In 2014, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (USDA AMS) selected and commissioned a team of regional economists and food system specialist, coordinated by Dr. Dawn Thilmany McFadden, to develop a Toolkit of best practices for evaluating the economic impact of local food system initiatives. The idea for the Toolkit emerged from meetings hosted by Michigan State University’s Center for Regional Food Systems and the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Food and Environment Program. The meetings were held on January 31 and February 1, 2013, in order to synthesize and translate the findings of existing studies for local food practitioners and policymakers. For more information about the meeting, see: http://foodsystems.msu.edu/resources/econ-impact-jafscd.