This report features four case studies highlighting various forms of local government support for food systems in Catawba County, NC; Decatur, GA; Topsham, ME and Washtenaw County-Ann Arbor, MI. Lessons learned may be helpful to those interested in working within or with their local governments on marketing, coordination, policy and funding for food system activities.
The presentations in this session from American Farmland Trust's Farmland, Food and Livable Communities Conference discuss the exciting work being done In both rural and urban communities around the country to connect federal nutrition program participants directly with local farmers. These efforts boost farm sales, keep food dollars circulating in local economies and improve low-income consumers' access to healthful food.
The Land Connection trains farmers in resilient, restorative farming techniques; informs the public about the sources of our food and why that matters; and works to protect and enhance farmland so that we, and generations to come, will have clean air and water, fertile soil, and healthy, delicious food.
The Land Connection’s classified section is a place to help find a farmer for your land, or find farmland to launch your farm business. This section can also help you find a mentor or intern.
Over the last several years, natural resource researchers and managers are using new computer modeling tools to understand the role that protecting tree canopy plays in protecting water quality. What they have found is that trees and the canopy that their leaves create are important to protecting water quality, even if the trees are not next to a lake, river or stream. Trees and forests serve watersheds by preventing erosion, filtering contaminants before they enter a waterway, absorbing rainfall and snow melt, recharging aquifers, and slowing storm water runoff.
The Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service offers Land Link-Up, an online list where those seeking land to farm and farmland owners can post descriptions of farmland sought and of farmland for rent/sale along with contact information.
The Farm Beginnings program of the Land Stewardship Project (LSP) provides the Seeking Farmers-Seeking Land Clearinghouse. Those seeking farmland or farmers complete an online application. The information is then posted online for 90 days and circulated by LSP through its publications and partner networks.
In 2012, the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) and the International City/County Management Association (ICMA) conducted a comprehensive national survey on local governments’ food-related activities. The survey captured the presence of foodrelated policies and programs, and various funding sources, plans, partnerships and coordination efforts supporting them. The responses from nearly 2,000 municipalities and counties provide insight into how local governments understand and engage with local and regional food systems.
The C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems at MSU began in January 2003 as a vehicle to promote community engagement and scholarly activity focused on community-based food systems. The C.S. Mott Group seeks to help those working to bring fresh food to limited resource families or maintain your family farm; considering a move to pasture-based farming or investigating a way to enter farming; starting a farmers’ market or looking to add local food to your school lunch program; interested in sustainable agriculture or puzzling about ways food is part of community.
To provide comprehensive assistance to beginning and established food entrepreneurs thus promoting sustainable economic development of rural communities. The Center offers services, outreach and research development opportunities in four critical areas: business and product process development, product safety, process/product technology transfer and product commercialization.
This special report, See the Local Difference, provides a tour of the emerging good food system in Michigan: How it is taking shape, what it contributes, and how local and state leaders can pitch in to both accelerate and make the most of it.
Part I covers the economic opportunities that flow from supporting and advancing local and regional food systems. Part II provides a map of the programs and policies on the pathway leading to good food and a more durable prosperity for Michigan.
There are no standard definitions of what constitutes "local" food amidst a burgeoning local food promotion and policy-development movement. Nonetheless, government policies are rapidly evolving to promote local food production. For most states, anything produced or processed in-state is considered local. In other instances, a 250 or even a 500 mile perimeter constitutes an acceptable boundary justifying a local food territory for policy making purposes or purchasing preferences.
The Michigan Good Food Charter presents a vision for Michigan’s food and agriculture system to advance its current contribution to the economy, protect our natural resource base, improve residents’ health and help generations of Michigan youth to thrive. The charter outlines a sequence of steps to take over the next decade to move toward these goals.
Provides for innovation and greater flexibility in the design of residential developments in order to preserve open space, agricultural lands, and other natural resources.
This statute provides for the coordination and development of farm-to-school procurement processes, provides for certain powers and duties for the departments of education and agriculture, and provides for the dissemination of certain information to schools and farm product producers.
A model easement used by the state of Michigan's purchase of agricultural conservation easements program.
This law enables a local purchase of agricultural conservation easement program.
This Community Food Profile is intended to give readers a better sense of how producing, processing, distributing, retailing, preparing and eating food influence and interconnect a community’s economic, ecological and social wellbeing.
In actualizing its mission of “supporting a healthy future where sustainable Michigan
farms feed Michigan people and Michigan people support these farms”, the CS Mott
Group for Sustainable Food Systems at Michigan State University (Mott Group)
partners with community groups, policy makers, researchers, growers and consumers
to innovate and catalyze a food system that demonstrates access equity, health
promotion, and sustainable practices with local vibrancy. As one of its first statewide
A model easement used by Barry County, Michigan.
For the past 20 years, we have heard a great deal about Community Supported Agriculture as a novel marketing and community-building concept. The accepted history of Community Supported Agriculture in the United States is that Jan VanderTuin brought the concept from Switzerland in 1984. CSA projects had been sprouting up there and in other parts of Europe since the 1960s. Such enterprises also were found in Japan in the 1960s when women’s neighborhood groups began approaching farmers to develop direct, cooperative relationships between producers and consumers, known as ‘teikei.’
Creates reniassance zones to foster economic opportunities in state.
A comprehensive plan adopted by Peninsula Township, Michigan.
Alpine Charter Township utilizes a sliding scale approach to agricultural zoning. This zoning law controls the number of permitted parcel divisions for non-farm dwellings but does not control maximum lot sizes.
Environmental issues are a major concern for U.S. agricultural producers. All across the country, farmers are taking inventory of their operations in an effort to identify and correct farming practices that have the potential to degrade land and water resources. The desire to farm more responsibly has caused a revolution of sorts in many agricultural communities, with farmers adopting environmentally friendly techniques at an unprecedented rate. This trend toward a renewed environmental responsibility is commonly referred to as sustainable agriculture.
Voters approved 66 percent of state and local ballot measures that included funding for farm and ranch land protection in November’s elections. Although the number is down from 2000, it still demonstrates continued, strong support for land conservation throughout the country.
Michigan's Public Act 116 was the first program to use income tax credits in conjunction with restrictive agreements in an attempt to retain agricultural land and provide farmers with needed tax relief. Questions have been raised about whether the program, now in its fifth year (1979), has met the protection objective. A preliminary analysis of participants by township and county indicates that enrollment under P.A. 116 has occurred primarily in rural areas that are not affected much by demographic and urban factors.
Farmland protection programs start with a good idea, but how do they become reality? This report documents how farmers and other citizens in Peninsula Township, Michigan, designed and built support for a purchase of agricultural conservation easement program. Includes information on PACE, details on the design of Peninsula Township's program and sample documents.