Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development 2021-07-14T14:01:02-07:00 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> IN THIS ISSUE: Open call papers, and more papers and commentaries on the impact of COVID-19 on the food system 2021-07-14T14:01:02-07:00 Duncan Hilchey <p><em>First paragraphs:</em></p> <p>Have we finally turned the corner on COVID-19? Just maybe.</p> <p>The world is still reeling from the pandemic, and the delta variant is taking its toll presently, but the winds of change do seem to be shifting in our favor. After publishing more than a year and a half’s worth of research-based papers and commentaries on COVID-19 and its impact on the food system, we are taking a kind of odd pleasure in finally publishing content on a broader range of issues. Food systems work is (or should be) a veritable beehive of activity on all fronts, at all levels, at all times: racial equity, family farm resilience, climate change, building out our food security infrastructure, and so on require constant simul­taneous attention, each of these key issues being a piece of an interlocking resilience puzzle. . . .</p> 2021-07-14T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2021 The Author Exploring differences in communication behaviors between organic and conventional farmers 2021-07-10T22:13:18-07:00 Fallys Masambuka-Kanchewa Joy Rumble Emily Buck <p>This exploratory qualitative study sought to gain initial insights into how farmers involved in dif­ferent production practices communicate with consumers. A thematic analysis of in-depth inter­views conducted with eight organic and 12 con­ventional farmers in Ohio indicated that organic farmers are proactive in communicating with the public about their production practices, unlike conventional farmers, who focus on improving productivity. Furthermore, the organic farmers reported using different communication channels such as Facebook, flyers, and YouTube when com­municating with consumers, while conventional farmers reported being busy working on their farms and not having time to communicate with consumers. Organic farmers’ involvement in com­munication activities with the public about their production practices and products was reported to stem from their beliefs and values toward sustain­able farming practices and environmental conser­vation. Furthermore, unlike conventional farmers, most organic farmers sold their produce directly to consumers, and as such, used communication as a marketing tool. The active involvement of organic farmers in communicating with consumers may be attributable in part to increased media coverage about the benefits of organic farming practices. On the other hand, limited involvement of conven­tional farmers in communicating with the public may be partially attributable to limited media cov­erage about the benefits of conventional farming. Therefore, to ensure that consumers make in­formed decisions, there is a need to start develop­ing standalone communication organizations and interventions committed to providing unbiased information about the benefits and disadvantages of the different farming practices.</p> 2021-07-10T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Fallys Masambuka-Kanchewa, Joy Rumble, Emily Buck Food forests: Their services and sustainability 2021-07-10T22:13:17-07:00 Stefanie Albrecht Arnim Wiek <p>Industrialized food systems use unsustainable practices leading to climate change, natural resource depletion, economic disparities across the value chain, and detrimental impacts on public health. In contrast, alternative food solutions such as food forests have the potential to provide healthy food, sufficient livelihoods, environmental services, and spaces for recreation, education, and community building. This study compiles evidence from more than 200 food forests worldwide, with detailed insights on 14 exemplary food forests in Europe, North America, and South America, gained through site visits and interviews. We present and illustrate the main services that food forests provide and assess their sustainability. The findings indicate that the majority of food forests perform well on social-cultural and environmental criteria by building capacity, providing food, enhancing biodiversity, and regenerating soil, among others. However, for broader impact, food forests need to go beyond the provision of social-cultural and environmental services and enhance their economic viability. There is a need for specific trainings and other measures targeting this deficit. This study appraises the current state of food forests and provides an orientation for food entrepreneurs, public officials, and activists to better understand food forests’ potential for advancing sustainable food systems.&nbsp;</p> 2021-07-10T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2021 Stefanie Albrecht, Arnim Wiek Examining food insecurity and areas with unmet food needs during COVID-19 2021-06-24T22:11:08-07:00 Kathryn Janda Raven Hood Amy Price Samantha Night William Edwin Marty Amanda Rohlich Kacey Hanson Marianna Espinoza Alexandra van den Berg <p>Food insecurity is a public health issue that has increased in the U.S. since the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Understanding how this increase occurs locally is crucial in informing appropriate food insecurity-related responses. Analyzing 2-1-1 call data is one way to examine food insecurity-related needs at a zip code level. The purpose of this work was to: (1) examine overall call trend data to 2-1-1 from March through July 2019 and March through July 2020, (2) examine changes in food need call volume to 2-1-1 during COVID-19 by zip code, and (3) identify areas with unmet food needs dur­ing COVID-19 in central Texas. Data for 2-1-1 calls from Travis County zip codes for March through July 2020 were compared to calls for March through July 2019 and categorized by rea­son for calling. Descriptive statistics and paired t-tests were used to analyze food need calls by zip code and mapped using ArcGIS. Communities with high food call volume and no emergency food assets located within the zip code were categorized as areas with unmet food needs. Results indicated there were more overall calls to 2-1-1 in 2020 (<em>N</em>=37,572) than in 2019 (<em>N</em>=28,623), and signifi­cantly more food need calls in 2020 than in 2019 (<em>p</em>&lt;0.01). Eastern Travis County, a racially and ethnically diverse and lower-income area, had the largest increase in food need calls. Two zip codes were identified as having unmet food needs, which informed the strategic placement of emergency food assets. This study illustrates how 2-1-1 data can result in rapid translation of research to policy and program implementation.</p> 2021-06-24T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2021 The Authors Eating inequity: The injustice that brings us our food 2021-06-23T22:10:45-07:00 Manar Alattar <p>As we eat, we transform social, natural, and economic systems. Here we briefly explore these trans­formations.</p> 2021-06-23T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2021 The Author Nested risks and responsibilities: Perspectives on fertilizer from human urine in two U.S. regions 2021-06-18T07:26:11-07:00 Tatiana Schreiber Shaina Opperman Rebecca Hardin Julia Cavicchi Audrey Pallmeyer Kim Nace Nancy Love <p>This paper reports on social research investigating perceptions concerning the diversion of urine from the waste stream and its use as fertilizer in two study regions, New England and the Upper Mid­west. We hypothesized that discomfort or disgust might affect acceptance of such a shift in human “waste” management. However, our findings suggest that a more significant concern of those potentially involved in this process may be distrust of how economic interests influence scientific and technical information. Both physical risks (to the environment and public health) and socio-political risks (to fragile farm economies and consumer communities) play out at individual, household, regional, and global scales. We describe the intersection of these complex understandings as <em>nested risks and responsibilities</em> that must inform the future of urine reclamation. Our respondents' shared concern about environmental risks has already galvanized communities to take responsibility for implementing closed-loop alternatives to current agricul­tural inputs and waste management practices in their communities. Attention to these nested understandings of both risk and responsibility should shape research priorities and foster participatory approaches to urine nutrient reclamation, including strategies for education, planning, regulation, technology design, and agricultural application.</p> 2021-06-15T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2021 The Authors Bridging scientific and experiential knowledges via participatory climate adaptation research 2021-06-12T22:07:12-07:00 Melissa Parks Gabrielle Roesch-McNally Amy Garrett <p>In western Oregon’s Willamette Valley, small fruit and vegetable growers have traditionally relied on irrigation to produce their crops. However, they are increasingly experiencing issues with water availability and access due to precipitation pattern changes associated with climate change. In 2016, the Dry Farming Collaborative (DFC) was developed as a participatory model for facilitating research, social networks, and resource-sharing among agricultural stakeholders to test the efficacy of dry farming as an adaptation strategy. Dry farming differs from irrigated cropping systems in that growers do not irrigate their fields and instead utilize a suite of practices to conserve soil moisture from winter rains for summer crop growth. To better understand how to meaningfully engage stakeholders in participatory climate adaptation research, this study explored how the participatory process facilitated the adoption of dry farming as a climate adaptation strategy among participants. Drawing on interviews with 20 DFC participants, including farmers, gardeners, and researchers, results indicate that the integration and use of different knowledge systems within the participatory research process made it easier for participants to integrate dry farming into their operational contexts. Processes designed to encourage interactions and information-sharing between participants and nonhierarchical researcher-grower relationships facilitated the exchange of these knowledge systems among participants, thus providing them with the trusted and salient information they needed to adopt new practices. Results indicate that these features could be useful for enacting future participatory climate research projects that lead to the adoption of effective adaptation strategies.</p> 2021-06-12T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2021 The Authors Can large-scale land acquisition deals improve livelihoods and lift people out of poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa? 2021-06-08T22:06:48-07:00 Ernest Nkansah-Dwamena <p>The recent wave of large-scale land acquisitions or land deals, popularly called ‘land grabbing’ in subSaharan Africa, has provoked vigorous debate over the potential benefits and risks to local people, with results structured by complex policy and institu­tional context. Land deals present new develop­ment challenges and aggravate old vulnera­bilities, raising critical questions for investigation. Yet empirical evidence of impacts on local populations is limited, particularly regarding how land deals affect local people’s livelihood assets, strategies, and outcomes. Guided by the sustainable livelihood approach and a quasi-experimental design, I compare livelihoods before and after a land deal project and between an affected and a control community in southwestern Tanzania. I use household surveys, focused group discussions, and key informant interviews to collect data. The ANOVA analyses revealed that the project severely deterio­rated households’ natural, financial, and social capital and had far-reaching impacts on well-being in the affected community compared to the control village. The study recommends that African countries should consider (1) scrutinizing land deals and enforcing contracts, (2) conducting rigorous envi­ron­mental and social impact assess­ment, (3)&nbsp;strengthening customary land rights and reinforc­ing compensation policies, and (4) mean­ingfully involving locals in land deal negotiations. This contribution responds to the deficit in research on land deals’ impacts on livelihoods and well-being and lays the groundwork for future research.</p> 2021-06-08T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2021 The Author Cost-benefit analysis as a tool for measuring economic impacts of local food systems 2021-06-08T22:06:48-07:00 Zoë Plakias <p>Universities continue to expand their local food sourcing, but the impacts of these sourcing changes are ambiguous. Some academics have measured these impacts using input-output analysis methods to track economic indicators that may be of interest to local communities. However, these studies do not capture nonmarket benefits of local food system investments or answer the broader question of whether local sourcing benefits society as a whole, both of which can be addressed using cost-benefit analysis. This paper explores cost-benefit analysis as an additional tool for measuring the economic impacts of local food investments, using a sourcing change by The Ohio State University as a case study. It builds on recent theoretical applied economics literature on the welfare impacts of local food sourcing and sheds light on important trade-offs of local sourcing that institutions and other buyers may want to consider. Employing data provided by Ohio State University Dining Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, I use a Monte Carlo simulation approach that accounts for uncertainty and allows for exploration of many scenarios. In more than half of the scenarios, local sourcing yields a net <em>loss</em> to society. However, additional research is needed by economists and others to enable local food system stakeholders to more easily and accurately conduct this work and add cost-benefit analysis to their project evaluation toolkit.</p> 2021-06-08T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2021 The Author Visitors and values: A qualitative analysis of agritourism operator motivations across the U.S. 2021-06-04T22:06:35-07:00 Lindsay Quella Lisa Chase David Conner Travis Reynolds Weiwei Wang Doolarie Singh-Knights <p>Owners of small- and medium-sized farms are increasingly interested in engaging in agritourism and direct sales in order to increase income, provide family employment, and educate the public about agriculture, among other reasons. Prior research on agritourism operator motivations largely focuses on economic goals and benefits, while acknowledging the strong influence of non-economic factors. However, more research is needed to better understand the nuances and breadth of non-economic motivations underlying agritourism operator decisions. In addition, research on U.S. agritourism tends to be at the state level, which raises questions about overall national trends and inter-study comparability. To address these gaps, we analyzed transcripts from semistructured interviews with small- and medium-sized farm owners engaged in agritourism from five states across the U.S. We examined the results through the theoretical lens of Allport’s “contact hypothesis” in order to further understand how agritourism helps operators meet stated goals. Our results suggest that consistent with previous literature, nonmonetary motivations are high priorities for farmers engaged in agritourism. In particular, motivations related to community engagement/leadership and quality-of-life emerged as forceful and reoccurring themes. We found that although Allport’s contact hypothesis holds some important explanatory power for understanding agritourism operators’ community-related goals—including reducing prejudice and increasing understanding between farmers and consumers in relation to agriculture—increased inter-group contact also has potential to create new conflicts between farmers and neighbors related to tourism. These findings have important implications for future research as well as for policies and programs aimed at supporting agritourism.</p> 2021-06-04T00:00:00-07:00 Copyright (c) 2021 The Authors