Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development 2021-02-22T21:44:02-08:00 Publisher and Editor in Chief: Duncan Hilchey Open Journal Systems <p>The&nbsp;<strong><em>Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development</em><em>&nbsp;</em>(JAFSCD),</strong> ISSN 2152-0801, is an <strong>open access, international, peer-reviewed</strong> <strong>journal</strong> focused on the practice and applied research interests of agriculture and food systems development professionals. JAFSCD emphasizes best practices and tools related to the planning, community economic development, and ecological protection of local and regional agriculture and food systems, and works to bridge the interests of practitioners and academics. Articles are published online as they are approved, and are gathered into quarterly issues for indexing purposes. JAFSCD is an open access, online-only journal; all readers may download, share, or print any articles as long as proper attribution is given, in accordance with the Creative Commons <a title="CC BY 4.0" href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">CC BY 4.0</a> license.</p> Tackling food systems from a broad spectrum 2021-02-22T21:44:02-08:00 Cassandra Hawkins <p><em>First paragraph:</em></p> <p>Through an in-depth exploration of food movement actors’ capabilities to transform decision-making from local to international levels, the authors of <em>Civil Society and Social Movements in Food System Governance</em> examine the significance of their involvement, while exploring the intersection­ality of governance, social movements, and systems thinking. The premise of the text sets a tone for the need to fully understand the trajectory of food systems governance, especially since food systems movements are gaining significant momentum at the local, regional, and international levels. The editors note that “these movements seek to rein­force, build on, and scale up innovative, place-based initiatives” (p. 1). . . .</p> 2021-02-22T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2021 The Author Cultivating community resilience 2021-02-22T21:44:01-08:00 Angel Cruz Alice Ammerman Nancy Creamer Barry Nash Ethan Phillips Martha Przysucha Amanda Hege <p>Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the North Carolina Local Food Council has strengthened its role as a cohesive and effective organization during a public-health crisis to share challenges, devise solutions, and build resilience across local food systems in North Carolina. The Council includes repre­­sentatives from 21 organizations working across the state, as well as three representatives from regional local food councils. The Council’s response to the pandemic addressed three key areas of action: (1)&nbsp;Coordinate responses across multiple sectors; (2) Enhance collaboration across the food-supply chain; and (3) Facilitate data collection and public messaging. This paper describes the positive impacts the Council has had across North Carolina on consumers and producers of local food as a result of this collaborative network and long-established relationships across the state. Now, more than ever, the relationships and collaborative efforts of statewide organizations and partners are needed. The Council’s crisis response has been strong because of the long-standing relationships of its members and its ability to share resources quickly, allowing it to work toward coordinated responses. The work of the North Carolina Local Food Council can serve as a model for other states that have state-level local food coun­cils or want to develop them. In addition, the Council’s work demonstrates how collaborations among statewide partners can foster resilience within local food systems, particularly during a public health crisis.</p> 2021-02-22T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2021 The Authors A food nonprofit's response to COVID-19 2021-02-18T21:43:39-08:00 Caitlin Honan <p><em>First paragraph:</em></p> <p>The Common Market is a nonprofit regional food distributor with a mission to connect communities with good food from sustainable family farms. Outputs of their work include improved food security, farm viability, and community and ecological health. The nonprofit services communities in its three active regions—the Mid-Atlantic, the Southeast, and Houston, Texas—by delivering healthy farm food to the institutions that serve them: schools, hospitals, eldercare facilities, early childhood education centers, etc. As the COVID-19 pandemic struck the nation, it shut down some of the nonprofit’s con­ventional wholesale outlets and exposed and intensified the issue of food insecurity throughout the country. The food hub prepared to lean on its mission intensely and creatively under these unprece­dented circumstances. Poised to test the limits of a regional food system, The Common Market unveiled the resilient spirits of its team, its partners, and the family farms that make up its network. This essay highlights partnerships that ignited meaningful impact for their farmer partners and helped meet the needs of vulnerable populations amidst the pandemic. . . .</p> 2021-02-18T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2021 The Author Walking the nutrition talk 2021-02-18T21:43:38-08:00 Susan Raymond Chad McEachern <p>COVID-19 and its differential impact on those with compromised health have driven home the fundamental importance of nutrition, which is at the root of much chronic disease among the poor. Edmundite Missions, serving Selma and rural Alabama for 80 years, has demonstrated how the actions of a trusted nonprofit providing holistic services in a deeply and historically impoverished population can improve nutrition, inspire youth leadership on nutrition issues, and while simultaneously driving resources into rural economies. In the process, the work has also shown that the poor do indeed understand the importance of good nutrition and both seek and choose positive nutritional options if they are available. The problem among the poor is not knowledge; it is opportunity.</p> 2021-02-18T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2021 The Authors Perspectives from the front line 2021-02-11T21:40:19-08:00 Amanda Hege Nikki McCormick Peggy Robinson Kina Charles Jan Jones Eric Aft <p>The novel coronavirus pandemic has had an immediate effect on food and nutrition security, leading to the most widespread increase in need for food assistance in modern history. At its onset, the pandemic led to emergency food providers experiencing the “perfect storm”: surges in demand, declines and changes in types of food donations, limits in the food supply chain, and fewer available volunteers. This policy and practice brief provides perspectives from emergency food providers in North Carolina on their pandemic response along with recommendations for policy and practice applications to promote food security. As the pandemic continues, it is urgent for policymakers, organizations, community members, and other food system stakeholders to encourage collaboration across food system sectors, provide adequate funding for all aspects of distributing healthy foods, promote a continuation of program and policy flexibilities for nutrition programs, and support community-based models that engage a diverse group of organizations and leaders.&nbsp;</p> 2021-02-11T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2021 The Authors Operating principles for collective scholar-activism 2021-02-11T21:40:18-08:00 Maywa Montenegro de Wit Annie Shattuck Alastair Iles Garrett Graddy-Lovelace Antonio Roman-Alcalá M. Jahi Chappell <p>Scholar-activism is attractive to researchers who want not just to learn about the world, but about how to change that world. Agri-food studies have experienced a surge in the past two decades in researchers who see closer ties to social move­ments as key to food systems change. Yet to date, much scholar-activism depends on individually negotiated researcher-movement relationships, which may or may not be sustained long term and where knowledge can remain siloed. The Agro­ecology Research-Action Collective (ARC) seeks something different. Born of a desire to subordi­nate scholarship for scholarship’s sake to the needs and exigencies of movements, ARC envisages <em>collective</em> processes, horizontal non-exploitative learning among ourselves and with movements, and mechanisms for multidirectional accounta­bility. This reflective essay is the story of how ARC set out to “get our house in order”: to organize ourselves as scholars committed to systematizing more accountable and reciprocal relationships with frontline communities and grassroots movements. We first share the Principles &amp; Protocols that guide our actions and the process through which we developed them. We then discuss two intercon­nected arenas in which ARC is developing a com­munity of practice guided by the Principles &amp; Protocols. The first arena is through integrating participatory education into our everyday teaching and mentoring. The second arena is working to achieve broader social and institutional change by sharing methods and strategies for mobilizing resources and legitimating knowledge, both old and new.</p> 2021-02-11T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2021 The Authors Where do "localphiles" shop? 2021-02-15T10:28:17-08:00 Emily McKee <p>Why, with local food’s rising popularity, do small-scale farmers report declining sales? This study used a mix of survey and interview methods to examine the priorities and buying habits of food shoppers in one midsized, lower-income metro­politan area of the U.S. Midwest. The study focuses on individual consumers’ decision-making because it aims to be useful, in particular, to small-scale farmers and advocates of their participation in local and regional food systems. Among shoppers’ stated priorities, the survey found broad support for local food and relatively low competition be­tween price and local origin as purchasing priori­ties. However, findings also show an attitude-behavior gap, with only a limited increase in ten­dency among self-defined “local” shoppers to purchase from locally oriented venues. As explana­tion for this attitude-behavior gap, survey and interview data point to differential definitions of “local food” and situational barriers (primarily inconvenience and lack of variety) preventing shoppers from buying local food. One factor off­setting these barriers was past experience growing one’s own food. Study findings are used to identify particular avenues for intervention by farmers, eaters, and other food systems builders to broaden access to local food through adjustments to mar­keting strategies, better alignment of wholesale outlets’ practices with the priorities of farmers and eaters, and improved public education about the food system.</p> 2021-02-11T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2021 The Author Farming the future: Youth enthusiasm and transforming Nepal’s economy through agriculture 2021-02-11T21:40:18-08:00 Saugat Khanal Pankaj Dhital Stephen Christian <p>The authors conducted a study in December 2019 to investigate youth enthusiasm in Nepal for trans­forming the economy of the nation through farm­ing. A total of 320 respondents from four towns in three districts were selected for interviews that used a pretested questionnaire. Descriptive statis­tics were employed to analyze the data. Most of the youth had positive perceptions and enthusiasm toward farming, but many felt that farming was “burdensome,” due mainly to its perceived percep­tion to provide only a low income. Almost half the respondents (45%) were found to have a low level of contribution to economic transformation through farm involvement, with high (34%) and medium (21%) levels of contribution to the eco­nomy, respectively. There are several constraints hindering youth engagement with agriculture and overall agro-economic development. The major constraint is access to credit and markets, followed by poor social perception of farmers, inadequate government and extension service resources, access to modern technology, and other factors. The study authors recommend that the government and NGOs encourage youth engagement with agricul­ture by enhancing agricultural education, extension, financial support, and so forth. There is a need for extension program staff and policy-makers to bet­ter understand the role of youth in the community development process.</p> 2021-02-11T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2021 The Authors Case study of a food relief grocery model: The Neighborhood Pop-Up Grocery Project 2021-02-08T21:40:00-08:00 Hallie Casey Jenifer DeAtley Carissa Eckle Mia Burger Jarred Maxwell Eric de Valpine <p>In Austin, Texas, Sustainable Food Center, in partnership with Foodshed Investors and the city of Austin, responded to the COVID-19 crisis with a mini-grocery pilot project. The Neighborhood Pop-Up Grocery Pilot Project engaged local restaurants to serve as points of access for fresh and affordable food. This model served as both a food-access and supply-chain solution, utilizing partnerships with local farmers and distributors to source food for Austin communities and restaurant partners in order to provide the food at an affordable price point. This case study outlines the novel model and describes three key takeaways from this 2020 pilot project.</p> 2021-02-08T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2021 The Authors Nimble in a pandemic: Lessons learned from Concrete Jungle’s Grocery Delivery Program 2021-02-07T21:40:01-08:00 Rachel Blacher Nichole Fields-Kyle <p><em>First paragraph:</em></p> <p>As a leader in Atlanta’s fresh produce supply chain for people with limited access to fruits and vegetables, Concrete Jungle (CJ) has established a robust network of partnerships with food and social service community organizations to support Atlanta’s food-insecure population. Founded in 2009, CJ is an Atlanta-based nonprofit organization that coordinates approximately 1,700 volunteers annually to pick produce within the city and across Georgia and delivers it to community food distribution partners.&nbsp; CJ staff and volunteers also lead healthy food recipe demonstrations. To date, CJ has picked 158,292 pounds (633,169 servings) of produce within Atlanta and across Georgia. . . .</p> 2021-02-07T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2021 The Authors