Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development 2020-04-08T20:34:16-07:00 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> An In-Depth Look at Chinese Alternative Food Networks 2020-04-08T20:34:16-07:00 Anthony Fuller <p><em>First paragraph:</em></p> <p>This book is an important contribution to our knowledge and understanding of rural China in a time of economic slowdowns, continued urbanization, and growing political unease in China. In this light, a focus on food and farming, particularly the organic sector, is welcome as it shrinks the big picture into one of its constituent parts, which permits for a more digestible view of the nature, potential, and limitations of China’s alternative food sector. . . .</p> 2020-04-08T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2020 The Author Growing a Garden Community: A Film Review 2020-04-08T20:34:16-07:00 Brian Raison <p><em>First paragraphs:</em></p> <p><em>“It’s not about the vegetables. It’s about community.”</em></p> <p>Are you looking for some inspiration for a local food group, garden club, or association meeting? Would you like to set the stage of an event—perhaps a food summit or a gardening or agricultural conference—with a positive message about food and community? <em>A Garden Experience: Growing Organic, </em>a film about an organic community garden project in Colorado, may provide that inspiration. As one of the participating gardeners says, “It’s not about the vegetables. It’s about community.”. . .</p> 2020-04-08T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2020 The Author Gleaner-Farmer Relationships 2020-04-07T20:34:08-07:00 Sarah Lott Emily Irwin Sarah Heiss <p>Food loss and waste is a significant issue in the global food system. The agricultural practice of gleaning—recovery and distribution of unharvested produce directly from farms or the recovery of unsold produce from farmers markets—is seen as a multifunctional intervention, with the potential to address food loss, food insecurity, and the reliance of food pantries on processed food. While research has identified food donation and food recovery programs such as gleaning as potential solutions to issues of food loss and food insecurity, more research is needed to examine the actual communicative organizing practices associated with food recovery and gleaning efforts. With the aim of better conceptualizing the role that gleaning organizations might play in improving community food security and alleviating food loss, this study examines how gleaning programs develop and maintain relationships in emergency food systems. Based on 12 semistructured interviews with Vermont gleaning professionals, we aim (1) to describe the relationship between gleaning coordinators and farmers, with a focus on effective communication strategies for initiating and maintaining the relationship; and (2) to determine if participation in gleaning can add value to a farm enterprise. Results demonstrate the importance of farmers’ sense of community responsibility and gleaners’ individualized communication with farmers and knowledge of farming practices to the development and maintenance of gleaning relationships.</p> 2020-04-07T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2020 The Authors Just Transition for Agriculture? A Critical Step in Tackling Climate Change 2020-03-25T20:30:45-07:00 Charlotte Blattner <p>Just Transition has become an established discursive and conceptual framework to transition economic industries toward a low-carbon and climate-resilient future. In the coal and mining industry in particular, it has gained a foothold and transformed politics and livelihoods. In other areas, like animal agriculture, which is equally damaging to the climate, the need for change and the deployment of Just Transition to achieve it are not yet established. Drawing on the most recent scientific insights by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), this viewpoint argues that transitioning toward a low-carbon production is just as imperative in agriculture. Specifically, it demands that we move away from animal agriculture. The viewpoint concludes by sketching possible areas and means of intervention.</p> 2020-03-25T13:06:55-07:00 Copyright (c) 2020 Charlotte Blattner THE ECONOMIC PAMPHLETEER: Local Food: Another Food Fad or Food of the Future? 2020-03-27T09:18:50-07:00 John Ikerd <p><em>First paragraph:</em></p> <p>When anticipating the future, many experts simply examine trends of the past and project them into the future—as if trends continue indefinitely. However, one of the most fundamental principles of science is that everything on earth tends to cycle—whether physically, ecologically, economically, or socially (Culotta, 1991; Pool, 1991). All trends eventually stall out and reverse direction. Some apparent aberrations or blips in trends turn out to be harbingers of impending reversals. Some see the reemergence of farmers markets and popularity of locally grown foods as a passing fad or a blip in a continuing trend toward the globalization of the food system. Others see the local food movement as a harbinger of fundamental change. . . .</p> 2020-03-25T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2020 The Author Food Waste Knowledge, Attitudes, and Behavioral Intentions among University Students 2020-03-18T20:28:57-07:00 Manar Alattar James DeLaney Jennifer Morse Max Nielsen-Pincus <p>After policy change, educational programming has been cited as one of the most powerful tools for improving food systems and decreasing food waste. University students represent a population in which emerging habits, skills, and identity may be targeted easily and changed through on-campus educational programming. To understand how to best implement programming on impacts of food, food waste, and related issues, the factors that underlie students’ behaviors related to food waste must be understood. We analyzed factors that influence food waste–related behaviors within a university student population to understand the potential for improving targeted, school-based food waste diversion programming. Four hundred and ninety-five students were surveyed to: (1) identify self-reported knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors related to food waste; (2) explore underlying factors driving food waste–related behaviors through exploratory factor analysis (EFA); and (3) understand the interactions between factors within a regression framework. Participants reported that they most often left food on their plate because it did not taste good or they had overestimated portion size. A majority of participants already performed many food waste reduction behaviors, and were both interested in taking action and aware that their efforts could make a difference. Food management skills, compost attitudes, sustainability attitudes, and reported household food waste were correlated, in various ways, with both intent to reduce and reported food waste reduction behaviors. Opportunities for improving university-related food waste programming through this data are explored.</p> 2020-03-18T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2020 The Authors Government Extension, Agroecology, and Sustainable Food Systems in Belize Milpa Communities 2020-03-16T20:28:23-07:00 Kristin Drexler <p>The sustainability of<em> milpa</em> agriculture, a traditional Mayan farming system in southern Belize, is uncertain. For centuries, the milpa has been a sustainable agriculture system. The slash-and-burn aspect of milpa farming, however, has become less reliable and less sustainable over the last 50 years due to several factors, including forest loss, climate change, population growth, and other factors. The traditional milpa practices of slash-and-mulch and soil nutrient enrichment (nutrient cycling) are agroecological practices that produce food in a more sustainable way. Agriculture extension, a government service in Belize, can promote additional agroecological practices to address food and livelihood insecurities in milpa communities. This study examines perceptions of these practices from milpa farmers and agricultural extension officers in Belize using a socio-ecological systems (SES) framework. SES considers multidisciplinary linkages, including social, economic, environmental, cultural, and other factors in the agroecological system. The study finds several of these SES linkages between agroecological practices<em>—</em>specifically slash-and-mulch and soil nutrient enrichment<em>—</em>and the sustainability of the milpa farming system in southern Belize. Milpa communities are part of the broader SES and therefore are affected by changes to it. Milpa communities can also be enabled and participate in solution-finding. The findings imply that increasing the use of agroecology practices in milpa communities is needed and that government involvement and action, particularly from agriculture extension services, can facilitate a more sustainable milpa farming system and therefore more food and livelihood security in milpa communities in Belize.</p> 2020-03-16T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2020 The Author Exploring Resource Management for Sustainable Food Businesses 2020-03-16T20:28:22-07:00 David Conner <p>This paper is an exploratory comparative case study of three Vermont food businesses. It examines the use of transaction cost and knowledge management theories to understand how food businesses with sustainability missions make key management decisions about resource allocation (the “make or buy” decision). Results suggest that these businesses’ decisions are driven in part by their personal values and interests and their desire to support other local businesses and contribute to their communities. Their decisions also largely conform to what the aforementioned theories would predict: specifically, they <em>make</em> inputs and services that are within their core competencies, they <em>form partnerships</em> to procure key inputs and support other local businesses, and they <em>buy inputs</em> readily available in existing markets in order to free up their time and increase efficiency. Furthermore, they allocate their own time to activities they enjoy or those with high strategic value for the business. The discussion focuses on how these findings may guide future research and how these theoretical frame­works may be used to better understand entrepreneur behavior, foster mutually beneficial partnerships, and advance sustainability missions in food business.</p> 2020-03-16T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2020 The Author Everything You Ever Wanted to Know (or Didn’t Know You Wanted to Know) about Community Compost! 2020-03-16T20:28:22-07:00 Malory Foster <p><em>First paragraph:</em></p> <p>What once may have been an underground movement to save organic materials from the waste stream, community composting is now celebrated and further empowered by James McSweeney’s technical guide <em>Community-Scale Composting Systems: A Comprehensive Practical Guide for Closing the Food Systems Loop and Solving Our Waste Crisis. </em>The book meticulously unpacks this major challenge facing the food system in the U.S.—nothing short of a food waste crisis—and how to scale up in order to solve it. From the neighborly grassroots level to the budding entrepreneur, this tome feeds the budding “rotstar” on every scale—from backyard composting to organic waste haul­ing. There’s just something about composting for everyone. As McSweeney notes in the introduction, “Composting calls, it speaks from the beyond, drawing in believers. . . . A large number maintain a deep belief in composting as part of a holistic way of life” (p. 5). His new book is a well-researched, intricate foray into the world of community composting.&nbsp;</p> 2020-03-16T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2020 The Author Comparative Analysis of Four Maple Species for Syrup Production in South-Central Appalachia 2020-03-07T18:34:48-08:00 Jacob Peters Ryan Huish Dakota Taylor Benjamin Munson <p>Sugar maple (<em>Acer saccharum </em>L.) is a key cultural and economic resource from eastern Canada to south-central Appalachia. Environmental uncertainties could create problems for this iconic species, in particular affecting the southern extent of its range and thus increasing the need for alternative species in maple syrup production. To mediate uncertain­ties, some producers tap additional species, including box elder (<em>Acer negundo </em>L.), red maple (<em>Acer rubrum </em>L.), and silver maple (<em>Acer saccharinum </em>L.). For viable marketability, sap from alternative species should be comparable to sugar maple in volume and sugar concentration. In the 2016 and 2017 tapping seasons, data were collected on sap volume and sap sugar concentration (SSC) for each of these maple species. Sap parameter performance data revealed box elder and to a lesser extent silver maple as the most appropriate alternative species for syrup production in the south-central Appa­lachian region, while red maple, which is a com­monly tapped species in northern regions, per­formed comparably in SSC but very poorly in sap volume in this study. Diversifying sap sources could provide additional sap and tree counts avail­able to producers, allowing for more varied man­agement strategies to mediate climatic variations and uncertainties. This diversification can also allow for industry expansion into areas without sufficient sugar maples and potentially create a new product niche in the maple industry, which can promote rural economic development in south-central Appalachia through ways compatible with other sustainable agroforestry and outdoor tourism efforts.</p> 2020-03-06T00:00:00-08:00 Copyright (c) 2020 The Authors