Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development 2019-01-16T18:12:04-08:00 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> San Jose Food Works Study: Demonstrating the Economics of Local Food Systems Toolkit Methodology 2019-01-16T18:12:04-08:00 Sibella Kraus <p>Like many fast-growing cities with a history as a major food production area, San Jose, California, has largely left its agricultural heritage behind. Much of its famed Valley of the Heart’s Delight, so-called because of the vista of springtime blos­soms and once a nationally important fruit produc­tion region, has been developed into the Silicon Valley, now a global high-tech center. The San Jose Food Works study makes a case that the food sector can be an important driver for achiev­ing the city’s goals for economic development, place-making, public health, and sustainability. The study analyzes the economic contributions to the city from each food supply chain sector––produc­tion, distribution, processing, retail, and food service. It also engages stakeholders from agencies, busi­nesses, and community-based organizations in identifying gaps and opportunities for strengthen­ing these contributions. The recommendations developed with these stakeholders reflect a new commitment to collaborate on building a more robust, equitable, vibrant, and sustainable local food system. This reflective essay describes the practitioner-led development of a city-scale food supply chain assessment, as a process and product that demonstrate the methodology presented in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economics of Local Food Systems Toolkit (Thilmany McFadden et al., 2016).</p> 2019-01-16T00:00:00-08:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Improving Economic Contribution Analyses of Local Agricultural Systems: Lessons from a Study of the New York Apple Industry 2019-01-16T18:12:02-08:00 Todd M. Schmit Roberta M. Severson Jesse Strzok Jose Barros <p>Policymakers and economic development profes­sion­als are often confronted with fundamental questions about the efficacy of agriculture-based economic development initiatives in enhancing the economic vitality of communities relative to other forms of development. By better understanding the relation­ships of agricultural industries within local economies, community educators, industry leaders, and public officials can make more informed choices to enhance economic activity and impact. We illustrate a framework for conducting multi-industry economic contribution analyses to inform practitioners on what it is, when it should be used, and what information it can provide. As these types of analyses are popular among industry and public agencies alike, promoting a replicable frame­work improves the compatibility and comparison of analyses across industries, geographies, and time. In addition, we describe the costs and rewards of primary data collection to support more refined and locally-specific impact estimates and illustrate its use to the apple industry in New York State. Finally, we describe how backward industry link­ages lead to commonly referenced multipliers. In doing so, practitioners can better understand the local supplying industries that are most important to the industry of inquiry and the supplying sectors most influenced by industry expansion efforts.</p> 2019-01-16T00:00:00-08:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Developing a Production Function for Small-Scale Farm Operations in Central Minnesota 2019-01-11T18:10:46-08:00 Ryan Pesch Brigid Tuck <p>Local food advocates promote direct-to-consumer food sales, arguing that such sales yield a variety of positive effects, including that smaller, direct-to-consumer producers have a greater economic impact compared to larger producers selling via wholesale channels. In this research study, we examine this claim by exploring the relative economic contribution of small-scale, direct-to-consumer vegetable operations versus larger-scale, direct-to-wholesale vegetable operations in Central Minnesota. In this article, we detail the methods used to define the project, gather primary data, and construct the two production functions following the methods developed for the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Service’s Eco­nomics of Local Foods Systems Toolkit. In our analysis, we constructed two production functions for vegetables. The first was the default production function of vegetable operations from the input-output model IMPLAN. The second production function was constructed from detailed farm finan­cial data on the purchasing patterns of 11 small vegetable operators in a 13-county area of Central Minnesota. Our results illuminate variations in relative impacts, but also in specific aspects of operational expenditures.</p> <p>The production function for the sampled farms predicted a higher per dollar economic impact than the default IMPLAN production function. Our findings indicate that the small-scale, direct-to-consumer vegetable operations may have a greater positive impact on regional businesses than larger-scale, direct-to-wholesale operations, per dollar of output. Our results inform both farm business planning and economic development decision-making in rural regions.</p> 2019-01-11T00:00:00-08:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Assessing a Local Food System: The Palouse-Clearwater Food Coalition Assessment Process 2019-01-09T18:10:37-08:00 Allison Bauman Colette DePhelps Dawn Thilmany McFadden <p>This case study features the Palouse-Clearwater Food Coalition, an alliance of individuals, commu­nity organizations, institutions, agencies, non­profits, and businesses with a shared interest in developing the local food system in southeastern Washington and north central Idaho. The aim of this case study is to demonstrate how a community coalition could utilize the tools in the U.S. Depart­ment of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service’s economic impact toolkit (Thilmany McFadden et al., 2016) to guide its ongoing local food system assessment efforts and to provide structure and direction to its assessment process. The overall goals of the Coalition’s local food economic impact assessment are to (1) make meaningful use of existing data and studies; (2)&nbsp;identify gaps in data, then use the methods presented in the Toolkit to fill in critical data gaps to provide a more complete baseline picture of the region; (3) define and communicate what consti­tutes economic impact to community stakeholders within the construct of a local food system; (4) understand how data and economic impact prin­ciples can help identify leverage points in the local food system; and (5) use information about lever­age points to strategically acquire and invest resources in food system projects and research that will strengthen the economic viability of the region.</p> <p>The Moscow Farmers Market economic assessment is an example of how these goals aligned to influence results. This assessment docu­mented the value of the city of Moscow’s invest­ment to the Moscow Farmers Market Commission and city council. As a result of this assessment, the city moved the farmers market management out of the city’s arts department and funded a full-time community events and farmers market coordinator.</p> 2019-01-09T00:00:00-08:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Finding Common Ground: Defining Agricultural Viability and Streamlining Multi-organization Data Collection 2019-01-02T18:09:17-08:00 Libby Christensen Learner Limbach <p>In 2011, the state of Washington created the Voluntary Stewardship Program (VSP), a collabo­rative and incentive-based approach to land-use management with the goal of protecting critical areas while maintaining and improving the viability of agriculture. Agricultural viability is an attractive ideal supported by a variety of stakeholder groups. Narrowly defined, agricultural viability is the ability of a farmer or a group of farmers to maintain an economically viable farm business. Yet, many feel this definition does not go far enough to reflect the long-term viability of agriculture in a community. It is, however, difficult to develop a broader shared definition and strategies to evaluate successful implementation of programs to achieve viability across multiple organizations. This paper explores how one county in Washington state organized a multistakeholder engagement process, employing the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural and Marketing Service (AMS) Toolkit (Thilmany McFadden et al., 2016) to define and measure agricultural viability. The process included collaborative design and implementation of an agricultural viability survey in San Juan County, Washington. We frame our reflective piece within the literature on agricultural viability and multi­stakeholder engagement literature. To conclude, we reflect on the unique features of a multistakeholder working group and the implications for improving the viability of agriculture at the county level.</p> 2019-01-02T00:00:00-08:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Evaluating the Economic Impacts of Farm-to-school Procurement 2019-01-02T13:17:45-08:00 Libby Christensen Becca B. R. Jablonski Lacy Stephens Anupama Joshi <p>According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Farm to School Census, during the 2013–2014 school year, 42% of all U.S. schools (5,254 districts including 42,587 schools) participated in farm-to-school activities. These programs included 23.6 million children and purchased almost US$800 million of locally procured food items (USDA Food and Nutrition Services [USDA FNS], 2015). One of the purported benefits of farm-to-school procurement is that it strengthens the local econ­omy by providing expanded market access for local farms and ranches. Despite the claims of positive economic impact, there is limited research to sup­port this. This paper presents a framework for evaluating the economic impacts of farm-to-school programs, adapting the USDA’s “Local Food Economics Toolkit” for this specific context. The approach combines primary and secondary data to customize an input-output model, reflecting the complex supply chains that link producers and schools. Additionally, to illustrate the approach, we summarize the findings from two case studies of local food procurement by schools between 2016 and 2017.</p> 2018-12-20T00:00:00-08:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Communicating Economic Impact Assessments 2019-01-02T13:17:14-08:00 Mallory Lynn Rahe Katrina Van Dis Lauren Gwin <p>The local food sector continues to evolve as consu­mer preferences for economic, environmental, and social values create markets for a range of prod­ucts. Although measuring the economic impact of these complex systems can provide new insights, it remains challenging. This paper provides evi­dence of the effectiveness of presenting economic impact results to decision-makers as a way to increase public-sector interest in developing a small and growing local food system. Surveys of local leaders and statewide service providers indicate that most local decision-makers who were presented with the economic impact results say they are now more supportive of local food system develop­ment, especially in rural areas. In this region, both pro­ducing the economic impact study and pursuing a strategy for communicating the results of this study have promoted thinking about the potential of local food production in new ways and have informed conversations with policy-makers.</p> 2018-12-20T00:00:00-08:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Farm-to-School Programs’ Local Foods Activity in Southern Arizona 2019-01-02T13:19:00-08:00 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 2019-01-02T13:18:12-08:00 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##