Communities of Innovation: Cabarrus County, North Carolina


Cabarrus County is an innovative, agricultural community that has experienced both tremendous political successes and setbacks to strengthening its local food system. Between 2008 and 2014, the county government took important steps towards institutionalizing and funding local food systems policy and programmatic work by establishing a food policy council and creating a local food system program coordinator position.

In June 2014, due to significant and unexpected budget cuts, the county government cut financial support for this work and eliminated the local food system program coordinator position. The following feature highlights these successes and setbacks and provides a summary of how the community is moving forward in light of its current struggles with maintaining ongoing political support for local food system work.