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Projects > The Central Appalachian Network

The Central Appalachian Network


The Central Appalachian Network, or “CAN,” has been a driving force for entrepreneurship and community-based sustainable development in central Appalachia for more than 15 years. The seven member organizations of CAN have spawned some of the region‘s most innovative and enduring economic development work in a wide range of sectors: forestry and forest products, artisan products and crafts, food and farming, and green building and energy efficiency.

Anthony‘s work in the region has been a unique combination of big picture thinker and on-the-ground innovator and implementer. For 25 years, he has advanced an agenda that has aimed at practical outcomes while holding high sustainable development principles. His quick intellect, incredible commitment and strategic thinking skills have resulted in real and concrete development of sustainable development businesses, particularly in the local foods and forestry sectors.
— Justin Maxson Executive Director, Mountain Association for Community Economic Development

SCALE, Inc began working with CAN in December, 2009, a partnership that is ongoing. Because of the diverse nature of CAN’s organizations and initiatives, this contract has also been multi-faceted, including;

  • An Assessment of Cooperative Extension‘s capacity and involvement in healthy local food systems work in the Appalachian portions of Tennessee, Ohio and Virginia;
  • A concise analysis of local food procurement efforts among a sampling of 14 colleges and universities in the region, both public and private, and including both self-operated and corporate-managed dining services;
  • A series of training workshops for farmers and local foods leaders in West Virginia, Ohio and Tennessee covering hoop houses and season extension, food safety and GAP (Good Agricultural Practices), intensive organic vegetable production, and expanding and strengthening small-town farmers markets;
  • Collaborative work to develop indicators and meaningful measurements of wealth creation and triple-bottom-line economic development.

SCALE‘s partnership with CAN continues, focused on catalyzing and expanding food systems in Appalachian Kentucky, Virginia, Tennessee, West Virginia and Ohio, and exploring the development of Local Living Economy networks in the region.

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Anthony Flaccavento:

Anthony Flaccavento

Anthony Flaccavento has 25 years of hands-on experience in sustainable community development, along with a BS degree in Agriculture and Environmental Science and a Masters degree in Economic and Social Development.

Anthony has been a certified organic produce farmer for the past 15 years during which time he also founded and directed Appalachian Sustainable Development. He is the author of “Healthy Food Systems: A Tool Kit for building Value Chains” and over 100 published articles.

Clients & Partners:

the logos of clients and partners Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture The Local Food Hub Virginia Cooperative Extension Appalachian Regional Commission Farm to Table, New Mexico