Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development <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> Thomas A. Lyson Center for Civic Agriculture and Food Systems, a project of the Center for Transformative Action en-US Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development 2152-0801 <p>The copyright to all content published in JAFSCD belongs to the author(s). It is licensed as <a title="Creative Commons BY 4.0 license" href="" target="_blank" rel="noopener">CC BY 4.0</a>. This license determines how you may reprint, copy, distribute, or otherwise share JAFSCD content.</p> The Progressive Agriculture Index: Assessing the Advancement of Agri-food Systems <p>Indicators and metric systems are crucial tools in efforts to reach societal objectives, and these sys­tems are being employed increasingly in initiatives to improve the environmental, economic, and social sustainability of agri-food systems. Indicators can help clarify values and objectives, providing assessment criteria useful for tracking movement toward or away from targets. Unfortunately, the application of indicators and metrics to agricultural systems has been hindered by conflicting defini­tions of agricultural sustainability and pro­gress, leading to metrics that lack a holistic con­sideration of social, economic, and environmental factors. To address this shortcoming, we argue for a definition of progressive agriculture that includes all three of the abovementioned factors, stressing the need for multidimensional improvements in the impact of agri-food systems. Our proposed Progressive Agri­culture Index (PAI) integrates data from the U.S. Census of Agriculture, the U.S. Census, and other databases to assess nine vari­ables at the county level for the contiguous United States. Including data from both 2007 and 2012 permits analysis of time trends along with regional and county-level trends in individual and aggregate measures of progressivity. By ranking counties within their Farm Resource Regions (as defined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture [USDA] Eco­nomic Research Service [ERS]), as well as within their Urban Influence Categories, the PAI also makes it possible to compare counties with similar socio-economic and environmental contexts. Given the important goal of improving social, economic, and environmental conditions in con­cert, we present this index to draw attention back to the often-neglected social facets of progressivity and thus contribute to advancing more integrated, participa­tory approaches to measuring progress in agri-food systems.</p> Maizy T. Ludden Rick Welsh Evan Weissman Duncan Hilchey Gilbert W. Gillespie Amy Guptill ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-10-08 2018-10-08 8 3 1 27 10.5304/jafscd.2018.083.003 Toward a Community Impact Assessment for Food Policy Councils: Identifying Potential Impact Domains <p>Food policy councils (FPCs) are collaboratives that work to strengthen food systems. Over 300 FPCs exist in the United States, Canada, and Tribal Nations. In 2015, we surveyed the types of initia­tives FPCs undertook and identified food sector targets and domains of potential impact in an effort to inform comprehensive FPC impact assessments. FPCs (<em>N</em>=66) reported 317 policy, systems, and environmental initiatives. At least half of these were focused on food production, and many were focused on institutional food service and the food assistance sectors. Commercial food service, food processing, and food waste were less often the focus. Potential impacts of their initia­tives were classified into six domains: supporting resilient food systems (235, 74%); increasing access to healthy foods (171, 54%); supporting economic development (115, 36%); promoting equity in the food system (94, 30%); promoting environmental sustainability (82, 26%); and increasing knowledge of or demand for healthy foods (27, 9%). Many initiatives were likely to impact multiple domains.</p> Larissa Calancie Kristen Cooksey-Stowers Anne Palmer Natasha Frost, J.D. Holly Calhoun Abbey Piner Karen Webb ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-09-24 2018-09-24 8 3 1 14 10.5304/jafscd.2018.083.001 Farm Direct at Five Years: An Early Assessment of Oregon’s Farm-focused Cottage Food Law <p>In 2011, the Oregon legislature passed the Farm Direct Marketing Law (FDML), which took effect in 2012. The law clarified licensing and food safety requirements for direct-to-consumer sales at farmers markets, farm stands, and similar venues. It also included a “cottage food” provision allowing farms to make and sell certain low-risk, value-added products from farm-grown ingredients, direct to consumer, without a food processor’s license. Advocates predicted enhanced small farm viability through new products and revenue streams, market season extension, reduced processing costs, test marketing opportunities, and other avenues. Detractors warned the deregulation would cause outbreaks of foodborne illness. In 2016, the law’s fifth year, we explored these predictions and early outcomes. We conducted a focus group with stakeholders and semistructured interviews with two key informants, 18 farmers, and 24 farmers market managers around Oregon. We found farmers mak­ing and selling a variety of value-added products under the FDML. We found no foodborne illness linked to FDML products. Interviewees described multiple benefits resulting from the law, many corresponding to predicted benefits. They also described unanticipated benefits at the community level. Interviewees identified barriers and recom­mended changes related to the law and related education. We discuss the feasibility of these recommendations as well as the long-term poten­tial of the cottage food provision. We end by reflecting on the FDML as a whole, as it supports Oregon’s direct market farming sector.</p> Lauren Gwin Christy Anderson Brekken Lindsay Trant ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-09-12 2018-09-12 8 3 1 20 10.5304/jafscd.2018.083.005 Farm to Childcare: An Analysis of Social and Economic Values in Local Food Systems <p>Farm to institution is a component of the local food movement, representing the growing link between local producers and organizations like schools, prisons, and hospitals. These are organiza­tions that have concentrated buying power and thus a sizable influence on local food supply chains. Farm to childcare represents a next step in farm to institution, serving young children at the apex of their habit formation and biological devel­opment, and providing economic opportunities for local farmers. Using a qualitative case study meth­od­ology in one urban county in North Carolina, this paper asks the questions: (1) How do childcare centers, farmers, and distributors negotiate the tensions between social and financial values in the farm-to-childcare initiative? and (2) What strategies do these supply chain actors use to overcome bar­riers? Analyzing the perceptions of participation in a farm-to-child­care project of 11 childcare cen­ters, 11 farmers, and four distributors shows paral­lel values for children’s health and community con­nections to farmers actualized in the relation­ships and pur­chase of local foods. However, market-driven values and actions dominated the supply chain for all participants when business solvency seemed to be in opposition to central social com­mitments. Childcare centers and nonprofit distribu­tors sub­sidized local food purchases with inexpen­sive, nonlocal food and grant funding, respectively. Many farmers preferred expressing social values through noncommercial activities rather than sac­rificing economic viability to participate in socially oriented programs. This study suggests that achiev­ing the social goals of farm-to-childcare programs requires creative strategies, such as coordinating sales of smaller than Grade A produce, purchasing from multiple local sources, and aggregating demand from multiple centers.</p> Jacob C. Rutz J. Dara Bloom Michelle Schroeder-Moreno Chris Gunter ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-09-12 2018-09-12 8 3 1 17 10.5304/jafscd.2018.083.004 THE ECONOMIC PAMPHLETEER: The Battle for the Future of Food <p><em>First paragraphs:</em></p> <p>We are in the midst of a battle for the future of our food systems. In spite of persistent denials, today’s so-called modern food system simply cannot be sustained for much longer. Mounting evidence of the negative impacts of today’s dominant systems of food production on the natural environment, public health, animal welfare, and the quality of rural life is becoming difficult to deny or ignore.&nbsp;</p> <p>The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) consistently identifies agriculture as the leading nonpoint source of pollution of rivers and streams and a major contributor to pollution of lakes, wetlands, estuaries, and groundwater (U.S. EPA, n.d.). Massive “dead zones,” such as those in the Gulf of Mexico and Chesapeake Bay, devel­oped with the industrialization of American agri­culture (National Geographic Society, 2011). Agriculture has also been identified as a major contributor to global climate change. Experts disagree, but an emerging consensus seems to be that agriculture globally contributes about 15% of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions—about the same as transportation (Nahigyan, 2016). Animal agriculture is a major contributor, and environmentalists have joined animal welfare advocates in calling for an end to industrial animal agriculture....</p> John Ikerd ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-08-30 2018-08-30 8 3 1 4 10.5304/jafscd.2018.083.006 CULTIVATING COMIDA: Dignity and Devastation in Vermont’s Dairy Industry <p><em>First paragraph:</em></p> <p>After years of challenging economic conditions, the first several months of 2018 spelled disaster for a number of Vermont’s dairy farms. As reported in a local weekly newspaper article, “Sell­ing the Herd: A Milk Price Crisis Is Devastating Vermont’s Dairy Farms” (Heintz, 2018), the ongoing downturn in milk prices has led a number of farms to close shop. This leaves just 749 dairy farms in a state where more than 11,000 existed seven decades prior. Alongside increased costs of production, this article also reveals that dairy farmers are receiving little more for their milk than they did in the late 1970s, despite the ever-increasing costs of production and environmental pressures. The economic downturn has had a pronounced effect on smaller family farms, par­ticularly those with fewer than 200 cows, and has affected organic and conventional dairies alike. These economic realities have exacerbated the consolidation of the industry, leaving mega-farms as those most likely to survive. These same farms are often criticized for contributing to mounting concerns about the state’s water quality and ques­tionable labor conditions, particularly for the immi­grant farmworkers who are in large part respon­sible for sustaining the dairy industry....</p> Teresa Mares ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-08-30 2018-08-30 8 3 1 4 10.5304/jafscd.2018.083.007 Perspectives on a Local Food Access and Nutrition Education Program from Cooperative Extension Nutrition Educators <p>Innovative programming is needed to improve diets among low-income individuals. Incorporating a healthy food access program within existing Extension community nutrition education programming at the local government level may be an effective approach to improve access and eating behaviors. Program development should be informed by the community nutrition program educators (herein educators) who would implement this type of program. We sought to understand educators’ perspectives as part of a formative evaluation to guide the development of a program pairing reduced price community supported agriculture (CSA) membership with tailored educational programming. Educators from four U.S. states (one southeastern, two northeastern, and one northwestern) participated in in-depth interviews and focus groups. These were audio-recorded with detailed hand-written notes, transcribed verbatim, independently double-coded using a detailed code­book, and analyzed for themes and salient quotes. Feedback was linked with the Diffusion of Innova­tions model and RE-AIM framework. Educators had mostly positive initial thoughts of the pro­posed food access program, suggesting that it would complement current education program­ming. Educators suggested making the CSA shares reasonably priced. They also suggested offering pickup and education classes at a convenient loca­tion. Educators wanted additional training and resources in order to facilitate the program, but thought the existing infrastructure and resources of Extension and local government would help in implementation and sustainability. Local govern­ment priorities should seek to meet educator interests and needs given the potential for more successful program outcomes. These findings could be used to inform the development of food access programming within community nutrition education programs.</p> Jared T. McGuirt Stephanie B. Jilcott Pitts Rebecca A. Seguin Margaret Bentley Molly DeMarco Alice S. Ammerman ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-08-28 2018-08-28 8 3 1 18 10.5304/jafscd.2018.083.002 Entering into a Community-University Collaboration <p><em>First paragraphs:</em></p> <p>I worked as the director of the East New York Farms! (ENYF) Project for seven years, from 2006 to 2013. As media interest and general excite­ment about sustainable food grew during that time, assessing potential opportunities for “partnership” and participation in the broader world of sustain­able food work (that is, outside East New York) became an increasingly important part of my role and an increasingly significant way in which we defined what we were, and were not, about. </p> <p>The route to participation by ENYF in Food Dignity started with Megan Gregory, a Ph.D. student at Cornell, inviting our then farm manager, David Vigil, and some of our youth leaders to speak at a conference in Ithaca, New York. I remember David coming back and telling me that “they treated us like royalty,” as he described being picked up in Ithaca, taken out to dinner at the world-famous Moosewood Restaurant, and generally welcomed and appreciated by Megan and the other hosts at Cornell. We accepted the invita­tion to this conference largely because of the leadership-development opportunity it afforded to our youth members to share their experiences in food justice work and hear from others. Had it been an invitation for just our staff to speak, we may not have felt that we could justify committing the time to this; invitations to food-related con­ferences were frequent, but we always prioritized our work on the ground....</p> Sarita Daftary-Steel ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-07-18 2018-07-18 8 3 5 7 10.5304/jafscd.2018.08A.013 Introduction—and Invitation—to the Food Dignity Special Issue <p><em>First paragraphs:</em></p> <p>Over the course of five funded years and with five million dollars, three dozen community food justice leaders and academics across three U.S. states and nine organizations collaborated on action and research about community food justice, security, leadership, sustainability, and sovereignty. We called this collaboration <em>Food Dignity</em>. If you read this special issue, you will hear 20 voices (and about a dozen more, indirectly) presenting some of what we have learned since first proposing the Food Dignity collaboration in 2010 and also striving to make useful sense of it, for ourselves and for you.</p> <p>In this opening set of essays, leaders of the five community organizations partnering in Food Dignity each describe how and why they chose to collaborate in this project and reflect on their experiences with it (Daftary-Steel, 2018; Neideffer, 2018; Sequeira, 2018; Sutter, 2018; Woodsum, 2018a). Then we discuss how the three of us—the project PI, a community leader with decades of experience in community activism, and a non–tenure track academic team member who joined the project a little late—ended up being the ones leading this project to its close, including guest editing this journal issue (Hargraves, Porter, &amp; Woodsum, 2018)....</p> Christine M. Porter Gayle M. Woodsum Monica Hargraves ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-07-18 2018-07-18 8 3 1 4 10.5304/jafscd.2018.08A.025 Entering into a Community-University Collaboration <p><em>First paragraph:</em></p> <p>When asked to tell the story of how and why I was invited and decided to join the Food Dignity research project, I found myself traveling back over a long road full of unexpected turns, bumps, discoveries, and delights.&nbsp;And as I began to reflect over the five years spent implementing that project in Tompkins County, New York, I was once more awed by the countless stories to be told and knew that, at best, I could offer merely a glimpse of the wonderful and challenging experi­ences that were ultimately instrumental in learning valuable&nbsp;lessons for cultivating sustainable food systems.&nbsp;In sharing the process and results of being part of such a unique opportunity, I hope to both inspire and challenge readers to explore the possi­bilities that can exist when the sustainability of our food systems places a high value on everyone experiencing “dignity” in their relationship to food—whether as a consumer, entrepreneur, farmer, composter, or activist....</p> E. Jemila Sequeira ##submission.copyrightStatement## 2018-07-18 2018-07-18 8 3 9 11 10.5304/jafscd.2018.08A.014