, and benefits in the proposed project.
• Identify location of each partner within each state of the proposed service area.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Project Outputs and Outcomes

Section Header 

Descriptive copy

Develop media, maps, and visuals

Links and documents


• Identify the proposed project outputs and outcomes that are aligned with the scope of work; reviewers will assess whether they appear relevant, realistic, and achievable. Reviewers will also gauge the potential return on investment based on the correlation between the amount of funding requested, the overall scope of work, and the stated outputs and outcomes. Please review ARC’s Performance Measurement document.
• Methodology: Explain the methodology and reasoning used to determine the estimated outputs and outcomes, and split into short, medium, and long-term results.

• Include data collection, tracking, and verification of what role each partner will play in the reporting. Include a description of how project collaborators envision the proposed project transforming and furthering the long-term community and economic development of the project region.