Growing Local Grant from Southern SARE

With funding from a multi-year Large Systems grant from Southern SARE (Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education), this project is looking at how and why local food system development can be a means of creating food system change in Western North Carolina and the Southern Appalachians. The project is guided by a theoretical framework that draws from the idea of food democracy and is conducting long term research with farmers, people that work in the food industry, community decision makers, and ordinary citizens. The project has identified indicators specific to food democratizing efforts, opportunities and barriers to local food from the perspectives of stakeholders operating in different places in the food system, and strategies “successful” farmers use to mitigate risk in local markets and improve farm viability. It has studied the implications of the food dollar for the economic impacts of localizing food systems and the transition from tobacco to food production.

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