Chris Duke, owner of Great Oak Farm in Mason, Wis., is a farmer participating in the Local Foods Initiative at Northland College

Chris Duke, owner of Great Oak Farm in Mason, Wis., is a farmer participating in the Local Foods Initiative at Northland College

ASHLAND, Wis. – Northland College has signed the Lake Superior Good Food Charter and the Superior Compact as it expands efforts to support a vibrant local foods system.

The Lake Superior Good Food Charter promotes the role of agriculture in the health of communities and the environment. The charter supports investment in a regional food infrastructure, food security, diversity of food cultures and sustainable agriculture that reduces negative impacts to the environment.

“The Superior Compact is a purchasing commitment that pledges our organization to purchase 20 percent locally grown foods by the year 2020,” said Nathan Engstrom, regionalsustainability coordinator at Northland College. “Those are agreements that the Lake Superior Good Food Network is seeking to establish with institutions in the Chequamegon Bay region to make commitments to local food purchasing.”

Northland College already purchases almost 20 percent of its food from local growers as part of the college’s Local Foods Initiative. Northland launched the initiative last year with the goal of increasing local foods consumption on campus to 20 percent during the 2012-2013 school year. The 20 percent goal represents a roughly $100,000 investment in the local foods economy, farmers and their families.

Engstrom said the college is making every effort to support local foods systems and regional initiatives to sustain local growers. Signing the charter and compact are just additional steps toward that goal, he said.

“It’s a good way for us to tie into other organizations and businesses in the Lake Superior area that are making these similar commitments and add strength in numbers,” said Engstrom. “We want to help, inspire and motivate others to sign on as well.”

As part of that, Engstrom will share information about the college’s Local Foods Initiative at an upcoming regional food summit. The Lake Superior Good Food Network is holding the “Good Food Transforming Our Region” summit on March 8-9 at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Information about the Local Foods Initiative may be found online at www.northland.edu/food-systems<http://www.northland.edu/food-systems>.

Northland College joins several institutions in the Lake Superior region that have signed thecharter and/or compact, including Elsewhere Farm in Herbster, the Chequamegon Food Co-op, Coco’s in Washburn, CHUM, Community Action Duluth and more. Information about the Lake Superior Good Food Charter and Superior Compact may be found online at www.goodfoodnetwork.org<http://www.goodfoodnetwork.org>.

Northland College is a traditional liberal arts and sciences college with aunique focus on the environment and sustainability. Northland College and its Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute are located in Ashland, Wis., near theshores of Lake Superior. The College is broadly recognized as a leader in sustainability education having adopted the focus as its mission in 1971. Founded in 1892, Northland now enrolls 600 students from across the nation and across the world. For more information about Northland College and its Institute, visit our website at www.northland.edu.


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