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.

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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

March 28, 2021
A number of USDA AMS grants are open for competition now, and more will be released soon....keep your local food systems network aware of opportunities. https://t.co/7x67DZ6YQp
March 15, 2021
Great conversation led by those innovating in the online platform space....food markets are going to require more creative, customer-friendly technology moving forward https://t.co/fBjZM4kS6w https://t.co/63EVCT0yCR localfoodecon photo
March 10, 2021
Given attention given to the share of food dollar going to farmers, this consumer perspective offers great insights. Consumers believe farmers get a higher share of food $$...and producers of fresh produce and meat products deserve the greatest share @msuafre @localfoodecon https://t.co/rwJEi90c0n
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 https://t.co/sAoSn7FdRG 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:
https://t.co/YBF5MFld4Q
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 https://t.co/3bCjJNtQu3
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