Journal Cover
Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development
Number of Followers: 3  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2152-0801
Published by Thomas A. Lyson Center for Civic Agriculture and Food Systems Homepage  [1 journal]
  • Exploring the motivations, satisfactions, and well-being of agricultural
           intentional community residents

    • Authors: Jess Lasoff-Santos, Raymond De Young
      Pages: 1–20 - 1–20
      Abstract: Intentional communities have long provided an alternative living solution for those wanting to live with a group of others who share their values. Intentional community residents throughout the U.S. were surveyed to discover their intrinsic satis­factions and motivations, and community features they envision in their futures, as well as to investi­gate their psychological well-being and if they experience or search for personal meaning. Of the 204 U.S. communities identified with a gardening or agricultural focus, 83 agreed to be surveyed, gar­nering 259 responses. It was found that engage­ment in local food systems elicits intrinsic satisfac­tion in the areas of community food (such as growing and sharing food with neighbors) and participation (such as contributing to a larger goal or purpose). However, local food system engagement does not strongly increase psychological well-being, suggest­ing that those living in agricultural communities may have their well-being supported in other life­style areas. Recommendations for communication and recruitment are then addressed: it is important to emphasize communitarian and social values when advertising intentional communities to inter­ested parties. Secondary values, such as environ­mentalism, and the intrinsic satisfaction associated with participation can also be successfully used in communication, especially when paired with future-oriented envisioning of their communities.
      PubDate: 2023-03-15
      DOI: 10.5304/jafscd.2023.122.011
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 2 (2023)
  • Connectivity and racial equity in responding to COVID-19 impacts in the
           Chicago regional food system

    • Authors: Rowan Obach, Tania Schusler, Sydney Durkin, Paulina Vaca, Ma’raj Sheikh
      Pages: 1–16 - 1–16
      Abstract: The COVID-19 outbreak led to major disruptions in food systems across the globe. In the United States’ Chicago region, the outbreak created immediate concerns around increased hunger, food insecurity, supply chain disruptions, and loss of local liveli­hoods. This was especially evident in communities of color, which faced disproportionate impacts from the pandemic. In March 2020, the Chicago Food Policy Action Council (CFPAC) coordinated a Rapid Response Effort that convened people in working groups related to emergency food assis­tance, local food producers, small businesses, and food system workers to address urgent needs that arose due to the pandemic. Each working group met regularly through virtual calls. This effort has persisted throughout the pandemic in various forms. For this study, we interviewed CFPAC staff members and participants in these calls to create narratives that document respondents’ perceptions of the Rapid Response Effort’s evolution, benefits, challenges, and potential for long-term impacts. Thematic analysis conducted across these narra­tives revealed the importance of network connec­tions to overcoming food system disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Our analysis also underscored challenges associated with racism in efforts to strengthen local and regional food sys­tems. These findings indicate a need for research and practice that intentionally attend to power dis­parities related to race within collaborative net­works in order to structure local and regional food systems to achieve greater racial equity and resili­ence to future shocks.
      PubDate: 2023-03-15
      DOI: 10.5304/jafscd.2023.122.010
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 2 (2023)
  • Marketing opportunities and challenges for locally raised meats

    • Authors: Steven Richards, Michael Vassalos
      Pages: 1–26 - 1–26
      Abstract: South Carolina livestock producers are expanding their operations to include local meat sales, with a sizeable number of farmers entering the market for the first time. Little is known about South Caro­lina’s local meat consumers and their buying pref­er­ences. This study aims to identify the demo­graphic traits of local meat consumers, their pre­ferred local meat product attributes, their desired purchasing locations, and a range of prices con­sumers are willing to pay for local meat. This study surveyed 1,048 South Carolina meat consumers. Of these survey respondents, 741 had consumed local meat products within the last 12 months and 307 had not. Results indicate that local meat consumers tend to be younger, reside in larger households, have higher household incomes, and have greater educational attainment. They also may be more likely to be long-term residents of South Carolina. These consumers are willing to pay a 1% to 24% premium for local meats to be eaten at home and US$1.00 to US$1.99 more per entrée for local meats at a restaurant. The most desirable attributes of local meat are hormone-free, all-natural, no anti­biotics, and grass-fed. The most popular buying locations are the grocery store, directly from farms, farmers markets, butcher shops, and online order­ing. Most consumers are unwilling to drive more than 20 miles (32 km) to purchase local meat. The study also uncovered barriers to consumers’ will­ingness to purchase (or purchase more) local meats: product unavailability, high prices, food safety concerns, convenience, and ease of prepara­tion.
      PubDate: 2023-03-13
      DOI: 10.5304/jafscd.2023.122.009
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 2 (2023)
  • Critical food policy literacy

    • Authors: Carol Ramos-Gerena
      Pages: 1–17 - 1–17
      Abstract: Food policies should be informed by those whom they intend to serve, but policy-making processes remain exclusive to privileged voices, knowledge, and experiences. Food activists, organizations, and academia have worked to make policy processes inclusive through training communities in food policy, potentially increasing their food policy literacy (FPL). In this paper, I argue that making food policy processes, information, and training accessible to community actors can better prepare them to participate in, interpret, and control food system policies, especially at the municipal level. I build on the premise that a clear understanding of food policies is a necessary (if not sufficient) condition for community engagement in food systems policy formulation, planning, and implementation. Existing literature has thoroughly defined food literacy (FL) and policy literacy (PL), but there has been very limited work on defining “food policy literacy.” To address this conceptual gap, this article bridges food and policy scholarship with the critical literacy work of Paulo Freire to answer: How do we understand literacies tied to food policy' What does (or what could) it mean to be food policy literate' How can critical literacy tied into food policy transform food systems' Following this analysis, I propose critical FPL is a ‘reading of the world and of words,’ a critical awareness of food policy processes, a contextual and authentic learning practice, and a collective engagement with food policy transformation.
      PubDate: 2023-03-09
      DOI: 10.5304/jafscd.2023.122.008
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 2 (2023)
  • Applying emerging core competencies to extension training courses for
           local food system practitioners

    • Authors: Hannah Dankbar, Courtney Long, Dara Bloom, Kaley Hohenshell, Emma Brinkmeyer, Bre Miller
      Pages: 1–17 - 1–17
      Abstract: In 2019, a national group of local food system educators and practitioners identified over 140 foundational core competencies critical to local food system development work and began to identify existing educational resources related to these competencies. This process resulted in a new aggregated resource: the Local Food System Practitioner and Educational Resource Database. Included in this database is a core competency matrix that distinguishes three levels of learning for each competency so that practitioners can identify learning opportunities most closely tailored to their educational needs. It also serves as a framework and competency matrix for educators to use to help assess and communicate the learn­ing out­comes of their curricula. This framework is the overall concept for understanding the compe­ten­cies, and the matrix is the tool developed to assess and evaluate the level at which an educa­tional resource teaches a competency. In this article we apply the newly create core competency matrix to two existing local food system develop­ment courses. We share lessons learned from applying the matrix and insights gained from com­paring two introductory level courses. We con­clude with recommendations for improving the resource database and matrix to a more user-friendly model for educators and local food system practitioners.
      PubDate: 2023-03-07
      DOI: 10.5304/jafscd.2023.122.007
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 2 (2023)
  • Understanding small- and very-small-scale size meat processors in Missouri
           to strengthen the local supply chain

    • Authors: Muh Syukron, Ye Su
      Pages: 1–16 - 1–16
      Abstract: Promoting local food systems is crucial to providing a more viable economy, eco-friendly production, and equal opportunities for producers, consum­ers, and communities. Meat processors are critical to local meat producers and the meat supply chain. However, various barriers have restricted small-scale meat processors and challenged the local meat supply chain. Although local food systems have gained enormous scholarly attention, little attention has been devoted to specifically exploring the meat processing sector. This study investigated the characteristics and challenges of small-scale (<750 employees) and very-small–scale (<200 employees) meat processors in Missouri. Twenty-six meat processors participated in an online survey through Qualtrics, a mail survey, or a structured phone interview between May 2021 and March 2022. We identified the characteristics and constraints related to their businesses. The analysis revealed that 76% of meat processors perceived that their business was in better or much better condition than before the COVID-19 pandemic, reflecting their adaptability to the disrupted meat supply chain. However, small-scale meat processing facilities were limited by the labor shortage, complicated regulations and high regulatory compliance costs, a lack of consistent supply, and limited access to tools and equipment. More integrated work is needed to aid smaller processors in positively impacting the local community and environment through locally sourced meat production. This study contains helpful implications for state-level policymaking, extension programs, and future research directions.
      PubDate: 2023-03-06
      DOI: 10.5304/jafscd.2023.122.006
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 2 (2023)
  • Civil society engagement in food systems governance in Canada

    • Authors: Charles Levkoe, Peter Andrée, Patricia Ballamingie, Kirsti Tasala, Amanda Wilson, Monika Korzun
      Pages: 1–20 - 1–20
      Abstract: Civil society organizations (CSOs) commonly expe­rience food systems governance as imposed by governments from the top down and as unduly influenced by a small group of private sector actors that hold disproportionate power. This uneven influence significantly impacts the activities and relationships that determine the nature and orienta­tion of food systems. In contrast, some CSOs have sought to establish participatory governance struc­tures that are more democratic, accessible, collabo­rative, and rooted in social and environmental justice. Our research seeks to better understand the experiences of CSOs across the food systems gov­ernance landscape and critically analyze the suc­cesses, challenges, and future opportunities for establishing collaborative governance processes with the goal of building healthier, sustainable, and more equitable food systems. This paper presents findings from a survey of CSOs in Canada to iden­tify who is involved in this work, key policy priori­ties, and opportunities and limitations experienced. Following the survey, we conducted interviews with a broad cross-section of CSO representatives to deepen our understanding of experiences engag­ing with food systems governance. Our findings suggest that what food systems governance is, how it is experienced, and what more participatory structures might look like are part of an emergent and contested debate. We argue for increased scholarly attention to the ways that proponents of place-based initiatives engage in participatory approaches to food systems governance, examining both current and future possibilities. We conclude by identifying five key gaps in food systems gov­ernance that require additional focus and study: (1) Describing the myriad meanings of participa­tory food systems governance; (2) Learning from food movement histories; (3) Deepening meaning­ful Indigenous-settler relationships; (4) Addressing food systems labor issues; and (5) Considering par­ticipatory food systems governance in the context of COVID-19.
      PubDate: 2023-02-22
      DOI: 10.5304/jafscd.2023.122.005
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 2 (2023)
  • Pathways for advancing good work in food systems

    • Authors: Susanna Klassen, Lydia Medland, Poppy Nicol, Hannah Pitt
      Pages: 1–17 - 1–17
      Abstract: The crucial roles that workers, especially seasonal and migrant workers, play in our food systems have come under renewed attention in recent years. The coronavirus pandemic resulted in food work­ers being recognized as critical or essential workers in many countries. In 2021, this coincided with the UN International Year of Fruits and Vegetables (IYFV), highlighting the importance of horticul­tural crops to healthy lives globally. Yet, workers’ quality of life in this most labor-intensive form of food production is often disregarded, or in the case of the UN IYFV, misconstrued. The agriculture-migration nexus—on which food systems depend—remains recognized as a challenge, yet there is limited debate about how it could be ameliorated and a lack of articulation of desirable alternatives. While alternative food and peasant movements propose food system transformation and alternative labor futures based on agroecology, labor lawyers and other advocates propose regula­tion and formalization of workplace regimes to ensure fair working conditions. Most recently, a third pos­sibility has emerged from agri-tech innovators: a techno-centric future with far fewer agricultural work­ers. These three archetypes of agricultural labor futures (agroecological, formally regulated, and techno-centric) have the potential to leave food scholars and activists without a unified, coherent vision to advance. Addressing this gap, this paper reports and builds on insights harvested from the international Good Work for Good Food Forum, organized by the authors with the aim of shaping consensus on positive visions for work in food systems. About 40 scholar-activists across three continents discussed the current challenges facing food workers and crafted a collective vision for good food work. This vision is documented in the form of nine principles supported by a framework of seven enabling pathways. We conclude by em­pha­sizing the need for a people-centered incor­poration of technology and a re-valuation of food workers’ contributions to global food systems. We offer the vision as a collective platform for action to advocate for and organize with workers in food systems.
      PubDate: 2023-02-20
      DOI: 10.5304/jafscd.2023.122.004
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 2 (2023)
  • The experience of Vermont local food businesses during the first year of
           the COVID-19 pandemic

    • Authors: Claire Whitehouse, David Conner, Lisa Chase, Travis Reynolds
      Pages: 1–14 - 1–14
      Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic tested the resilience of food system actors at all levels and across all geog­ra­phies. This study focuses on the experience of Vermont local food businesses by combining two surveys conducted in the first half of 2021: one of foodservice operations that procure food locally and one of Vermont farms that sell directly to con­sumers. We analyzed descriptive statistics, open responses, and conducted Kruskal-Wallis rank sum tests to assess which factors were related to busi­nesses’ financial statuses before and since the pan­demic. Pre-pandemic financial status was related with business type, whether the business went on to receive emergency funds, and financial status since the pandemic. The only significant factor for financial status since the pandemic was prepan­demic financial status. We close with recommen­dations for policy and future research.
      PubDate: 2023-02-13
      DOI: 10.5304/jafscd.2023.122.003
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 2 (2023)
  • THE ECONOMIC PAMPHLETEER: Economies of scale in food production

    • Authors: John Ikerd
      Pages: 1–4 - 1–4
      Abstract: First paragraphs: Why do industrial agricultural operations continue to displace smaller family farms in spite of their continued pollution of the natural environment and degradation of rural communi­ties' Large-scale, specialized agricultural operations, such as concentrated animal feeding operations (or CAFOs), persist because they have an economic advantage over smaller, diversified farming opera­tions. They have higher ecological and social costs but lower economic costs. This economic advan­tage is commonly referred to as economies of scale. In economic theory, there are two types of economies of scale. Internal economies of scale refer to differences in the costs of production associated with different sizes of production units. In animal agriculture, “scale” refers to the number of hogs, poultry, milk cows, or beef cattle in a single farming operation or production unit. In field crop and pasture-based animal production, scale refers to the acres of land in a single production unit. External economies of scale, on the other hand, refer to differences such as the costs of fertilizer or feed, or the cost of complying with government regulations, for different sizes of management units. Management units may include one or more production units under single man­agement or control (Ross, 2022). A single farm or production unit may comprise multiple parcels of land, but a farm management unit may comprise multiple farms that are managed as a single economic entity or unit. . . .
      PubDate: 2023-02-12
      DOI: 10.5304/jafscd.2023.122.002
      Issue No: Vol. 12, No. 2 (2023)
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