2017 USDA Census of Agriculture Released: What it tells us about WNC agriculture

On April 11 the 2017 USDA Census of Agriculture database was released. The Census of Agriculture is the most comprehensive and consistent source of data available regarding farm businesses, farmland, and farmers, down to the county level. It is released every five years and consists of over six million data points about agriculture. The Census … Read more

Local Food, Food Democracy, and Food Hubs

Read LFRC’s recently published article, which looks at how and why local food system building in particular can be a means of changing the food system. This article was published in the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development. Abstract: In western North Carolina, where we and others have been working to build local food … Read more

Food System Asset Mapping Project

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Beginning in 2012, the Land of Sky Regional Council, ASAP, and UNC Asheville’s National Environmental Modeling and Analysis Center started working on a collaborative project to better understand what communities need to foster successful and sustainable local food system growth. Our findings provide a replicable model, though the stories told within these pages have a  focus in Western North Carolina, specifically in the counties of Buncombe, Henderson, Haywood, Madison, and Transylvania.

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WNC County Snapshots

These easy-to-read food system snapshots bring together relevant county-level information on food production, health statistics, food retail, and more.  Use the image map to discover vital local food and farm statistics for your county. CLICK ON A COUNTY on the map below or click a county name on the list at the bottom of this … Read more

CONNECT Our Future

Beginning in 2013 Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP), Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS), and Carolina Farm Stewardship Association (CFSA) partnered with the Centralina Council of Governments and the Catawba Regional Council of Governments to support CONNECT Our Future, a three-year initiative funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development … Read more

Climate Change on Your Plate

Guest Post By Laura Lengnick
May 15, 2014

An unprecedented July heat wave in California in 2006 causes the death of 70,000 poultry and more than 25,000 dairy cows.  Farmers across the Southeast suffer widespread losses during severe drought conditions in 2007. High rainfall in June 2008 causes massive flooding throughout the Midwest. Arkansas and Louisiana farmers sustain crop losses of over $1 billion dollars during Mississippi River flooding in the spring and summer of 2011. A late spring freeze following an unusually warm spring makes 2012 the worst year ever recorded for Michigan fruit growers. Record high beef prices in 2013 follow historic drought in Texas cattle country. In spring 2014, for the first time in the state’s history, California vegetable and fruit growers learn that they will get no water from Federal or State water projects as water supplies dwindle due to warmer winters and a continuing drought. Is this normal weather variability, or are we experiencing a taste of the game changing power of climate change?

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2012 Census of Agriculture Documents Local Food Growth in WNC

Local food sales in the Appalachian counties of Western North Carolina have grown significantly in the last five years. The 2012 Census of Agriculture, released on May 2, shows that direct sales alone have increased by nearly 70% in the region, from under $5 million in 2007 to over $8 million in 2012. The 2012 Census of Agriculture also shows that the region has reversed a disturbing trend in loss of farm acres, actually adding over 10,000 acres between 2007 and 2012 while the rest of North Carolina and the country lost farmland.

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At What Cost? Food Hubs, Walmart, and Local Food

By Charlie Jackson and Allison Perrett
March 26, 2014

It is generally recognized that we have big problems with our food system. Industry and government policies and practices are concealed in an anonymous and largely unsustainable global economic system that degrades individual and community health, harms the environment, and is failing to sustain our farms and communities. In this pervasive global system, the effects of our food choices are hidden, and we are unable to see our impacts as consumers and citizens.

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