Commissioner Louis E. Petersen, Jr.

Dear Fellow Members of the Farming Community and Esteemed Virgin Islanders,

As the Virgin Islands Local Food and Farm Council Co-chairperson and Commissioner for the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture, I warmly welcome you to our newly launched website. This platform embodies our steadfast commitment to nurturing sustainable agriculture, safeguarding food security, and celebrating our local food heritage and culture.

Our journey in establishing the Local Food and Farm Council has been deeply rooted in our dedication to agriculture and the resilience of our food systems. Serving as an external reviewer and consultant for Mandate 7 (Education & Training) of the Virgin Islands Agricultural Plan, I’ve had the privilege of actively contributing to shaping policies that address the critical needs for sustainable and resilient food security within the territory.

This journey culminated in the approval of Act No. 8716 by the Thirty-Fifth Legislature of the Virgin Islands, establishing the Local Food and Farm Council in accordance with Mandate Five of the Virgin Islands Agricultural Plan. The Act is a significant milestone in food sustainability that outlines the council’s structure and responsibilities, ensuring efficient support for agricultural productivity growth over time.

Our Council holds a vision of a vibrant Virgin Islands where our local food systems thrive and where we offer steadfast support to our cherished livestock and crop farmers. We deeply understand the vital role of our fishing sector and are wholeheartedly dedicated to meeting its needs. In this vision, we’re shifting the course towards securing our food sources, embracing the splendid fusion of crops, livestock, and abundant marine resources that have long graced our fertile soils and rich coastal waters in the Virgin Islands.

To learn more about the council, I wholeheartedly encourage you to explore the wealth of resources available on our website. This will serve as your digital gateway in providing valuable information about our council members, keeping you updated on our activities and ongoing initiatives, and a platform to actively engage in our shared mission. It signifies our collective dedication to fostering connections within the farming and fishing sector and our community.

Thank you for embarking on this exciting journey with us. Together, as council members, we proudly stand side by side with our dedicated farmers and fishers, united in our mission to shape a sustainable and prosperous future for our territory. Your support and active engagement are crucial as we collaborate to build a vibrant, resilient, and sustainable food system for our beloved Virgin Islands.

With the utmost respect,

Dr. Louis E. Petersen, Jr.,
Co-chairperson of the Virgin Islands Local Food and Farm Council and
Commissioner of the Virgin Islands Department of Agriculture

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