Mike Harvey wants to help hook up local farmers with niche restaurants.
The Northwest Arkansas Council is awaiting the results of a regional food assessment survey that is being conducted by Karp Resources of New York City.
Harvey hopes the survey, conducted in cooperation of the Northwest Arkansas Regional Food Council, collects information about what Harvey called "micro enterprises." He said he can count on one hand the number of restaurants that use local produce and he would like to know what the market is.
The survey is open through May 23 and can be found at the Northwest Arkansas Regional Food Council's website.
Harvey said the council, along with the regional food council, wants to help organize the organization and distribution of local produce. Some restaurants may not know what is available, Harvey said, and likewise some local growers may not know who might desire their produce.
Harvey believes that a better local food system will benefit growers and restaurants and could also help make the region more attractive to prospective employers. Harvey said other areas he has lived in have vibrant local food scenes that contribute to economic development just as much as parks and trail systems.
"One of the things that people pay attention to is the local food scene," Harvey said. "Having robust local food offerings is an amenity that helps attract [growth]."