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FoodWords Draft

Valentine Cadieux, Tahsha LePage, Phoebe Ward, Monica Saralampi, Martha Megarry, Maria Frank, Matt Gunther, Authors

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Farm-to-School in Central Minnesota - Applied Economic Analysis (summary & metadata)

Abstract:
The farm-to-school model was created in the 1990s, and since then the farm-to-school movement has spread throughout the country. Today, forty-one states have operational farm-to-school programs, and over two thousand such programs exist in the United States. This study collects data required for a formal analysis of the broader community economic impacts of farm-to-school programs in the Region Five Development District located in Central Minnesota. More specifically, we estimate the potential demand for locally produced food products from farm-to-school programs, and we assess the ability of local farmers to meet that demand. We also investigate the prices schools currently pay for products that could be supplied locally and the prices farmers would require to supply those products. Finally, we develop new sector descriptions and modeling assumptions that will be needed to conduct a formal economic impact assessment with an input-output model.

Quick Facts:
  • Author: Monica Haynes
  • Published: December 2009, CURA, Univ of Minnesota
  • Intended audience: policy makers, farmers & institutions considering involvement in farm-to-XXX
  • Goals / purpose: To analyze broader community economic impacts of farm-to-school programs in the Region Five Development District (Central MN), including potential demand by these programs for locally produced food and farmers' ability to meet that demand. To develop new sector descriptions and modeling assumptions for a formal economic impact assessment.
  • Methods - How would someone know they could trust this?
    • Begins with thorough lit review looking at all angles.
    • Qualitative surveys / interviews with food service directors, growers, and community kitchen directors & "farm-to-school experts" assoc. w/ the U of M.
    • Quantitative economic analysis of various farm-to-school production-demand and pricing scenarios.
  • From 1 (not very well)–4 (very well), how well does this source of food knowledge:
    • Engage an adequate range of perspectives and types of knowledge? (4)
    • Translate between diverse perspectives? (4)
    • Address conflicts across perspectives? (2)
    • Generate useful information for those affected by the issues addressed? (4)
    • Include an adequate range of relevant stakeholders throughout the knowledge-creation process? (4)
    • Help users of this knowledge source learn from each other? (4)
    • Allow users of this knowledge source to put what they learn into action? (3)
    • Consider the larger context as necessary? (4)
  • What is useful, meaningful, surprising, or a problem? Questions?
    • Opens with lit review of impacts on students, teachers, school food service, farmers, policy, & economy -- positive to look at many angles, but some are rather cursory -- more detail would be nice.
    • Includes detailed summary of qualitative survey results, followed by detailed applied economic analysis. Therefore provides info for people coming at the issue with diverse approaches.
  • What do you think could or should be done with this source of knowledge?
  • What has already been done?
  • How should we keep track of what this knowledge does as it circulates in the world?
  • What connections would you like to see made to other information / people / organizations?

See http://www.cura.umn.edu/publications/catalog/cap-144 for this and other resources from CURA.

(ID#1005)
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