Donate E-News Signup Contact Site Map Search

Sign-up for our e-newsletters!

Challenges in obesity, diet related diseases, hunger, rising energy costs, a growing population, dwindling water supplies and a changing climate require our attention, and it is our responsibility to lead the way for an advanced 21st century food supply." — California Department of Food & Agriculture
Keeping Farmers on the Land
  Print This Page

Assessing foodsheds and food systems

We're identifying the opportunities and barriers through demonstration projects to expand infrastructure and market opportunities to improve farm viability through local and regional food systems.

Farmer holding tomatoesPlanting the Seeds: Moving to More Local Food in Western Washington

The report, Planting the Seeds, considers why local food matters and analyzes four ways western Washington might be able to develop a more local food supply. These include: bringing land back into food production, increasing yields on active farmland, reducing food waste, and changing people’s diets. For each of these options, what would be involved, the likely impact at various levels of implementation, and the financial, environmental, and social/political costs is examined.

Farmer and son feed a dairy cowNew England Milkshed Assessment

New England’s 1,700 milk-producing farms anchor the region’s agricultural land base and economy.  As New England strives to create a more resilient food system, grow profitable farm and food enterprises and retain its working farms and forests, new research from the New England Milkshed Assessment sheds light on the health and future of this keystone sector.

Woman in brocolli fieldSan Francisco Foodshed Assessment

Our San Francisco Foodshed Assessment, Think Globally – Eat Locally, examines the challenges and opportunities for production and consumption of local food in the nation’s most abundant foodshed. The report includes recommendations on how San Francisco and neighboring communities can take better advantage of food grown in the region.

Learn More About the Issue

Rows of lettuce on a farmSeeking Opportunities to Improve Farm Viability

Consumer demand for healthy, local food presents an important opportunity to support economic development for rural communities as well as farmers and ranchers. A recent Iowa State University study, Measuring the Economic Impacts of Increased Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Production in Iowa Considering Metropolitan Demand [PDF], found that if farmers in a six state region produced sufficient quantities of 28 crops to meet local demand, it would spur $882 million in sales, more than 9,300 jobs and about $395 million in labor income.

Vermont's Farm to Plate Strategic Plan

Deleware Valley Regional Planning Commission: Greater Philadelphia Food System Study


American Farmland Trust