Exploring Community and Local Food Systems by Means of Photo Elicitation

Sarah A. Misyak, PhD1*, Meredith Ledlie, MSW1, Mary M. McFerren, EdD1, Kim L. Niewolny, PhD2, Kathryn W. Hosig, PhD, MPH, RD3 & Elena Serrano, PhD.4


Photo elicitation is a qualitative research tool in which photographs are used to facilitate dialogue during interviews and focus group discussions. Photo elicitation as a research method is especially suited for the complex nature of food systems work. Food systems researchers and practitioners

Marketing Specialty Cut Flowers

By Holly Scoggins, Virginia Tech 

The interest in locally grown cut flowers is blossoming! From you-pick to farmers’ markets; savvy brides to local-lifestylers, this niche market can enhance or supplement sales of vegetables, herbs, and/or value-added products. Direct marketing (field to end-user sales) fits perfectly with small-scale cut flower production. If volume grows, there is also the opportunity to sell wholesale for resale by florists or floral distributors. 

Cut flowers are high-value crops – one of the most

Marketing & Markets

In this area, find information related to the markets and marketing of local and regional foods. 


If you are interested in creating an article that can contribute to this resource area, please contact Phil D’Adamo-Damery pdadamer@vt.edu

Niche Production & Value Chain Producers/Growers

In this area, find information related to the Niche production for the local and regional food system value chain. 

If you are interested in creating an article that can contribute to this resource area, please contact Phil D’Adamo-Damery pdadamer@vt.edu

Local Meat and Poultry Processing: Business Commitments, Support Networks, and Policy Strategies to Expand the Sector

By Lauren Gwin, Oregon State University and Arion Thiboumery, Iowa State University

In this article we summarize recent research about what it takes to strengthen the processing link in the local meat and poultry value chain.

To bring locally grown, sustainably raised meat and poultry to market requires access to processing facilities with the skills, inspection status, and other attributes to handle these products safely, legally, and to customer specifications. Farmers and others suggest that limited processing infrastructure is a …

An Evolving Classification Scheme of Local Food Business Models

By Allie Bauman, Colorado State University; Dave Shideler, Oklahoma State University; Dawn Thilmany, Colorado State University; Merritt Taylor, Oklahoma State University; and Blake Angelo, Colorado State University

In response to growing public interest in regionally-focused food systems, there is an increasing array of business models and innovations for small and medium-sized businesses to choose between when considering how to enter and/or expand in these markets. However, beyond case studies there exists little analysis that evaluates market performance and stakeholder welfare

Michigan State University Extension Resources for Local Food Entrepreneurs

By Kendra Wills, Michigan State University Extension Community Food Systems Educator

This is a collection of six articles targeted at local food entrepreneurs. These articles, written by Michigan State University Extension educators and Michigan State University Product Center business counselors, focus on some of the frequently asked questions of local food business owners interested in expanding their markets. Topics covered in this series of articles include: wholesale sales, getting your product in the grocery store, and marketing your food product

Michigan State University Extension Community Food Systems Workgroup Farm to School Resources

By Kendra Wills, Michigan State University Extension Community Food Systems Educator

Unique farm-to-school projects are the focus of this collection of articles from the Michigan State University (MSU) Extension Community Food Systems Workgroup. Originally published on the MSU Extension web site, these articles highlight some successful and replicable farm-to-school projects. Each article provides links to contacts and relevant resources so readers can connect with people working on farm-to-school projects on a day-to-day basis. This collection, written for the general public,

Local Food System Policy

By Lindsey Day Farnsworth, University of Wisconsin-Madison


General description

Food policy consists of laws, regulations, decisions and actions by governments and other institutions that affect food production, distribution, consumption and disposal. Local (municipal, county, township) public policies — such as land use controls, zoning ordinances, health codes, and regulation of food processing and transport—have a great impact on community food system practice. Public policy is also critical to the development of food systems infrastructure, which it shapes through a combination

Diversity in our Food: A new youth-oriented diversity project book

By Brian Raison, Ohio State University


Do you work with young people, youth groups, 4-H clubs, or schools? Are you looking for ways to introduce the topics of food diversity and food justice to these audiences? A newly released project book from The Ohio State University Extension offers a place to explore not only food, food security, and food justice issues, but also the many other forms diversity takes in daily life.

Diversity in our Food: Activity chapter in