Local Food Systems

Children eating apples in the classroom. (Copyright ARS)

A community food system "integrates food production, processing, distribution, consumption and disposal to enhance the environmental, economic, social and nutritional health of a particular place." From Discovering the Food System: A Primer on Community Food Systems, Cornell University.

ATTRA. National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.

Offers resources and tools about local foods; urban and community agriculture; local marketing, processing, and distribution; farm start-up; and policy and food access. Identifies programs and projects that focus on local foods. Includes Local Food Resources, a directory of programs, resources and contacts; and the Bringing Local Food to Local Institutions guide to programs.

University of Minnesota.  Extension.

Provides resources for farmers and producers, community organizations, and Extension Educators in support of rural communities that are developing new or operating established community food systems.

USDA. Agricultural Law Information Partnership.

Information about laws and regulations pertaining to local and regional food systems.

University of Arkansas. National Agricultural Law Center.

Site includes Congressional reports, agency listings, Center reports and references to statutes, case law and other government information pertinent to local food systems. Links to related U.S. government and other publications and resources.

USDA. National Agricultural Library.

The National Agricultural Library's digital exhibit showcases the library’s numerous historical and current resources that detail how food travels from farm to table. It comprises three main sections: a review of the “Farm-to-Table” movement of the early 1900s, a survey of roadside stands and farmers markets, and a list of current USDA local food initiatives.

United States Department of Agriculture.

A USDA initiative to promote sustainable local and regional food systems that will support small and mid-sized farms and ranches, strengthen rural communities, promote healthy eating, and protect our natural resources.

USDA. Agricultural Marketing Service.

Links to local foods topical publications and presentations, including those on direct-to-consumer marketing. AMS works to improve market access for operators of small and medium-size farms.

USDA. NAL. Food and Nutrition Information Center.

This resource list provides information on how establishing community food systems meets daily food and nutrition needs, helps the local economy, supports local farmers, and promotes a sustainable, local food system.

University of California at Davis. Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program.

This bibliography and update are guides to published literature (2000-2013) on local and regional food systems.

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