Using Collective Impact to Build a Local Foods System

By Kari O’Neill and Chris Zdorovtsov, South Dakota State University Extension Community Development

Collaboration is the name of the game when you really want to get things moving on a large scale with an important initiative.  Building a local foods system is such an initiative.  There are many entities with interest, resources, and education that can and should be mobilized to assist growers and consumers in developing a food system they can navigate through easily.  

Getting the right players to

Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) Program Montgomery County Ohio working with a Dayton, Ohio Community Center to sustainably diminish a local “Food Desert”

By Suzanne Mills-Wasniak, Brad Bergefurd, &  Tony Nye – The Ohio State University Cooperative Extension


Similar to other metropolitan cities in the United States, Dayton, Ohio experienced a double digit (15%) population decline from 2000 to 2010.  Accompanying the population decline was a decrease in employment opportunities, an increase in abandoned homes and businesses, and an increased need for fresh, nutritious produce availability in identified “food deserts.”  Neighborhood demographics were changing, resulting in the opportunity for neighborhood revitalization. 3

Urban food system projects in Extension

urban food

By Julie M. Fox, Ph.D., The Ohio State University Extension


Extension educators set the stage for stable relationships, inter-organizational linkages, and feedback loops upon which localized food systems could be built (Dunning, et al., 2012; Gulati & Gargiulo, 1999; Ramasawmy & Fort, 2011; Sundkvist et al., 2005).  Extension’s involvement in food system development appears throughout history, illustrating various ways state and county personnel have contributed to collaborative networks that integrate sustainable food production, processing, distribution,

Jill Clark, John Glenn School of Public Affairs, Ohio State University

Jill Clark is an assistant professor in the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at Ohio State University.  Jill’s research and service centers on food and agricultural system policy, planning and economic development, along with sustainable food markets and infrastructure. She is interested in the dynamics between urban and rural, producer and consumer, alternative and conventional, and global and local aspects of food systems. Current funded research focuses on opportunities for connecting food security and agricultural economic development policy initiatives,

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

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

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 …