Metrics from the Field: Learning How To Multiply


  • Ken Meter Crossroads Resource Center



Economic Impact, Econometrics, Multiplier


First paragraphs:

As I work across the country, I often get asked by local economic officials, or potential investors, what the economic impact would be if investments were made in community-based food activity.

This seems like one of the right questions to ask, but it is typically asked for the wrong reasons. First of all, in most communities the economic impact can be estimated fairly easily by knowing the amount of locally produced food that will be consumed by local people. Typically, especially when few firms are locally owned, all that is needed is to multiply these sales figures by 1.3 to get a reasonable minimum estimate of overall impact. This is a typical multipler measurement in an industrial farm community. A tribal reservation might be much lower, 1.1 or less.


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Author Biography

Ken Meter, Crossroads Resource Center

Ken is president of Crossroads Resource Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He has performed 56 local food-system assessments in 23 states and one Canadian province; this information has promoted effective action in partner communities. He served as coordi­nator of the review process for USDA Community Food Project grants, and has taught economics at the Harvard Kennedy School and the University of Minnesota. He is co-convener of the Community Economic Development working group of the Community Food Security Coalition. A member of the American Evaluation Association’s Systems Technical Interest Group, Meter also serves as an Associate of the Human Systems Dynamics Institute.
Ken Meter



How to Cite

Meter, K. (2011). Metrics from the Field: Learning How To Multiply. Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development, 1(2), 9–12.

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