Topic: Economic Impacts of Local Food Systems: Measuring Outcomes
Date: Thursday, May 25, 2017
Time: 1:00 pm Eastern Time (10:00 am Pacific Time)
- Rich Pirog — Director, Center for Regional Food Systems, Michigan State University
- Dawn Thilmany — Professor, Agricultural & Resource Economics, Regional Economic Development Institute, Colorado State University
- Ariel Kagan — Senior Program Associate, Sustainability Collaborative, Food Institute, George Washington University
- Kathleen Liang –– Director, Center for Environmental Farming Systems, North Carolina State University
- Becca Jablonski — Assistant Professor and Extension Economist in Food Systems at Colorado State University
- Jeffrey K. O’Hara — Agricultural Marketing Specialist, Local Food Research & Development, USDA, Agricultural Marketing Service
In recent years, a considerable effort has been made at improving data collection for local food systems, engaging and developing resources for practitioners to evaluate local food system activity, and to standardize the metrics used in reporting the impacts of local food grant and loan programs. The presenters will provide an overview of some of these initiatives. The objective of the webinar is to engage local food funders, researchers, and practitioner in a conversation about the effectiveness of these initiatives; if and how they have impacted local food system activity; whether there are merits to formation of a “community of practice” that would educate, share, review, and critique local food system studies and data collection processes; and if so, to discuss how such a community of practice could be structured. A number of questions have arisen:
- How effective are communities, local food practitioners, and researchers at evaluating local food system activity? What are the strengths and weaknesses?
- Has the capacity to evaluate local food market activity improved in the previous five years?
- How strong and mutually reinforcing are the partnerships between community practitioners, researchers, and food system funders (like government agencies) at collectively and satisfactorily evaluating local food projects?
- Are there opportunities to advance such a community of practice? How would it look? What are effective strategies for doing so?
This webinar will bring some high level insights from the Local Foods Impact Conference April 3-4, 2017. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), in partnership with George Washington University, hosted this conference that was designed to explore how to best measure the impacts of local food investments, improve coordination across USDA agencies, and evaluate the extent to which disparate local food investments are complementary and reinforcing. Over 300 people attended with and another 500 tuning in via livestream for the plenary sessions. FYI, here are videos of the mainstage presentations, photos and slide presentations.
As background, the discussion for this webinar grew from a 2013 meeting to address the state of economic analysis of local and regional food systems convened by Michigan State University’s Center for Regional Food Systems and the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Food & Environment Program (http://foodsystems.msu.edu/resources/econ-analysis-webinar). Subsequently, in 2014, the USDA AMS convened a team of regional economists and food system specialists to develop a best practice Toolkit for evaluating the economic impacts of local food system activities. This NAFSN Webinar will provide an update on the thinking since that conference and the experience with the Local Food Systems Toolkit.
Mark Your Calendars!
The annual field day at the Beaumont Horticultural Unit is June 1st!
Registration begins at 7:30 with biscuits and breakfast burritos!
The program begins at 8:15, and we have a great line-up of speakers this year!
Topics will include:
New crape myrtle releases
and much, much more!
And you won’t want to miss Paul Cavanaugh and the PineBelt Master Gardeners’ Salad Table project!
No RSVP is necessary, and the program is FREE!
The Beaumont Horticultural Unit is located at 478 Hwy. 15N, Beaumont, MS 39423 (Perry Co.)
Season Extension and Commercial Strawberry Production Field Day
A joint presentation of Mississippi State University
and the Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production
APRIL 4, 2017, 9 A.M.-4 P.M.
MAFES Truck Crops Branch Experiment Station
2024 experiment Station Rd.
Crystal Springs, MS 39056
Lunch provided by the Mississippi Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, including a strawberry tasting, but please call to be added to the lunch count (601-892-3731) or you may not get a chair or a chance to try some of those berries.
Activities will include classroom presentations on strawberry culture and management, and tools to extend vegetable and fruit growing seasons by several weeks in the spring and fall.
After lunch, we will go to the field to see the strawberries you tasted at lunch time, and we will see examples of mulches, row tunnels, low tunnels, insect barrier cloths, high tunnels and greenhouses. You can even try your hand at setting up some low tunnels, so bring your hat and boots.
This field day is supported by the Mississippi Department of Agriculture/USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant program. We thank them for their support. The field day is jointly hosted by the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Experiment Station, Mississippi State University Extension, and the Alliance for Sustainable Agricultural Production.
The Mississippi State University Extension Service and the Department of Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion will host an Acidified Canned Foods (ACF) Training and General Food Safety Training for Mississippi Certified Farmers’ Market Vendors and the Cottage Food Industries. The workshop is designed to teach the basics of food safety and regulations for processing acidified foods in Mississippi. The General Farmer’s Market Food Safety Training will also take place after the ACF Course. This training session is highly recommended for all processed food vendors that attend Mississippi Certified Farmers’ Markets or sell at their farm, etc.
The workshop will be held Friday, February 24th, 2017 starting at 8:30am. The cost for the workshops is $15. The training workshop will be held at the Coastal Research and Extension Center of Mississippi State University in Biloxi, MS. Pre-registration is required and must be received by February 20, 2017. Bring payment or mail check to MSU FSNHP. Registration and information is attached.
Registration and information can be found: http://fsnhp.msstate.edu/docs/ACF_2242017.pdf