Become a Local Food Leader!

Building Stronger Communities Through Local Food

2018 participant applications are closed. Stay tuned for next year's program! 

Are you looking to be a change agent in Louisiana's local food system? The Louisiana Food Fellows program will give you the resources, skills, and inspiration you need to be the next leader in your community's local food movement.

National experts from across the country will lead workshops on a variety of topics, including an overview of the food system, grassroots organizing, food policy, and determining what your role is in reshaping your community’s food system.

Please note that, for the first time, overnight accommodations will be paid for those driving for more than 65 miles, one way, for each session. Dinner will be provided at each workshop; however participants are responsible for covering their own transportation and miscellaneous expenses.

Program Objectives

  • Participants will gain a greater understanding of their own community’s food system from nationally-recognized leaders in facilitated discussions
  • Participants will connect with other advocates, producers and local food leaders from across central Louisiana, and beyond.
  • Participants will become more confident local food leaders in their own community, and gain a better understand of their role in the food system. 

Eligibility for Participation 
Participants must meet the following criteria to be eligible:
  • Must be interested in, or already actively engaged in, food systems work in your own community.
  • Be available to attend each program workshop and complete any necessary work between workshops.

Program Dates
The Louisiana Food Fellows program consists of the following four workshops:
  • WORKSHOP # 1: October 4 | What is a Food System? 
  • WORKSHOP # 2: October 18 | Organizing Around Local Food 
  • WORKSHOP # 3: November 1 | Food Policy & Food Policy Councils
  • WORKSHOP # 4: November 15 | What is Your Role? 
All workshops will be held from 5:30pm to 8:30pm in Alexandria.

Workshop Leaders
The national experts who will be leading this year's program workshops are:
  • Sagdrina Jalal: The founding Executive Director of the Georgia Farmers Market Association    
  • Sandra Renner: A food systems associate at Center for Rural Affairs, based in Lyons, Nebraska
  • Megan Masson-Minock: A co-facilitator of the Michigan Local Food Council since 2015 and has been writing, presenting and consulting about food systems planning since 2008​

Louisiana Food Fellow Participant Requirements
All participants must be open and willing to tackle difficult questions about community-based food system, including discussion about race, gender, income inequality and other difficult topics. Each participant is expected to be fully engaged with other participants throughout the program.

Participant Expenses
There is no cost to participate in Louisiana Food Fellows, however admission is competitive and participants are required to attend each workshop. Dinner will be provided, and overnight accommodations will be paid for those driving for more than 65 miles, one way, for each session. Participants are responsible for covering their own transportation and miscellaneous expenses.

Application Process and Timeline
  • Friday, September 21: Application deadline.
  • Friday, September 28: Applications will be notified by this date.
  • Thursday, October 4: Program begins. 

We hope that you can join other local food leaders from across Central Louisiana, and the state, as we build a strong, grassroots local food movement together! Contact John Cotton Dean at or (318) 441-3424 if you have specific questions. 

Louisiana Food Fellows is made possible by funding from a Healthy Behaviors Program Grant from The Rapides Foundation, the USDA National Resource Conservation Service, and a philanthropic investment from Keller Enterprises, LLC. 

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