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Current Priorities

The Douglas County Food Policy Council is currently working on a number of recent projects. Learn more below and reach out to us if you're interested in engaging with us or have a question! 

Douglas County Food System Plan

How we produce, buy, eat, and dispose of food in Douglas County impacts our economy, our health, our environment, and our local culture. Our community asked for a strategic Food System Plan to guide future land use and policy decisions to support the development of our local food system. The process began in summer 2016, with adoption by Lawrence City Commission and Douglas County Commission recently in June and July 2017.

The DCFPC also oversaw an update to its first Food System Assessment (2011) to gather data to inform the Food System Plan. Full assessment being finalized. 

To join a list and receive project updates, visit the Food System Plan page

County-wide Farmers' Market Research Study

In 2015, the Douglas County received a USDA Farmers' Market Promotion Program grant to gather data to help inform the future development and success of farmers' markets in the county. The Douglas County Food Policy Council hired SCALE, Inc., to oversee research, including consumer surveys and close collaboration with each market.

The final county-wide report from SCALE was released January 2017!

Individual market profiles were also created with market-specific recommendations:

Following the report, the markets teamed up to form an informal marketing collaborative: Farmers Markets of Kaw Valley. Visit the new website to learn more and watch original videos! 

New Urban Agriculture Rules in Lawrence

For nearly a year, the Douglas County Food Policy Council collaborated with the City of Lawrence Planning Department to develop a suite of new land use regulations to better support urban agriculture practices in the City of Lawrence. In Spring 2016, the City of Lawrence Commission approved and adopted the changes. The ordinance also clarified previously allowed practices. The updates included: 

  • What practices residents can do “by right,” including: animal agriculture, crop agriculture, and on-site sales
  • What regulations limit those practices
  • An “Urban Farm” Special Use Permit for activities that exceed the allowed practices
  • The way in which this policy will be enforced

Want to learn more, visit the City of Lawrence Urban Ag Webpage and check out the Urban Ag 101 Community Food Production Guide and one-page overview created by the DCFPC!

Culinary Commons -- A new brand for the County's Incubator Kitchen 

The DCFPC collaborated with K-State Research & Extension--Douglas County to develop a new brand for our county incubator kitchen--Culinary Commons. In addition to a logo, a new website and marketing postcard help spread the word about this great county resource to support emerging food and kitchen-based entrepreneurs! 

Visit www.culinarycommons.org to see what it's all about! 

Double Up Food Bucks (formerly Market Match)

This program, which the DCFPC helped launch in Lawrence, allows food stamp (SNAP) users to double the value of their benefits at participating farmers' markets. The program now operates now as a bi-state program in partnership with the Fair Food Network. Douglas County oversees all markets in Eastern Kansas. 

Learn more at the program website, www.doubleupheartland.org, or contact Eileen Horn.