About the Initiative
In rural communities like the fourteen-county Upper Cumberland region that WCTE serves, agriculture is a business. Many individuals base their sole income on agri-business and agri-tourism, and there is a growing population of consumers who connect the economic impact of buying and eating locally to financial, environmental and physical well-being.
The Upper Cumberland has a rich tradition of connecting to the earth. Hundreds of century-old family farms reside in this region, and farmers’ markets thrive in all fourteen counties. Government-supported nutrition programs for low-income families and seniors are available for use with fresh, locally-grown produce. Several industries have been attracted to the Upper Cumberland and offer green jobs. Tennessee Tech University, located in Cookeville, has an organic farm and training program for both beginning farmers and long time producers, offering programs on topics such as extending the growing season and discovering what kinds of crops yield a higher return. Local, regional and state organizations have programs for both consumers and producers that will enhance their ability to stretch a dollar and impact their neighbor by buying locally.
The missing link is the connection of all of these resources and programs in an educational and multi-media initiative that will bring together the consumer and the producer on a local level. In addition, there is an equally important connection to be made with supporting partners who are striving for the same result.
WCTE one of the smallest stations in the PBS family, proposes a year-long campaign, Live Green and Prosper that will make these connections through education, outreach, on-air, on-line, in print and social networking opportunities. In addition, WCTE proposes to change the way we work with a strategic plan that outlines this initiative on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis to bring about maximum results. With the development of a business plan, staff training, utilization of a project action plan, the addition of content and project manager, WCTE will work in a targeted and focused direction. In addition, WCTE will re-direct all energies in each department to ensure the success of this project.
Live Green and Prosper will result in both and internal and external connectivity. The impact will be significant and the results rewarding for our staff, our community and our state. We have no doubt that this initiative can be replicated in many communities across our country, and the impact on the economic well-being of producers and consumers alike is immeasurable. “If you eat, thank a farmer.” This is a simple statement, but so true. Live Green and Prosper is a practical, grassroots initiative especially applicable in Cookeville, Tennessee.
“I think there’s tremendous opportunity to make Americans more aware of what they’re eating, terrific opportunity to expand these small growers…We ought to be about encouraging our kids to be terrific consumers of food; they ought to demand it…and be encouraged to do that. There’s tremendous opportunity for us in this energy climate change discussion.”
-U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack.
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