More about Community, Local and Regional Food Systems CoP


Community, local and regional food systems are increasingly important to individuals, families, and communities for a number of social, economic, environmental reasons. Interest in issues related to community, local and regional food systems has exploded of late, and government agencies, universities, Extension services, nonprofit organizations, and entrepreneurial groups are generating new information, as well as seeking information, on the wide range of topics encompassed within this community, local, and regional food systems umbrella.

This resource is hosted by the Community, Local and Regional Food Systems (CLRFS) Community of Practice. It is designed to provide information and networking opportunities for educators, community-based practitioners, policy makers, farmers/growers, families, and those individuals involved in building equitable, health-promoting, resilient, and economically balanced food systems. As a community of practice, we: 1) create new content; 2) compile and summarize information published by our member organizations; 3) and make it our goal to offer a unique, online meeting place for diverse groups and interests to share information and learn from one another.  


Topics our materials and resources focus on include but are not limited to:

  • Beginning farmer & rancher
  • Niche production and value chain producers
  • Urban agriculture
  • Food processing
  • Institutional food preparation
  • Marketing, markets, and scale
  • Distribution & aggregation
  • Consumer food preparation
  • Nutrition & health
  • Resource & waste recovery
  • Food & agriculture policy
  • Food security
  • Food justice & food sovereignty
  • Economic development
  • Tools for evaluation and program planning


CLRFS Resources you can use:

  • CLRFS frequenlty asked questions through eXtension’s “Ask the Expert” 
  • CLFRS webinar series
  • Feature and Resource articles on a number of relevant topics pertaining to local, regional, and community food systems. 
  • Links highlighting issues pertaining to local, regional, and community food systems. 
  • Meet the CLRFS members through eXtension’s “Expert Bios” 
  • Social media, including Facebook and an eCoP listserv (


Membership and our Leadership Team

The eCoP is comprised of over 280 members and growing!  Our members include a number of extension agents/educators/specialists, university researchers, and food systems practitioners. Our numbers are growing steadily, indicating the widespread interest in this issue-area.

Our community leadership team ‘meets’ regularly via conference calls. We also share information through webinars.  Meet our leadership team.

Our Funders

CLRFS eCoP is currently funded by eXtension and through the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). CLFRS is seeking funders. If you would like more information about our CLFRS CoP, or if you’d like to contribute funds, please contact one of our co-coordinators:


How can you get involved as a CLFRS eCoP member?

Please help us make this eCoP a valued resource. Here are ways that you can get involved as a member of CLFRS:

1) Become an “Ask the Expert” question answerer.  To do so, you just need to establish an AeA profile and join the Community, Local, and Regional Food Systems AeA group. If this is of interest, please contact Kim Niewolny at  To learn more about the Ask the Expert feature, check the Ask an Expert User Profile guidance link:

2) Contribute content for the public site using the “Create” wiki.  If this is of interest, please contact associate editor, Phil D’Adamo-Damery at  

3) Become a content reviewer. If this is of interest, please contact our senior editor Kim Niewolny at

4) Create an eXtension biography identifying your areas of expertise.  This would help us to identify reviewers for content!  You would also be profiled occasionally (and randomly) on our eXtension home page.  For assistance, contact Phil D’Adamo-Damery at

5) Join our National Leadership Team. This group meets periodically to plan next steps, write grant proposals, or plan face to face gatherings. This team also creates working groups to address on-going or short term efforts. If this is of interest, please contact Sharon Lezberg,, Brian Raison at, or Kim Niewolny at

6) Help us ‘optimize’ our eCoP through use of social media. If this is of interest, please contact Brian Raison at  We currently have a presence on facebook, but we’d benefit from having an eCoP member take on twitter, blogging, e-Newsletter,, slideshare, YouTube, and other content sharing social media outlets. 


Contact Us

Please join us! If you have experience and expertise in community, local, and regional food systems and would like to join our community, contact us by joining eXtension and indicating your interest in joining CLFRS:

If you do NOT have an email with .gov or .edu, contact Brian Raison to join:


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