Great reading – USDA report on Local Food Systems

agricultural economics
agricultural economics

If you’re a local foodie (supporter of the Local Food Movement…lol, just made that up), I have a great resource for you.

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has more than 300 people doing research to help understand the US food and agriculture system. It’s called the Economic Research Service (ERS), and it has been around since 1961 (the function since 1922). In 2010, they published an 87-page report on the LFM called, “Local Food Systems: Concepts, Impacts, and Issues.” It’s free and both a summary and the entire report are available for download. It’s a little technical, but still a good read.

I recommend it, and here are (only) five of the nuggets I picked up. There is a lot of great information:

  • Local food means economic development (pp. 43-45). Good explanation. Find out how. Including spillover effect (downtown).
  • Ohio attitude to paying for local is strong (p. 31). Strawberries!
  • Talks about school systems and local foods (p. 25). Challenges with dependence on pre-packaged.
  • Other types of entrepreneurial activities these farms engage in (p. 22).
  • Direct sales in Seneca County in low category in 2007 (<$1M) (p. 19). Grow Seneca is all about increasing this.

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