From an article by Gregg Hottman in the Vernon County Broadcaster:

. . . at the VEDA meeting, which was held Wednesday, two area initiatives received recognition through the VEDA Star Awards. Coulee CarShare Cooperative is based in Viroqua and will serve the Coulee region by providing a variety of vehicles for short-term rental by members. A reservation schedule will be available online soon.

In accepting the award on behalf of the project, Kimberly Errigo said, “This car-share program can reduce the cost of driving, and reduce the impact of vehicles on the local environment.” Jerry McIntire said, “Members can avoid owning a second car and, in some cases, may be able to manage without a car at all.” For more information on this project you may send an email to:

The second venture cited was the Food and Farm Initiative coordinated by Valley Stewardship Network (VSN). The goal of this project is to link local farmers and food producers directly with customers. The Initiative hosted the Local Harvest Dinner last October and has been conducting a year long inventory of local food producers.

According to Jessica Luhning, VSN Projects Coordinator, a study has been underway for eight months regarding the impact of local food systems on the economy. Ken Meter, a nationally known rural economist and president of the Crossroads Resource Center, served as a consultant on the project and will present some of the findings at a May 21 event from 6:30-8 p.m. at Vernon Memorial Healthcare’s Community Rooms.

Luhning said, “Ken examines food systems and creates reports using hard economic data to demonstrate the importance of developing local, sustainable food systems. He paints a picture of local food systems that can inspire people to take action to improve their own economies. I hope the public will plan to attend his May 21 presentation.”