Healthy Policy

Food Systems

Food Systems Briefs

The Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development now offers briefs of select scholarly papers

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New Resource for Beginning Farmers

USDA now offers in depth information on conservation, land and capital, and management tools for new farmers

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Farm to Food Bank Study

A new study identifies key barriers to and successful strategies for connecting local farms and food banks

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Food Expenditure Data

Check out this map showing how much each country spends on food per capita

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Community Food Production, Processing and Marketing

More and more people are engaging in their local food system by becoming food producers themselves (e.g., by gardening or raising animals such as chickens), or by choosing to purchase more local foods. In addition to growing or raising foods, processing these foods into value-added products and then promoting these products are important steps towards a stronger food system.

Read on for tools and resources for how communities across Colorado and the country are increasing local food for local consumption – whether through backyard gardening, agriculture on public open space, or developing regional kitchens and food hubs.

Community gardens and urban farms are booming both on public and private lands across Colorado.  They take a variety of forms, from small backyard gardens to large networks of farms that focus on local, direct markets for fresh produce. Season extension tools extend the production season, and land share programs guarantee that productive land and skills are passed down through the generations. Read more.

Small- to mid- sized food producers can increase their income and market presence by processing their food into value-added products.  Mainstream processing can be beyond the reach of many producers because of prohibitive costs.  Community kitchens and food hubs support the production of these value-added products with minimal overhead costs. Read more.

Promoting locally- or regionally- produced food keeps small producers competitive and taps into the burgeoning direct market for fresh and unique food.  Local food coalitions and marketing help producers create and maintain an ongoing relationship with customers. Read more.

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