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Studying Food System Approaches in Three Types of Rural Communities Mary Hendrickson, MU Extension Randy Cantrell, UNL Rural Initiative.

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Presentation on theme: "Studying Food System Approaches in Three Types of Rural Communities Mary Hendrickson, MU Extension Randy Cantrell, UNL Rural Initiative."— Presentation transcript:

1 Studying Food System Approaches in Three Types of Rural Communities Mary Hendrickson, MU Extension Randy Cantrell, UNL Rural Initiative

2 Project Personnel Mary Hendrickson Tom Johnson Jessica Scott University of Missouri Extension University of Nebraska Rural Initiative

3 Our project: NCRCRD Small Grants Received small grant to focus on food system strategies for rural development that enhance – quality of life – health – economic vitality of communities. Looked at 3 distinct rural areas in Nebraska and Missouri

4 Three parts to our work Literature Review on local foods– What was the latest information coming out? – USDA published Local Food Systems: Concepts, Impacts and Issues as project progressed. See ications/err97/ ications/err97/

5 Agriculture of the Middle

6 Three parts to our work How are rural communities using local food system strategies? Added more explicit economic component – Northeast Agricultural and Resource Economics Association Workshop on the Economics of Local Food Markets, June 15-16, 2010

7 Finding out about food system strategies One day convening in SE Nebraska and Northern Ozarks in Missouri where groups could connect via ITV – Extension personnel developed invitation list of those involved in local foods through production, facilitation, consumption or economic development Overview of the food system to stimulate discussion, then presentations from each community on their strategies involving local food systems

8 Focus Group conducted at each site exploring local food systems - definitions, constraints, benefits, information and resources needed Report of the conclusions groups reached to the other group Finding out about food system strategies

9 Similar Issues in 2 Different Rural Areas Access to good markets – Agreement that markets in rural areas are challenging Affordability of food in low-income rural areas vs. livelihoods of farmers Lack of supply for some existing markets – E.g. Hospital in Salem interested in sourcing local foods but few farmers with capacity and interest to supply

10 Similar Issues in Disparate Rural Areas Number of producers who had fixed philosophies on producing and selling – ‘This is the right way to sell my food.’ – Value statements about how they wanted to produce and sell their products – ‘market should adjust to me’ Interest in local food systems from multiple points of view, including health – Community gardens, healthy living significant themes

11 Decided to Study In-depth Applied for AFRI Sustainability for Small and Medium-Sized Farmers grant in 2010 Look at some of the ideas from preliminary research like affordability, rural development – Some assumptions that rural areas already have access to this kind of food – Different obstacles in rural areas to local food systems especially in terms of limited numbers of consumers as well as producers to aggregate New theme was to determine economic impacts of local food systems

12 Key Questions to Answer: What are the motivations of small and medium-sized farms to produce for local/regional food systems? Are strategies that incorporate local/regional food systems useful for helping farmers with small and medium-sized operations meet their whole life goals? What are the economic and social impacts of local/regional food systems for rural communities? What are the opportunities for small and medium-sized farms located in remote rural to capture value for their communities from urban areas? This project work is being supported by Agriculture and Food Research Initiative Competitive Grant no. 2011-67023-30084 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

13 What are the factors that motivate consumer behavior as they relate to locally grown foods in different geographic and socioeconomic contexts? – Does access and desire for locally produced foods differ based on income and geographies? – Are rural and lower income consumers more likely to be focused on price as a basis for food purchases? – Are urban consumers more likely to incorporate preferences for quality, taste and values into food purchasing decisions? – Alternately, are rural consumers highly motivated to acquire locally grown foods due to their proximity to farms and farming neighbors, provided their price threshold is not exceeded? Key Questions to Answer:

14 For Local Food Systems for Rural Development, the Key Question is How do the values and motivations of farmers producing for local/regional food systems link with consumer values and motivations? Regional Food Systems

15 Carsey Institute Typology


17 Approach Check out project website at: Producer Survey with approx. 180 farmers – Jan – Mar 2012 Input/Output Survey with 30 farmers – Oct 2012 Consumer Focus Groups – Late Summer Fall 2012 – early 2013

18 Local Producer Survey Who? Anyone who has sold or is selling local foods to neighbors, at farmers’ markets, roadside stands, to school food service anything What information do we want to know? What channels are they using, what are their motivations, what are their perceived opportunities, what are the barriers to participating in local food systems, approximate volume etc.

19 Economic Input/Output Survey Ask selected producers from across these regions to estimate income from local food sales that takes place in their area, the state or outside of those areas, and then to estimate the expenses in the same way

20 Focus Groups Conducted with Rural and Urban Consumers Type of Consumer Spatial ContextDirect MarketConventional Remote Rural Salem Farmers Market Salem, Missouri (chronically poor) Rural Ozarks Grocery 1&2 Rural Old Trails Farmers Market (declining resource, amenity rich) Rural Old Trails Grocery 1 &2 Rural Nebraska Farmers Market (declining resource dependent) Rural Nebraska Grocery Store 1&2 Micropolitan Rolla Farmers MarketRolla Grocery Store Medium Metro High Income Omaha Farmers MarketHigh Income Omaha Grocery Store Low Income Omaha Farmers MarketLow Income Omaha Grocery Store Large Metro High Income Kansas City Farmers Market High Income Kansas City Grocery Lower Income Urban MarketLower Income Urban Grocery Interested in motivations for shopping for local foods, perceived benefits, opportunities and constraints for their participation in local food systems

21 The funding for both phases of this work is extremely appreciated. Thank you to the North Central Region Center for Rural Development, part of USDA’s network of rural development center for their award in their small grants program that established our partnership and funded preliminary research. Thank you to USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Small and Medium-Sized Farms research program for support for our research. (2011-67023-30084)

22 Questions? To contact project personnel, check out the website: or contact one of us: – Dr. Mary Hendrickson – or – Dr. Tom Johnson – or 573- – Jess Scott – or – Dr. Randy Cantrell – or – Kim Peterson – or

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