There is an article in the Log Cabin, which begins, "The Faulkner County Cooperative Extension Service will host a panel discussion in January with the goal of connecting local farmers to restaurants and food vendors." The rest of the article can be found here: http://thecabin.net/news/2012-12-10#.UNdQNo6vY5Q.
If the connection comes to fruition, I believe this will give CLG a boost big enough to open the doors of a local food store. The article lists six venues which already include local products in their dishes. If more restaurants were to use local ingredients, or the current restaurants were to buy more produce locally, this would be an invaluable step forward in the food culture of Conway. The main problem mentioned in the article is the cost difference of buying locally. A majority of the food grown for CLG is organic, in practice if not in certification. You will always pay more for the quality. This is a choice that consumers make everyday when deciding between Great Value brand or the more expensive name-brands. What consumers have to take into account when purchasing local is that they are keeping the money in their community. Sure, you might pay a little more for locally grown lettuce, but you know that farmer is going to reinvest their money into the community, not into the big corporations like Monsanto.
I'm sure the panel would like to here from locals on this subject. Everyone is invited to attend the meeting on Jan. 22 at 1 p.m. at the Faulkner County Extension Service office, 110 S. Amity Rd., Suite 200 in Conway. If I am not working that day, I know I will be there.