Regional Food Systems

  Curtis Stofferahn Reports Food Systems Rural Life Poll ND Rural Life Group John Gillette Rural/Regional Centers ND Rural Life Blog Home

How can rural communities move from an uncertain future to a bright one? How can they offer a vibrant quality of life that is sustainable over time? What role does a sustainable agriculture play in rural community sustainability? These materials were created to help community residents answer these questions for themselves. They were designed for broad community participation to research the current community conditions, create a development plan, implement that plan, and evaluate the results. Many, excellent materials are available to help community residents with economic development planning. These materials primarily address only one, specific aspect of the community ó its food.

In order to do this, we will discuss in broad terms the structure and dynamics of the community (Chapter 1). We will explore the concept of sustainability as it pertains to agriculture and to communities (Chapter 2) and the role local and regional food systems play in sustainability (Chapter 3). Chapter 4 describes some of the ways that participatory "food circles," made up of a broad array of community residents, can examine the various components of communities. In Chapter 5, we offer specific steps to establish a baseline of information on the current conditions of the community. And, steps to examine the communityís food system are provided in Chapter 6. Case examples of alternative food system components are described in Chapter 7. These cases are of food-related entrepreneurs and business in North Dakota and South Dakota who are helping to support their communitiesí food systems. We offer ideas on how to create a plan for local food system development in Chapter 8. Chapter 9 lists ways to evaluate the planís effectiveness. We believe that these materials will help rural residents develop a new vision for sustainable communities. 

Table of Contents (Pdf File)

Enhancing Local/Regional Food Systems for Sustainable Development Leaderís Workbook (Pdf File)

Sustainable Community Food Systems Overview (Pdf file)

List of Case Studies (Pdf File)

Case Study 1. Direct, Off-farm Marketing (South Dakota Poultry Headquarters, Inc. and the "Goosemobile," Canistota, SD) (Pdf File)

Case Study 2. Community Supported Agriculture (Ben Larsonís Old Trail Market, Moorhead, MN) (Pdf File)

Case Study 3. Value-added Processing (Dakota Style Processing, Clark, SD) (Pdf File)

Case Study 4. Institutional Purchases of Locally Produced Foods (University of North Dakota Dining Services, Grand Forks, ND) (Pdf File)

Case Study 5. Sale of Locally Produced Foods to a Cooperative Food Store (Grand Forks Food Cooperative ó Amazing Grains Natural Food Market, Grand Forks, ND) (Pdf File)

Case Study 6. Sales of Locally Produced Foods to Grocery Stores in the Community (Hornbacherís Grocery, Fargo, ND) (Pdf File)

Case Study 7. Community Garden (Harvest States Corn Project, Bowbells, ND) (Pdf File)

Case Study 8. Farmersí Market (Lakes Area Farmersí Market Cooperative, Detroit Lakes, MN) (Pdf File)

Case Study 9. Direct, Off-farm Wholesale Marketing (Nesson Valley Gardens and Thunderbird Ranch Enterprises, Williston, ND) (Pdf File)

Case Study 10. Tribal Gardens (Fort Berthold Community College, New Town, ND) (Pdf File)

Case Study 11. Value-added, On-farm Processing (Summerís Harvest, Hope, ND) (Pdf File)

Case Study 12. Value-added, Marketing Cooperative (Whole Farm Cooperative, Long Prairie, MN) (Pdf File)

Case Studies Summary (Pdf file)