Memo for fiscal year 2021, updated 2020-02-20

[Archived] Question # 07: What are other local jurisdictions contributing to the COG Chesapeake Bay Farm to Table initiatives?


What are other local jurisdictions providing to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG) Agricultural Task Force proposal? (Councilwoman Jackson)


The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG), through support from philanthropy, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and COG’s Department of the Environmental Programs, launched a Regional Food Systems Program in 2016 to build stronger connections within the region’s food and farm economy. This expanded on past work of COG’s Regional Agricultural Workgroup to bring together technical assistance providers to raise awareness about the unique value that farms and farmland provide to Greater Washington. 

The Agricultural Task Force, co-chaired by Councilmember Craig Rice (Montgomery County, MD) and Councilmember Jon Stehle (City of Fairfax, VA), was established in 2019. This group is comprised of elected official members of COG’s Chesapeake Bay and Water Resources Policy Committee (CBPC). They propose creating a 10-year Regional Food and Agriculture Economy Commission that will be comprised of elected officials, business, and community stakeholders and physically located at COG.  

Recently, several Agricultural Task Force members highlighted that the COVID-19 crisis has affirmed the need to plan locally and regionally for food system resiliency. The Agricultural Task Force is moving forward with its funding requests understanding that local budgets are in flux. The FY 2021 budget will support completion of the near-term deliverables using one FTE position at COG to serve as the Regional Food Systems Value Chain Coordinator, management oversight and support, one part-time Intern, and limited meeting and project expenses. The projected budget is anticipated to come from three sources: Philanthropic partners ($60,000), COG Department of Environmental Programs ($25,000) and jurisdictional contributions ($165,000). Suggested support for this initiative could be realized with funding from a handful of COG jurisdictions providing an amount of $10,000 to $25,000 annually.  

The City of Alexandria staff did not receive a funding request from COG for the FY 2021 Proposed Budget; however, COG has received pledges from elected leaders from neighboring jurisdictions including Fairfax County, Arlington County, Montgomery County, and the District of Columbia in the amount of $25,000 each, as well as $10,000 pledges from the City of Fairfax and the City of Falls Church. COG is also working with Loudoun County for a financial commitment.  

For additional information about the work of the Agricultural Task Force, please review the Regional Food Systems Program on the MWCOG website and refer to the What Our Region Grows report. A draft Working Paper is available upon request. It includes insights from more than 40 regional leaders on the need for strategic regional planning for food and agriculture. 

Printable Version

Back to Budget Memo archive index

© 1995–2022 City of Alexandria, VA and othersPrivacy & LegalFOIA Requests