Feeding Cenla - KALB-TV News Channel 5 & CBS 2

Feeding Cenla

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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB News Channel 5) - A new initiative is putting the spotlight on local farmers and helping them grow.

Brady Brouillette has been farming all his life. On Fridays he sells produce from the back of his truck.

"It's got a short ride from the farm to the pickup truck to the market and that's it, it's not coming from California or Florida," said Brouillette.

Nicole Lyles moved to Cottonport from California to pursue her dream of growing organic produce.

"It's been good, it's definitely a challenge, but we're making it work," said Lyles.

Farmers in Cenla are getting a helping hand from local organizations through a new initiative.

"Create more markets and more opportunities for our local growers, and also to increase access to healthy foods for everybody so the local foods working group is the force behind those changes," said John Dean of CLEDA.

The Local Food Initiative helps farmers with the business aspects of selling produce. Which helps them to grow vegetables as well as a customer base.

"They're trying to hook the farmers up with the buyers, potential buyers and get local food out to the public," said Brouillette.

The goal is to have locally grown produce in schools and on store shelves.

"Anywhere you go where you shop already you can find local produce, if we can do that we know we've made it," said Dean. 

The Local Foods Initiative aims to help 50 farmers become profitable by the end of 2016.

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