Other resources supporting data use

General Data User Guides

  • NTEN Getting Started With Data-Driven Decision Making: A Workbook Follow up to the 2012 State of Nonprofit Data report showing that although some organizations are relying heavily on data, a number were doing very little to actually measure their work or use that data to inform other decisions. This free workbook will help you answer questions like: What do you want to measure? Why do you want to measure it? What are your metrics? How do you communicate the results throughout your organization? How do you use data to plan?

Economic Impact Literature for NYS

The links below provide a only a brief sampling of some of the literature related to agriculture and food systems in New York State. For a more in-depth analysis, please refer to the Literature section of the Food Systems research guide. CCE Extension staff looking for research assistance at Cornell should refer to Mann Librarian Jim Morris-Knower's CCE Portal.

Food System Assessments


  • Food Works: A Vision to Improve NYS's Food System -Comprehensive plan for a more sustainable New York City food system—a ground-to-garbage approach. Provides a blueprint for addressing issues at every phase of the food system - from agricultural production, processing, distribution, consumption and post-consumption. The proposals focus on combating hunger and obesity to preserving regional farming and local food manufacturing to decreasing waste and energy usage.
  • Room at the Table:  Food System Assessment of Erie County (2011), University at Buffalo, Dept. of Urban and Regional Planning - an assessment of Erie County’s food system, the challenges and opportunities it offers to Erie County farmers, residents, and businesses, and recommends action for strengthening the county’s food system.
  • SCNY Food & Health Network Food System Assessment



New York State

  • A Spatial Analysis of the Capacity to Produce Food Closer to the Point of Consumption -Christian Peters, Cornell University dissertation 2007 (available to Cornell patrons from Proquest dissertations and theses)
  • A Spatial Model for Evaluating the Capacity to Localize Food Production -Christian J. Peters, Nelson L. Bills, Arthur J. Lembo, Jennifer L. Wilkins, and Gary W. Fick. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems: 24(1); 72–84
  • Syracuse Community Geography works in partnership with community-based organizations and university affiliates to map and spatially analyze topics of concern to Central New York communities. SCG provides access to maps, spatial datasets and community profiles created with and for local community partners.
  • Testing a complete-diet model for estimating the land resource requirements of food consumption and agricultural carrying capacity: The New York State example. Peters, C.J., J.L. Wilkins, and G.W. Fick. 2007. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems 22(2): 145-153.


  • Mapping potential foodsheds in Iowa: A system optimization modeling approach -Linear programming tools are used to gauge regional potential for local diversified agriculture required to meet the dietary needs of the population.
  • PolicyLink connects the work of people on the ground to the creation of sustainable communities of opportunity that offer access to quality jobs, affordable housing, good schools, transportation, and the benefits of healthy food and physical activity. Offers a variety of resources and tools, including Data & Maps related to Improving Access to Healthy Food.

Using US Census data for GIS/mapping

Other Models/Resources

  • Charting Growth: Sustainable Food Indicators is designed to develop indicators for sustainable community-based food systems (SCBFS), and to use these indicators to assess their current strength in the US and their growth.  The vision guiding this project was one of greater viability and number of food systems that provide access for all communities to a safe and healthy food supply, grown in a manner that protects the environment and adds social and economic value to rural and urban communities
  • Countywide Food Systems Studies template for measuring food system indicators in three California county foodsheds, developed by Gail Feenstra. In each report, the county's food system is analyzed and the most significant trends identified. The food system is described from three angles: agricultural production, distribution, and consumption. Within each section three questions are posed: 1) What are the trends?, 2) Why are these trends occurring?, and 3) Why are these trends important for the food system?
  • Economic Impact of Agriculture in Wisconsin Research from University of Wisconsin-Madison and UW-Extension shows how important agriculture is to that state's economy.
  • US Dept. Commerce Economic Development Administration is a primary agency for administering many community focused economic development grants.
    • Comprehensive Economic Development Strategies (CEDS) includes requirements for comprehensive economic development strategies (e.g., documenting regional cooperation, private-public partnerships, etc.).
    • EconData.Net is designed to help practitioners, researchers, students, and other data users quickly gain access to relevant state and substate socioeconomic data. The site aims to be a convenient, comprehensive first stop for anyone searching among the vast, disparate array of public and private data sources on the Web. EconData.Net is sponsored by the Economic Development Administration as a service to regional data users
  • WealthWorks approach emphasizes communities inventorying multiple forms of wealth generating capital, including intellectual, individual, social, natural, built, political, financial and cultural assets.
  • Whole Measures is a framework developed by Center for Whole Communities serving as a foundation for a highly integrated, whole systems approach that effectively embraces a wide variety of values such as social equity, biodiversity, human rights, ecosystem health, civic engagement, and economic vitality. The Center for Whole Communities offers other resources as well.