Overall Rating Silver
Overall Score 57.66
Liaison Michael Kensler
Submission Date Jan. 23, 2019
Executive Letter Download

STARS v2.1

Auburn University
IN-26: Innovation C

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 1.00 / 1.00 Amy Strickland
Program Manager
Office of Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name or title of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome:
Food Entrepreneur Working Group

A brief description of the innovative policy, practice, program, or outcome that outlines how credit criteria are met and any positive measurable outcomes associated with the innovation:

The Food Entrepreneur Working Group brings together experts from multiple disciplines to help hopeful entrepreneurs get their product ready for market, find financing and negotiate a maze of regulations. In a state that lacks large industries to provide well-paying jobs, entrepreneurship is a viable alternative.

Locally grown and produced foods are enjoying increased popularity. However, while a cattle farmer might know how to grow organic beef, he or she often is not knowledgeable about how to market such a product; connect with potential purveyors of the product, such as grocery stores and school lunch programs; find financing; and develop cash flow projections.

The Food Entrepreneur Working Group addresses the gap. Our experts have the knowledge to help with business planning, find co-packers, develop nutrition labeling and test products for shelf life and testing.

Many of those who do have jobs in Alabama could be classified as “working poor,” and many are unemployed. Although the statewide unemployment rate currently is just under 10 percent, there are counties where unemployment approaches 20 percent. Some of these counties are located in areas where infrastructure is so poor and educational levels are so low that industry is unlikely to locate there, and the tax base is too feeble to offer attractive incentives. Entrepreneurship offers hope, and food entrepreneurship offers possibilities. One successful food entrepreneur could provide jobs for his or her neighbors, and a cycle of success could start. The Food Entrepreneur Working Group is open to anyone with a good idea and the initiative to pursue marketing that idea, but Alabama’s underprivileged stand to be most affected from the group's success.


Which of the following impact areas does the innovation most closely relate to? (select up to three):
Public Engagement
Food & Dining

A letter of affirmation from an individual with relevant expertise or a press release or publication featuring the innovation :
The website URL where information about the programs or initiatives is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:
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