Local foods are marketed through direct sales to consumers (e.g., CSAs, farmers’ markets, on-farm stores, or pick-your-own), food hubs, grocery stores, restaurants, schools, and other outlets.
Benefits to the community include: support for local farmers, job creation, economic diversification, attracting reinvestment and growth, keeping food dollars within the local economy, and reducing food insecurity.
Learn about local foods through NAL collection items, exhibits, and selected external links to information.
Local Food Resources
ATTRA. The National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service.
AMS. United States Department of Agriculture.
USDA. Economic Research Service.
ERS conducts research and issues reports on the economic and marketing aspects of local food systems, and more.
University of Minnesota. University of Minnesota Extension.
The Economics of Local Food Systems: A Toolkit to Guide Community Discussions, Assessments and Choices
USDA. Agricultural Marketing Service.
Comprised of seven modules, the Toolkit covers food system planning, assessment and evaluation.
Relevant Legal Issues
Data and Policy
USDA. National Agricultural Statistics Service.
The purpose of the second Survey "is to produce benchmark data about local food marketing practices."
U.S. Congressional Research Service.
Part of a USDA, AMS funded project on Local and Regional Food Systems Response to Covid: Recovery and Resilience
The National Agricultural Library holds copies of many historical and current materials documenting the ways that food makes its way from the farm to our tables. This exhibit showcases these resources, placed within a larger context of agricultural marketing and purchasing.
Search the NAL Collection
Access to Research Articles
An Analysis of State Approaches and Challenges.
Agritourism, CSAs, farms, farmers markets, food hubs, and more.