Regional Food Systems Infrastructure

Posted on: October 5th, 2011 by Kathy Nothstine

Regional Food Systems Infrastructure (PDF)

Regional Food Systems Infrastructure (PDF)

Many regional development organizations (RDOs) and councils of governments are exploring how they can support regional food systems infrastructure. In recent years, an emphasis on eating locally grown food has flourished as many Americans have sought to direct more of their food-purchasing budget to producers located closer to home. However, significant barriers prevent small and mid-sized farmers and ranchers from connecting with the expanding base of consumers who seek locally grown food. Many regions lack the transportation and distribution network required to support area producers.

This report (PDF), published by the NADO Research Foundation in December 2010, describes the role of RDOs in supporting regional farmers, processors and distributors. Promoting small- and mid-size agricultural operations offers numerous benefits to a region, including sustained economic development, protection for regional farmland and rural landscapes, and reduced vehicle miles traveled (VMT) and greenhouse gas emissions. By developing partnerships with area farmers and other stakeholders, RDOs can help to develop regional food systems infrastructure that will support economic development initiatives and other program goals.

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