Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development 2019-03-17T18:26:11-07:00 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> The EarthBox Project in Grayson County, Virginia 2019-03-17T18:26:11-07:00 Kathy Cole Liza Dobson <p><em>First paragraph:</em></p> <p>In 2014, Kathy was contacted by Michelle Stamper, coordinator of the local Feeding America mobile pantry program in western Grayson County, Virginia. This pantry serves clients one Monday evening a month at a local school. Feeding America Southwest Virginia sends a truckload of food from Abingdon, Virginia, and volunteers assemble food boxes that are then placed directly in clients’ vehicles. Michelle had considered why the food pantry was needed, when rural Grayson County has such a rich agricultural history. When she reached out to Kathy, she asked if the nonprofit Kathy leads, Grayson LandCare, could help her teach pantry clients how to grow some of their own food. She said that many of them grew up with gardening, perhaps at their grandparents’ home, but very few gardened cur­rently and some may not even have known how to grow vegetables on their own. . . .</p> 2019-03-16T00:00:00-07:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Stakeholder Perceptions of the Impact of Cannabis Production on the Southern Oregon Food System 2019-03-12T18:25:19-07:00 Vincent M. Smith Maud Powell David Mungeam Regan G. Emmons <p>The passage of Measure 91 (Oregon Legalized Marijuana Initiative, 2014) in Oregon legalized the production of cannabis for recreational sale. Since legalization, there has been a significant increase in cannabis production across the agricultural land­scape of southern Oregon. Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley now hosts 314 licensed recreational cannabis growers who share a changing agricultural landscape with orchards, vineyards, vegetable farms, seed industries, and ranches. The Rogue Valley Food System Network (RVFSN) convened focus groups across the region to explore the per­ceived impacts of the cannabis industry on the food system. These impacts were coded and cate­gorized for use in the development of future research questions. Stakeholders identified environ­mental impacts, land use policy, agricultural best practices, water resources, financial opportunities, resource competition, and a changing cultural landscape as areas in need of further research. This research brief informs work by lawmakers, land use planners, researchers, managers, and farmers in developing research, policies, and projects to address challenges and realize opportunities associated with the changing agricultural landscape in states where cannabis production is expanding.</p> 2019-03-12T00:00:00-07:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Investing in Local Food, Investing in Local Communities 2019-03-13T18:25:23-07:00 Thomas Bolles <p><em>First paragraphs:</em></p> <p><em>SOIL: Notes Toward the Theory and Practice of Nurture</em> is by Woody Tasch, the founder of the Slow Money Institute, which seeks to rebuild the economy from the ground up with an emphasis on sustainable local food systems. This book lays out Tasch’s vision for building local food systems.</p> <p>SOIL is an interesting and entertaining read. It is not a just-can’t-put-it-down read, but I think that is the point. Festooned with side notes, the text forces you to break up the read. In many cases, the notes not only tie into the text but also are teaser for the reader to go back and dig deeper. Tasch’s writing style is hard to define, but it has a very literary quality. The text is more a conversation than a formal dissertation. Tasch engages the reader, circling back and tying up his points to weave a plan of hope for the future. . . .</p> 2019-03-12T00:00:00-07:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## "Being Stewards of Land is Our Legacy": Exploring the Lived Experiences of Young Black Farmers 2019-03-13T14:16:32-07:00 Leslie Touzeau <p>The oppressive histories of slavery, sharecropping, and discriminatory lending practices contribute to a modern American agricultural landscape where black farmers are underrepresented. While African Americans once made up 14% of the United States’ farmer population, today they only make up 1.4%. Moreover, the American farmer population overall is aging, and currently only 6% of farmers are under the age of 35. Despite these trends indi­cating decline, a small population of young black farmers is emerging. This qualitative case study aims to explore the experiences of this previously unexamined group of farmers. Participants found autonomy and self-sufficiency in agriculture, and a particular form of empowerment derived from reclaiming land and actively choosing to engage in work their ancestors were forced to do without pay. Findings from the study have implications for agricultural educators, extension professionals, and policy-makers working to cultivate a more diverse and representative body of American farmers.</p> 2019-03-10T00:00:00-08:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Establishing Sustainable Food Production Communities of Practice 2019-03-01T18:22:18-08:00 Suraya Hudson Mary Beckie Naomi Krogman Gordon Gow <p>This study describes the formation of nutrition gardening and pond fish farming communities of practice (CoPs) among small-scale farmers of the Malayalis tribe living in the Kolli Hills region of Tamil Nadu, India. We examine the factors that have shaped the formation of these CoPs, their purpose and function, who is involved, what activ­ities hold these communities together, and their role in strengthening sustainable food production and consumption practices. Data were obtained through participatory rural appraisals (PRAs), key stakeholder interviews, and participant observa­tions during four months of fieldwork. The pri­mary motivations that led the nutrition gardeners and pond fish farmers to become part of CoPs were to improve the health and nutrition of their families and to obtain expert advice in sustainable food production practices. Both CoPs are in the early stages of development and differ not only in the types of food they produce and the skills and tools needed for their success, but also in their structure; nutrition gardening takes place at the individual and/or household level, whereas pond fish farming operates at the group and/or commu­nity level. The ways in which members experience being in a community also differs. Nutrition gar­deners rely on open-ended conversations and community creation through relationship building; in contrast, fish farmers find that group meetings and maintaining transparent record-keeping are most important. Sustainability of these practices and the CoPs depended on factors internal to the communities (e.g., leadership, knowledge mobiliza­tion) as well as external factors (e.g., rainfall and market potential).</p> 2019-03-01T00:00:00-08:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Building Emancipatory Food Power: Freedom Farms, Rocky Acres and the Struggle for Food Justice 2019-02-28T18:22:16-08:00 Bobby J. Smith, II <p>While scholars who study issues of food justice use the term food power rarely—if at all—their argu­ments often position the rise of the food justice movement in the context of food power that sus­tains oppression in the food system. Similarly, many food justice activists and organizations produce an analysis of oppressive forms of food power, while placing the goals of the movement to create sustainable community-based interventions in the periphery. Yet, the pursuit of food justice is a dual process related to power. This process is characterized by the simultaneous acts of disman­tling oppressive forms of food power and building emancipatory forms of food power. It also has deep roots in the historical arc of food politics in the Black Freedom Struggle of the civil rights era. However, we know very little about this dual pro­cess and how black communities engage in it. In this paper, I juxtapose two cases of black farm projects—the historical case of Freedom Farms Cooperative (FFC) in Mississippi and the contem­po­rary case of the Rocky Acres Community Farm (RACF) in New York—to explore the dual process of food justice. I conclude with a brief discussion on what the cases teach us about this dual process and its implications for scholars and activists who work on issues of food justice. Such implications provide insights into the possibilities of the food justice movement in the future and challenge the movement to include, more explicitly, issues of race, land, self-determination, and economic autonomy.</p> 2019-02-28T00:00:00-08:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Pairing a Q Study with Participatory Decision-making around Farmworker Safety 2019-03-01T18:22:20-08:00 Nadine Lehrer Colleen Donovan Maureen Gullen <p>Tenets of participatory decision-making speak to the importance of meaningful participation from diverse stakeholders for improving both process and outcomes. But what participation actually looks like can vary substantially, and constructing a group where all actors can truly speak is often elusive. In addressing controversies over pesticide safety in tree fruit orchards in Washington State, we used a Q study to identify divergent viewpoints and convened a group to bring these views together. The resulting stakeholder working group was then challenged to both acknowledge their often-opposing viewpoints and to construct a mutually beneficial idea for improving pesticide safety in the tree fruit industry. This paper explores the dynamics of this stakeholder working group, analyzing not only its successes but also its challenges and difficulties. Rooted in a mainstream agricultural industry in the western United States, this study highlights the ways in which seemingly simple things like who “shows up” and why can shape processes and outcomes.</p> 2019-02-28T00:00:00-08:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## CULTIVATING COMIDA: A New Day for Dairy? 2019-02-26T18:21:44-08:00 Teresa M. Mares Brendan O'Neill <p><em>First paragraph:</em></p> <p>In the previous <em>Cultivating Comida</em> column, the eco­nomic challenges confronting Vermont’s dairy industry were discussed alongside the new possi­bility of justice for workers in the industry. Fol­lowing years of farmworker organizing led by the grassroots group Migrant Justice, more than a year has now passed since Vermont’s iconic ice cream company Ben &amp; Jerry’s entered into a legally binding agreement committing the company to the groundbreaking Milk with Dignity (MD) program. The dairy farms in Ben &amp; Jerry’s supply chain are now beginning their second year in the MD program. During this same period, Vermont has seen its share of highs and lows in its dairy indus­try, a sector that seems to have grown only more unpredictable and unsustainable over time (Mares, 2018). The MD program extends the model of worker-driven social responsibility (WSR) pio­neered by the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) to Vermont’s dairy farms. According to Migrant Justice, the goal of the MD program is to “bring together farmworkers, farmers, buyers and consumers to secure dignified working conditions in dairy supply chains” (Migrant Justice, n.d., “How it works,” para. 1). The program centers upon a code of conduct developed by farmworkers and ensures a price premium to farm owners, which workers felt was essential in the volatile and chal­lenging context of the dairy industry, in order to help offset some of the potential costs of compli­ance. Unlike past farmworker campaigns that have sought change through a union model, both the CIW and Migrant Justice have demanded change by shifting corporate purchasing practices and putting legally binding supply chain agree­ments into place. These policies require corpora­tions to source through worker-driven programs that ensure improvements in workers’ rights and are continually monitored and evaluated. This model flies in the face of the corporate social responsi­bility (CSR) models that are predominant in large-scale food production; these models rarely (if ever) stem from worker-defined needs and priorities, but instead from corporate concern for branding and marketability. . . .</p> 2019-02-26T00:00:00-08:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## Strong Book on Building Community through Food 2019-02-22T18:20:32-08:00 Amy Crone <p><em>First paragraph:</em></p> <p><em>Good Food, Strong Communities: Promoting Social Justice through Local and Regional Food Systems</em> is a book borne out of the Community and Regional Food Systems (CRFS) project, which began in response to a United States Department of Agri­culture (USDA) request for proposals regarding food insecurity. Guided by Wisconsin-based aca­demic institutions, the CRFS has program partici­pants in seven cities (Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Boston; Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Chicago; Detroit; and Los Angeles). While the book con­tains examples from all seven cities, it is primarily focused on efforts in the Midwest. I have partici­pated in a number of such regional efforts, includ­ing food policy councils, and have both responded to apnd reviewed USDA proposals focused on food insecurity. My focus is on the Mid-Atlantic region, but I have traveled across the country working on farmers market and food system efforts that are coupled with social justice. This book was of inter­est as I hoped to find inspiration for our work in Maryland and the region. . . .</p> 2019-02-22T00:00:00-08:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement## A Case Study of Transitions in Farming and Farm Labor in Southwestern Idaho 2019-02-22T18:20:33-08:00 Lisa Meierotto Rebecca L. Som Castellano <p>Farm labor in the U.S. is undergoing significant transitions. First, fewer farmworkers are migrating in the traditional sense, and more are settling in to rural American communities. Second, more women are working in agriculture—a process referred to as the feminization of agriculture. Third, there has been an increase in so-called “recreational” crops” like marijuana and hops grown for craft microbrew beers. This paper discusses these three transitions in Southwestern Idaho. These transitions were observed during pilot research conducted in Idaho during 2017–2018. We present this paper as a case study of current transitions in American agriculture.</p> 2019-02-21T00:00:00-08:00 ##submission.copyrightStatement##