Local Food Systems

A roadside market operated by a local farmwoman in Hampshire County, Massachusetts in September 1940.
"'Local and regional food systems' refers to place-specific clusters of agricultural producers of all kinds—farmers, ranchers, fishers—along with consumers and institutions engaged in producing, processing, distributing, and selling foods…"  Source: Trends in U.S. Local and Regional Food Systems: A Report to Congress.

USDA. Rural Development.

Administered by USDA Rural Development, a funding program to support the development of essential community facilities in rural areas. Local food systems elements, including food hubs, food pantries, and community gardens, are eligible.

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 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.

USDA. Agricultural Law Information Partnership.

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

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 and peer-reviewed research (2000-2013) on local and regional food systems.

Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

Choices magazine features seven papers that "help clarify perceptions about local foods, prospects for growth in their supply and demand, and policy issues affecting the development of local food systems." (v. 25 no. 1 Oct. 2010).