The Economics of Local Food:

an Emerging Community of Practice

We are actively growing a new Community of Practice to help you and your community understand the ag and food enterprise viability, market dynamics and other key socio-economics metrics of local and regional food systems.

The Toolkit is made up of seven modules that can be grouped into two stages of food system planning, assessment and evaluation. The first set of modules (1-4) guides the first stages of an economic impact assessment and includes framing the system, relevant economic activities and assessment process as well as collecting and analyzing relevant primary and secondary data. The second set of modules (5-7) provides a more technical set of practices and discussion of how to use the information collected in stage one to conduct a more rigorous economic impact analysis.

Includes case studies, reflective essays, and other articles about measuring the impact of local food systems through the use of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Marketing Services’ Local Food Systems Toolkit. The issue is sponsored by Food Systems at Colorado State University and USDA AMS. Guest editors are Dawn Thilmany McFadden and Becca B. R. Jablonski, both at Colorado State University.


About Local Food Economics

This website provides a gateway for you to explore work going on throughout the US on food systems, and it continues to grow. Please consider joining our Community as a team member, or by nominating your project that has created original research and/or outreach content in this area. (Follow the Getting Involved menu above)

This community of practice represents a virtual collection of emerging research, program evaluations and initiatives that seek to improve understanding of the complexities and economic potential of local and regional food systems, and their contributions to community and business development.

Through its support of the Toolkit , USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service and its research partners have come to realize the importance and power of gathering community-based evidence that provide real-world illustrations of benefits associated with local food investments, while identifying the most appropriate and effective practices for advancing local food systems development. 

Programs and Initiatives

Latest Tweets

February 6, 2021
Presenting US and Colorado Food consumer trends during COVID with @rebeccabr at the Southern Rocky Mtn Ag Conf this am. Miss being in the San Luis Valley, but glad to see some familiar names/faces. @CSU_foodsystems @localfoodecon @USDA_AMS #COVID19 localfoodecon photo
January 14, 2021
Healthy food incentives increase the produce purchasing power of low-income families: join this webinar including SPUR, CSU and 10 Fair Food Network partners focused on the economic benefits and efforts to scale up these programs. For more information:
December 8, 2020
Local and regional supply chains innovated and pivoted but where can they be supported as we head into another market season? @E_CanalesMedina @sarahalow @DawnTM
December 2, 2020
Sadly seeing similar numbers in a Fall 2020 survey, & only a share connecting the food assistance programs (SNAP, food banks, school meals)....join us for Webinar this month on the connection to local food systems @rebeccabr @Tim4Food #FoodInsecurity
November 16, 2020
Local and regional food markets continue to evolve, catalyzed by COVID restrictions and economic disruptions
localfoodecon photo
Dr. Dawn Thilmany (McFadden) @DawnTM
Hearing from Local Catch, U-pick and broader Agritourism sector and North Carolina farms focused on local markets about the new face of their customers during COVID....more information on partners at:
November 16, 2020
How can the local and regional food sector ensure these customers continue to select these markets?

Join us today as @nafdma @LocalCatch @infoCEFS discuss with us what businesses are doing to retain customers:
localfoodecon photo
Scroll to Top