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Wednesday, July 10, 2013 - 12:55pm

Finding Ways To Strengthen GA

Can Georgia's local food movement create healthier Georgians and a healthier economy? That's one of the topics under consideration at a forum that kicks off tomorrow. It will be held at the Georgia Tech Conference Center in Atlanta.

The public policy group Georgia Forward is hosting the event. Executive director Amir Farohki says civic leaders will discuss opportunities for Georgia to help itself.

He says “There’s tremendous amounts of obesity. It’s very difficult at times for those at the lower end of the socio-economic spectrum to get healthy food that may be grown around the corner from them. And so we’re looking at ways that schools can do a better job of bringing locally grown, and organic foods into their cafeterias. Looking at how local agriculture, both in the urban and rural contexts, can create economic development opportunities in communities around Georgia.”

Another topic is how to grow more energy in the state.

Farokhi wants the public to join the conversation. “Are we really generating the right portfolio of energy? Not just coal and nuclear, but what’s the role for biomass?" he asks." What’s the role for solar? What’s the role for wind? Is there a role at all? And what are the barriers to diversifying our energy source?”

Farokhi says the goal of the forum is create a stronger state economy using resources Georgia already has.

Attendees will also look at education, technology, and growing Georgia’s global influence.

GPB's Ellen Reinhardt talked with Farokhi about new research that finds Georgia has one of the nation's lowest levels of civic involvement in activities such as voting and volunteering.