Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development 2018-12-14T18:04:42-08:00 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>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 online-only journal; subscribers may download or print any articles in accordance with the Creative Commons <a title="CC BY 4.0" href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">CC BY 4.0</a> license.</p> Farm-to-school Programs’ Local Foods Activity in Southern Arizona 2018-12-14T18:04:42-08:00 Dari Duval Ashley K. Bickel George B. Frisvold <p>This analysis applies principles and methods from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Local Foods Toolkit to demonstrate the moderating influence of countervailing effects on the economic impacts of local food purchases through farm-to-school programs in Southern Arizona using USDA Farm to School Census data. The analysis applies and expands upon recommendations in the Toolkit, introducing the concept of export substitution and exploring how water resource constraints create tradeoffs for farms through crop-shifting and cropping rotations. The analysis reveals that for fruit and vegetable exporting regions, export substitution can be a major countervailing effect. Furthermore, the analysis examines the usefulness of the Farm to School Census as a secondary data source for estimating the economic impacts of local food activities, allowing us to make recommendations for how the Census could be expanded and supplemented for regional economic applications.</p> 2018-12-14T00:00:00-08:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Designing Effective, Scalable Data Collection Tools to Measure Farmers Market Impacts 2018-12-14T18:04:41-08:00 Darlene Wolnik Jennifer Cheek Marian Weaver <p>The need for an updated framework for all types of farmers markets and the varied levels of capacity to share the impacts of their work led to the develop­ment of the Farmers Market Metrics (Metrics) program at the Farmers Market Coalition (FMC), a nonprofit working to strengthen farmers markets across the country. This essay provides a timeline of the steps and partnerships that led to the creation of this program, including the exploration of existing data collection systems suitable for grassroots markets, observations from markets engaged in evaluation, feedback by pilot users of the Metrics system, and best practices and recom­mendations uncovered during the development of Metrics.</p> 2018-12-14T00:00:00-08:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## IN THIS ISSUE: The Wellbeing of Its Children: The Ultimate Expression of a Nation’s Wealth 2018-11-19T18:00:16-08:00 Duncan Hilchey <p><em>First paragraphs:</em></p> <p>It seems like just yesterday that I attended a very early farm-to-school workshop in the mid-ʼ90s at a national conference. I don’t remember the name of the conference or where it took place, but I vividly recall the animated discourse that included expressions of frustration in navigating the National School Lunch and Department of Defense’s Fresh Fruit and Vegetable program protocols. I also heard the kernels of clever strategy being formulated in a handful of schools around the country to get fresh local farm products into their cafeterias. Back in those early days, things sure were complicated—but also exciting.</p> <p>The U.S. has come a long way since then. With federal and foundation support, the National Farm to School Network is thriving, and nearly half of all U.S. schools purchase at least small amounts of local farm products. The U.S. is also sprouting farm-to-college, farm-to-prison, farm-to-hospital, and now farm-tochildcare programs. This 20-year trend in direct wholesaling to sympathetic local institutions was a logical<br>maturation of the food movement that began with the resurgence of farmers markets in the late 1970s and the advent of community supported agriculture operations (CSAs) in the 1980s. And one might argue that food hubs were a natural next response to the challenges of meeting the needs of institutions—that is, the small-scale wholesaling established by intrepid farm-to-school organizers.</p> 2018-11-19T00:00:00-08:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## "Put Your Own Mask on Before Helping Someone Else": The Capacity of Food Hubs to Build Equitable Food Access 2018-11-19T20:47:57-08:00 Lesli Hoey Lilly Fink Shapiro Noel Bielaczyc <p>In a bifurcated U.S. food market, where one market is largely controlled by national brands and global corporations alongside an expanding alter­nate market of hyper-local direct sales, midscale producers and processors are struggling to persist. One emerging strategy for rebuilding this middle of the food system—food hubs—has gained attention as a model that could rebuild local food economies and equitable food access. Through an examination of Michigan food hubs, we ask about the extent to which and under what conditions food hubs can operationalize dual economic and social goals. We found many innovations and efforts to address food access in low-income communities—espe­cially among food hubs that were nonprofits, had been operating for less time, and were more dependent on external revenue—but their impact tended to be small-scale and uncertain. Most food hubs want to do more, but our study suggests they may not be able to until they can figuratively “put on their own mask before helping others.” That is, food hubs may be one means of increasing afford­able, healthy food access in certain scenarios, but <em>equitable</em> food access may be an unrealistic and unsustainable goal unless they can ensure their own financial stability. Among other options for satis­fying the requirements for equitable food access, financial survival, and returns to the farm gate, our findings suggest that food hubs attempting to reduce food access inequities may need to be subsidized as a public good, unless and until the public sector commits to a more comprehensive strategy to address food system failures.</p> 2018-11-18T00:00:00-08:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Following Food to its Source 2018-11-19T20:57:12-08:00 Carrie A. Scrufari <p><em>First paragraph:</em></p> <p><em>Knowing Where it Comes From</em> seeks to provide a history for the various labeling systems for foods now present in the global supply chain. Accordingly, author Fabio Parasecoli explains what a geographic indication is while comparing how these labels are used in various administrative systems, namely the <em>sui generis</em> system and the mark-based system. Parasecoli refers to these indications and labeling schemes as “place-based labels” (p. 7). His stated goal is to “explore and assess the political, legal, and administrative appa­ratus that has been activated to identify and safe­guard the connection between foods and their places of origin and to illustrate its different effects on all the stakeholders” (pp. 6–7).&nbsp;</p> <p>While Parasecoli may ultimately achieve this goal, such success is contingent upon the reader’s dedicated toil. Parasecoli does not follow the sage writing advice to never use two words where just one will do, leaving the reader to navigate a Faulkner style of writing with long, complicated sentences often containing excessive verbiage. For example, at one point Parasecoli writes, “The increasing commercial and cultural relevance of local products and practices—especially those expressing long-lasting traditions—has led to attempts to describe, systematize, and regulate them through different kinds of classifications, juridical frameworks, and international conven­tions” (p. 6). Although Parasecoli takes pains to explain our globalized labeling scheme, his writing style often adds further complexity to an already complicated subject matter.</p> 2018-11-18T00:00:00-08:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## The Local Food System Vitality Index 2018-11-19T20:51:48-08:00 Jairus Rossi Timothy A. Woods Alison F. Davis <p>Identifying successful development priorities for local food systems (LFSs) is a challenge for pro­ducers, LFS advocates, Extension agents, and policymakers. Consumer perceptions and prefer­ences regarding what constitutes an active, healthy, and vibrant LFS often differ within and between diverse communities. Producers, development entities, and others would benefit from rapid assessment processes that provide detailed information on consumer preferences and potential market opportunities within their LFS.</p> <p>In this paper, we introduce the analytic possi­bilities of our Local Food System Vitality Index (LFSVI). Using data collected from a pilot survey in Lexington, Kentucky, we rapidly assess the per­formance of 20 different components of our LFS. The LFSVI differs from most other food system and quality-of-life indices by focusing on the per­ceptions of resident food consumers.</p> <p>In our analysis, we identify that Lexington resi­dents generally associate farmers markets, farm-to-fork restaurants, local product diversity, and retail sourcing of local food with high overall vitality of the local food system. While residents score the first three components as high performing, they perceive the retail component to be less functional. We use results such as these to compare which aspects of the LFS are valued versus which are high performing. We do this comparison across different resident food consumer segments in and between geographic locations. Throughout our analysis, we discuss how this index method is gen­erally applicable and conducive to identifying LFS development priorities.&nbsp;</p> 2018-11-16T00:00:00-08:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Cultivating Successful Student Farms through Site Selection and Design 2018-11-19T20:53:04-08:00 Rebekah VanWieren <p>The number of college and university student farms is growing rapidly in the United States. New, and even established, student farms have the opportunity and challenge to define both their strategy and physical design, which are critical to the farm’s success. In this exploratory study of student farms across the U.S., I examine the spatial and physical design relationships that tend to be hallmarks of thriving university student farms. I employ grounded theory and content analysis to analyze 27 semistructured interviews with student farm personnel and direct field observations from 19 student farm sites at 12 public universities. The findings of this study suggest important considera­tions for site selection based on accessibility, appearance, and visibility. Onsite design recom­mendations for layout, spaces, and features are presented for six domains of the farm site. These findings illuminate how resilient student farm sites rely not only on appropriate biophysical conditions and production efficiencies, but also on physical spaces that stimulate social interaction and align with the broader campus context. These insights are most applicable to new or expanding student farms undergoing the master planning process.</p> 2018-11-15T00:00:00-08:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Injustices Made Right: Ed Scott Jr.’s Victory in Saving the Family Farm 2018-11-19T20:56:33-08:00 Aaryn Wilson <p><em>First paragraphs:</em></p> <p><em>Catfish Dream</em> is told in 129 pages with every line crafted to tell the best parts of a man who rose above barriers to become a war hero, commu­nity hero, family hero, and business hero. In this book, Rankin articulates the proud history of the Scott family in farming, community, and business. The book traces Ed Scott Jr.’s struggles to keep his land, despite the discrimination and disenfranchise­ment he and other African American farmers faced during the 20<sup>th</sup>&nbsp;century, and on the slow road to seeing injustices made right.</p> <p>Instead of being a book that just makes readers angry and sad about the plight of African American farmers in the recent past, Rankin describes Ed Scott Jr. as a figure not unlike Henry Ford. A strength of this book is that it is approachable to all, and everyone who reads it will be glad they did. This book could appeal to both academics and practitioners. . . .&nbsp;</p> 2018-11-15T00:00:00-08:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Transformative Change Eludes the Well-Meaning but Fractured Food Movement 2018-11-19T20:56:00-08:00 Renee Brooks Catacalos <p><em>First paragraph:</em></p> <p>Mark Winne may not have invented food policy councils, but he has probably done more than anyone in the U.S. to popularize them over his more than four decades of experience working in the food movement. In the last 15 years, Winne has traveled the country and the world, working with hundreds of organizations as a consultant and trainer. From this vantage point, in <em>Stand Together or Starve Alone,</em> he laments the failure of the food movement to achieve deep and lasting change, despite the growing momentum surround­ing the food movement. Citing dismal numbers that show food insecurity only getting worse in the richest country in the world—while obesity has eclipsed tobacco use as the United States’ most pressing public health issue—Winne asks why so little progress has been made in 50 years of the food revolution. His answer: both the food move­ment’s inability to collaborate across sectors, and each sector’s inability to look critically at its own assumptions about its role in the food system. He cites as an example the rise of the food bank as one of the most important nonprofit institutions in many communities, calling this a “dubious measure of success.” Charity feeding programs have not turned the ship around with regard to hunger or obesity in the U.S., partly, Winne argues, because they are working, like other sectors, without a “shared understanding of the causes of our food problems.”</p> 2018-11-15T00:00:00-08:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Economic Analysis of Local Food Procurement in Southwest Florida's Farm to School Programs 2018-11-19T20:48:59-08:00 Jonathan Adam Watson Danielle Treadwell Ray Bucklin <p>Farm to school (F2S) programs aim to educate people about food and farming, to increase the availability of fresh, nutritious foods, and to improve health outcomes among children. Nationally, all states have school districts that self-identify as farm-to-school program participants. National and regional food procurement systems account for the majority of food purchased by National School Lunch Program participants, but school foodservice authorities (SFA) who purchase food from farmers often do so in the context of strengthening their farm-to-school program (U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA], n.d.-b). A greater number of local supply chain participants benefit when food is sourced in state (locally) rather than out-of-state because more money ends up in the pockets of local producers and distribu­tors. Local fruit and vegetable producers and SFAs interested in developing business partnerships for local procurement would benefit from recommen­dations on menu-appropriate fresh market prod­ucts, volume, and purchase prices. However, detailed data sets from SFAs are uncommon, limiting opportunities to advance procurement efforts. The objective for this project was to begin developing local procurement recommendations for other Florida school districts based on the purchasing history and experiences of the Sarasota County School District (SCSD).</p> <p>In 2014, Sarasota County, Florida, received a USDA F2S implementation grant, affording it the opportunity to develop its local procurement efforts. One deliverable from that project was a robust data set of school food purchases over a two-year period. With permission SCSD, we analyzed seasonal purchase variations and market prices of local and out-of-state fresh fruits, vege­tables, and egg purchases for 38 public schools in the SCSD. In this paper, we present an approach to estimate the potential of local procurement viability in the context of an emerging districtwide F2S program and recommend system changes based on the success of procurement efforts in SCSD and surrounding school districts in Southwest Florida.</p> 2018-11-06T00:00:00-08:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement##