2 groups join, become Sierra Harvest | TheUnion.com

2 groups join, become Sierra Harvest

Submitted to The Union

Living Lands Agrarian Network (LLAN) is joining Live Healthy to help strengthen their capabilities in educating, inspiring and connecting Nevada County families to fresh, local, seasonal food. Live Healthy offers farm-to-school nutrition education and school food programs in Nevada County schools, while LLAN trains and mentors aspiring small-scale farmers, in addition to offering nutrition and farming education for youth. Together, the two nonprofits will become Sierra Harvest. The transition to the new name and joint organization will take place over several weeks as the groups integrate their programs, websites and communications.

The two organizations were already working together through the Food Love Project, an educational farm started by farmer Amanda Thibodeau under the umbrella of Living Lands. Thibodeau also has been the Farm to School Program coordinator for Live Healthy.

"There was already overlap between the two organizations," Thibodeau said. "It makes sense to combine them. Food Love will continue to host school field trips as part of Sierra Harvest's Farm to School program, there will just be less paperwork."

"It was a natural fit," said LLAN co-creator Leo Chapman. "We are looking forward to focusing more on our programming and mission with the support of Live Healthy's administrative infrastructure and strong fundraising track record."

LLAN¹s farm internship and journeyman program complements Live Healthy's other efforts (Farm to School Nutrition Education, School Food, Food Policy and Advocacy, and the upcoming Backyard Gardening program). LLAN also brings a deep community engagement piece to the organization.

Live Healthy co-director Malaika Bishop said she was excited to introduce LLAN¹s strong network of people who are excited about local food and farms to Live Healthy¹s programming, adding, "The combination of our two organizations strengthens the local food movement."

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LLAN staff will integrate into Live Healthy as staff, advisors and board members. Phil Turner, who previously served as a board member for LLAN, will join Live Healthy¹s board. Turner's background in helping organizations make large scale changes in direction, culture and strategy

should help ease the transition.

To celebrate, and introduce the community to the new organizational structure, Sierra Harvest is hosting a Soup Night at the Stone House in Nevada City from 5:30-8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 3. This event will also serve as a fundraiser for the LLAN journeyman program. For more information, visit http://www.livehealthynevadacounty.com.

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