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Heart of Dakota Local Foods Education Wagon

Wherever Joshua and Robby go, people take notice. This beautiful pair of ponies, one black and the other white, are trained therapy animals, bringing comfort and happiness to individuals in need of healing. When hitched to their wagon, some might say they resemble a 19th century medicine wagon, traveling place to place selling “magic elixirs” to cure ailments. While this pair isn’t peddling any products, many might argue Robby and Joshua’s presence is a magic elixir for the soul.  

When Hippocrates said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food” he knew what he was talking about. Many of the today’s ailments are diet-related health problems, caused by people consuming too many energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods, and too few nutrient-dense foods like fruits and vegetables.

Because Joshua and Robby recognize the importance of eating right and staying healthy, they’ve added a new aspect to their health promotion campaign: this handsome pair are the ambassadors for the Heart of Dakota Local Foods Education Wagon.

Throughout 2014 Joshua, Robby and Irene Graves (their owner, and participate in the ND SARE Leadership for Local Foods Program) traveled across North Dakota to share the good news about local food. They attended festivals and county fairs providing information about why eating locally and supporting local foods is important, completing surveys to further understand the local food scene in the areas, and making connections for individuals to purchase local foods.

Irene and the dynamic duo will be back on the road in 2015, and have developed a Facebook page to follow their happenings. https://www.facebook.com/heartofdakotalocalfoods

They hope to meet many new folks, and continue sharing the benefits of eating locally grown foods for the consumer, grower, and community!

Demand for local food in rural communities is growing. Sustainable local food systems need to have strong community support to build and maintain the infrastructure needed to bring food from farm to fork. This website provides resources to support rural communities just beginning to build their community food systems as well as those whose local food systems are already strong. Resources are intended for farmers and producers, community organizations, and Extension Educators but may interest anyone in community and local foods. While this website was a partnership between Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota, most resources are applicable for any rural community.

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