Food Systems Research
Because they are so complex and multi-faceted, food systems research can draw upon a wide variety of disciplines and resources. Systems based approaches are also sometimes used to model the complex social, economic and environmental dynamics of food systems.
The focus or perspective of inquiry can sometimes dictate the type of information or data needed. Narrowing your area of research may help guide the process. A number of subject specific Library Guides have been created by Cornell Library that may also be useful, including Agricultural Economics, Business Resources, Environmental Sciences, Human Ecology, International Agriculture & Rural Development, Nutrition & Food Science, Regional Economic Development and Social Sciences Resources. Mann Library also has a wider list of subject specific guides. Specific department liaisons from Mann Library are available for departmental assistance.
Information and data relating to local food systems can be gathered from a number of sources, including published journal articles, books, white papers, and government databases. Several of these sources are suggested below. Less scholarly sources such as blogs/web sites, newspapers, and popular magazines may also be useful. Resources related to assessing food security/food systems and spatial analysis & mapping can be found on the Community Development page, including those that engage stakeholders themselves as sources of knowledge and expertise.
To request further assistance related to local food systems research, please feel free to contact us at email@example.com. See our email reference policy for eligibility. Help is also available to Cornell patrons remotely or in person via the Ask a Librarian service.
- Data Sources (The Ag & Food Data Users Guide provides more information related to finding and using data, including assessing needs and assets, and program evaluation)
- Ag & Food Policy
- Grant/Funding Sources
- Online Discovery Tools & Repositories
- Curriculum/Educational Materials
- Training Programs
Here are some possible sources of literature related to local food systems, with links to Cornell catalog records or licensed databases provided for Cornell patrons. See the Cornell Library research help page for additional research assistance, including how to use the Cornell Library catalog to search for literature. To learn about our services & resources specifically available to Cornell Cooperative Extension staff, please visit our Information Portal for CCE.
Mann Library's borrowing page has information on borrowing policies and procedures, including those for Cornell alumni, NYS residents and Cooperative extension staff. Non-cornell researchers are encouraged to use their local public or university library for assistance. In many cases they may be able to acquire and provide materials for free through interlibrary loan services.
Articles are best found using a database which can search several sources at once (several are listed below in the database section), but these are some of the journals which frequently publish articles related to local food systems:
Agriculture and Human Values Journal of Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society. Promotes interdisciplinary research and scholarship in the broad areas of agriculture and rural studies. Encourages participation by the growing community of researchers and professionals exploring alternative visions of the food system, including regional food policies, community supported agriculture, and issues of local and global food security.
Choices An online peer-reviewed magazine published by the AAEA (Agricultural & Applied Economics Association) for readers interested in the policy and management of agriculture, the food industry, natural resources, rural communities, and the environment.
Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development (JAFSCD) Online publication focused on the practice and applied research interests of agriculture and food systems development professionals and scholars.
Journal of Extension Official refereed journal of the U.S. Cooperative Extension System.
Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition Peer-reviewed journal -studies the growing connection and interdependence between the environment, food, nutrition, and health.
Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems Original research and review articles on the economic, ecological, and environmental impacts of agriculture; the effective use of renewable resources and biodiversity in agro-ecosystems; and the technological and sociological implications of sustainable food systems.
- Sociologia Ruralis Covers a wide range of subjects, ranging from farming, natural resources and food systems to rural communities, rural identities and the restructuring of rurality.
Cornell subscribes to several databases for finding articles useful for your research. Here are some that are particularly relevant:
Academic Search Premier (EBSCO) Multi-disciplinary database provides full text for more than 4,600 journals, including full text for nearly 3,900 peer-reviewed titles. The same EBSCOhost interface can be used to search several other useful databases simultaneously, including Business Source Complete, Business Source Premier, Environment Index, GreenFILE, Historical Abstracts, Hospitality & Tourism Complete, Left Index, MEDLINE, Regional Business News, SocINDEX, and Urban Studies Abstracts.
AgEcon Search: Research in Agricultural and Applied Economics A database that indexes and electronically distributes full text reports of scholarly research in the field of agricultural and applied economics.
- Agricola The AGRICOLA (Agricultural Online Access) database contains bibliographic records of materials acquired by the National Agricultural Library (NAL) and cooperating institutions in the agricultural and related sciences.
- Agriculture Network Information Center (AgNIC) AgNIC facilitates and participates in partnerships and cooperation among institutions and organizations world-wide committed to the identification, delivery and preservation of reliable, freely-available, evaluated, digital content and quality services for agriculture, food, and natural resources information.
EconLit Produced by the American Economic Association, EconLit indexes books, journal articles, dissertations, and articles in books published since 1969. Subjects covered in EconLit include economic theory and history, fiscal theory, econometrics, agricultural economics, public finance, demography, monetary theory, international economics and others.
ERIC A Web-based digital library of free education-related sources of interest to educators, researchers, and the general public. Consists primarily of electronic bibliographic records describing journal and non-journal (whitepaper) literature .
Factiva Business related news & analysis
FAOSTAT Multilingual database currently containing over 1 million time-series and cross sectional data (numerical and graphical) relating to food and agriculture for some 200 countries. Provides international statistics in the following areas: Production, Trade, Food Balance Sheets, Food Aid Shipments, Fertilizer and Pesticides, and Land Use.
Lexis/Nexis Academic Universe Search popular media sources, legal cases, company filings and reports
Proquest Research Library Offers citation abstracts and full text scholarly articles in a arts, humanities and social sciences. Search multiple databases/sources at once, including ABI/INFORM, AMA, dissertations and newspapers. "Food System" theses quick links: Cornell theses, or all Proquest theses.
Sociological Abstracts (First Search) Provides access to the latest research in sociology and related disciplines in the social and behavioral sciences.
USDA Economics and Statistics System The USDA Economics, Statistics and Market Information System (ESMIS) is a collaborative project between Albert R. Mann Library at Cornell University and several agencies of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The system contains nearly 2500 reports and datasets. These materials cover U.S. and international agriculture and related topics.
Web of Knowledge Versatile database for finding, analyzing, and managing information from the world’s leading scholarly literature in the sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities. Simultaneous access to Food & Science Technology Abstracts, Biosis, CAB Abstracts, Medline and Web of Science.
Here is a list of materials that deal directly with local food systems from a variety of perspectives. Doing a Cornell Library catalog search will provide a wider offering of relevant books, including those that can be requested from other institutions via Borrow Direct or Interlibrary Loan.
- Cornell Library Catalog "Local Food" Keyword Phrase Search Variety of materials at Cornell and beyond relating to "local food". Use one of above databases to find wider range of articles.
- CaRDI Publications and Agriculture, Food and Community Development Resources
- NERCRD Local Foods Bibliography Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development annotated bibliography
- Agriculture at a Crossroads Report from International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development
- American Planning Association Food System Publications
- Bringing the food economy home : local alternatives to global agribusiness Helena Norberg-Hodge, Todd Merrifield, Steven Gorelick. Kumarian Press, 2002
- Building Local Food Networks : A Toolkit for Organizers - Ecotrust, Portland Oregon. (2007)
- Coming Home to Eat: The Pleasures and Politics of Local Foods, Gary Nabhan, Norton & Company (2002)
- Community Food Systems Resources, extensive bibliography from UC Davis Agriculture Sustainability Institute
- Community Food Systems: Toward a Common Language for Building Productive Partnerships. Gillespie, A. and Gillespie, G. (2000) Cornell Cooperative Extension
- Discovering Our Food System is an interdisciplinary, community-based exploration of the people and processes that shape our food system,
- Food for Thought: The Issues and Challenges of Food Security Series of online publications from British Columbia's Provincial Health Services Authority dealing wiyh regional food systems development and security.
- From Farm to Fork: A Guide to Building North Carolina's Sustainable Local Food Economy Publication from North Carolina Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS)
- Growing Home: A Guide to Reconnecting Agriculture, Food, and Communities, Green and Hilchey (2002) Cornell Community, Food, and Agriculture Program
- Inquiries Into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered Tasch, Woody (2010)
- Local and Regional Food Systems for Rural Futures Rural Policy Research Institute (RUPRI) Foundation paper.
- Local Food Systems: Concepts, Impacts, and Issues USDA Economic Research Report No. (ERR-97) 87 pp, May 2010
- Joel Salatin Publications, operator of Polyface Farm in Virginia, and noted proponent of ecological farming.
- The New Farmers’ Market: farm-fresh ideas for producers, managers & communities, Vance Corum, Marcie Rosenzweig, and Eric Gibson. New World Publ., 2001.
- The Omnivore's Dilemma and other publications from Michael Pollan, A leading voice for healthy sustainable food systems.
- Primer on Community Food Systems: Linking Food, Nutrition and Agriculture Publication by Nutrition and Horticulture staff at Cornell (PDF)
- Remaking the North American Food System : Strategies for Sustainability, edited by C. Clare Hinrichs and Thomas A. Lyson (2007)
- Re-Regionalizing the Food System Special edition of the Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society<(Volume 3, Number 2, July 2010)
- Scaling Up: Meeting the Demand for Local Food Report from Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems (CIAS) at Univ. of Wisconsin Madison and UW Extension profiling eleven enterprises active in local wholesale food supply chains.
- Sharing the Harvest : a Citizen’s Guide to Community Supported Agriculture, Elizabeth Henderson, Chelsea Green, 2007.
- Sustainability in the Food Industry edited by Cheryl Baldwin, 2009
- Sustainable Food Systems: Perspectives from the United States, Canada and the European Union Collection of articles in Journal of Hunger & Environmental Nutrition, Volume 3 Issue 2 & 3 2008.
Data Sources & Tools
This section provides a broad range of agriculture and food related data sources. The Ag & Food Data Users Guide provides more information related to finding and using data, including assessing needs and assets, and program evaluation. Refer to the Spatial Analysis & Mapping section for more specialized resources related to those needs. Search other Cornell LibGuides for additional sources of guidance in finding and using data related to agriculture, food and development.
New York State Data
- Appalachian Regional Commission compiles data, creates maps, and conducts research and evaluations on key economic, demographic, and quality of life factors that affect the current and future development prospects of the Appalachian Region. The most frequently requested reports, maps, and data are available online. Includes data for Southern Tier of NYS.
- Cornell Program on Applied Demographics, (PAD) offers a variety of resources based on demographic, social, economic and agricultural data, including maps, charts, and webinars.
- New York Agricultural and Food System Data -includes county and sub-county profiles providing details on current conditions, trends and projections. Profiles include agricultural information on Number of farms and land in farms, Farm Operator Characteristics, Types of crop, and Estimated acreage by crop.
- Cornell University Geospatial Information Repository (CUGIR) CUGIR provides geospatial data and metadata for New York State, with a special emphasis on agriculture, ecology, natural resources, and human-environment interactions. Includes Ag district, soils and demographic data. Most data requires the use of specialized GIS software (find more info on the Data Tools and Guide pages)
- Health Statistics -Wide range of data relating to health and disease in New York State.
- Kids’ Well-being Indicators Clearinghouse (KWIC) gather, plot, map and monitor New York State children’s health, education and well-being indicator data in order to improve outcomes for children and families.
- NYS Data Center -Source of economic and demographic data, tracking the trends of NY state, its businesses and people.
- NYS Department of Agriculture & Markets
- NYS Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Clearinghouse, operated by the NYS ITS GIS Program Office, was established to disseminate information about New York's Statewide GIS Coordination Program and to provide access to the New York State GIS Data and Metadata Repository.
- NY MarketMaker Interactive mapping system that locates businesses and markets of agricultural products in New York, providing an important link between producers and consumers.
- NYS Open Data Portal provides an extensive index of local, state and federal data in one place. Search for NYS datasets, charts, maps and other resources by location or keyword, including NYS "food", NYS "agriculture" or category, e.g. economic development.
- Producer/Market Listings in Mann Library's Food System guide.
- Statistical Yearbook (only available up to 2011) -Organized into chapters focusing on specific governmental functions or subjects, such as Business & Economic Indicators, Health & Human Services, and Agriculture. Each section includes “Highlight” information along with detailed tables. Most tables present data for the five boroughs of New York City and 57 counties outside NYC.
- VIEW - Vital Indicators for Enhancing Well-Being in NYS. Provides practical approach to thinking about data and indicators, where to find useful data in various subject areas, how to interpret data and change over time, and how to use this information strategically for decision-making purposes, with the ultimate goal of enhancing the well-being of New York State people and communities
- Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is the nation’s premier system of health-related telephone surveys that collect state data about U.S. residents regarding their health-related risk behaviors, chronic health conditions, and use of preventive services.
- Business Data Resources
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Data & Statistics, including diabetes and obesity
- Community Food Projects (CFP) Database -Maintained by WhyHunger, this database profiles all of the community-based organizations and projects supported through the Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program of the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture since 2000.
- Community Food Security Coalition sources of data for Community Food Assessments (CFA). Defunct site -archived page link provided.
- Community Profiles Offers tools for using community indicators to understand and tell stories about communities. Provides meaningful data and analysis on a wide range of topics
- County Health Rankings County-level data, including healthy food outlets. This database ranks each county within the 50 states according to its health outcomes and the multiple health factors that determine a county’s health. The county health rankings have an indicator under the “physical environment” section called access to healthy food. Links to other national and state level data are also provided.
- Cropland Data Layer (CDL) Crop specific digital data layers, suitable for use in geographic information systems (GIS) applications. Downloadable data sets from the USDA Geospatial Data Gateway. Interactive online CropScape mapping/query tool includes ability to analyze/extract county production acreage by year and crop, and export as spreadsheet.
- Databib is a tool for helping people identify and locate online repositories of research data. Users and bibliographers create and curate records that describe data repositories that users can search.
- DataFerrett -Developed and supported by the US Census Bureau, DataFerrett is a data analysis and extraction tool, allowing users to locate and repurpose federal, state, and local data to suit their requirements, including the creation of graphs or maps.
- Economic Profile System –Human Dimensions Toolkit Made freely available by Headwaters Economics, an independent, nonprofit research group, EPS-HDT is a free, easy-to-use software application that runs in Excel and produces detailed socioeconomic reports of communities, counties, states, and regions. It uses published statistics from a variety of U.S. federal data sources.
- Feeding America Food Bank Locator Use this tool to locate food banks by state and region
- Farmers Markets Geographic Coordinates (U.S.) USDA created Excel spreadsheet containing names, addresses and latitude and longitude coordinates for Farmers Markets in US.
- Food Policy Resource Database available from the Food Policy Networks Project at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF). Includes policies, how-to guides, case studies and more, as well as a directory of food policy councils (FPCs) in the U.S., Canada, and First Nations.
- GIS Data Sources List of Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) data sources, for spatial visualization and analysis. The Spatial Analysis section of this guide offers several examples of this type of application
- Growing Food Connections Policy Database A searchable collection of local public policies that explicitly support community food systems. Provides policymakers, government staff, and others interested in food policy with concrete examples of local public policies that have been adopted to address a range of food systems issues
- National Center for Health Statistics offers a variety of data by topic or geography.
- Progressive Agricultural Rankings New Leaf Associates [publishers of the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development (JAFSCD)], has created a tool for agriculture and food system practitioners to gauge how progressive their agricultural community is.
- SimplyMap Create maps using consumer demographics and market research (Cornell users only).
- SoilWeb: An Online Soil Survey Browser Online soil survey data services from UC Davis, including phone apps. Can be used to access NRCS-NCSS 1:24,000 scale detailed soil survey data (SSURGO) in many parts of the lower 48 states.
- US Bureau of Economic Analysis Data such as personal income for select counties/regions available, including:
- US Bureau of Labor Statistics Statistics such as food consumption estimates for the county/region giving a basic food budget for residents of a county/region.
- US Census
- American Factfinder Variety of demographic and some geographic data from the US Census.
- Bureau County Business Patterns Provides the number of establishments, number of employees, and payroll data by industry, (according to the 2007 North American Industry Classification System) within specific ZIP codes, metropolitan areas, and counties. This can be used to track the number of food retailers within specific geographic areas.
- Agricultural Research Service - ARS datasets.
- Census of Agriculture Farm and production characteristics data, including acreage devoted to agricultural, organic food production, value of commodities produced, and value of direct sales from farms to consumers. 2012 Census Ag Atlas Maps, NYS Census of Agriculture Data.
- Economic Research Service (ERS) Data Sets Primary source of economic information and research in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. ERS conducts a research program to inform public and private decision making on economic and policy issues involving food, farming, natural resources, and rural development.
- Mapping formats available on this site range from snapshot images to interactive mapping programs to downloadable spatial data in standard GIS file formats. Includes:
- Farm Program Atlas - Map county-level farm program and planted acreage data
- Food Access Research Atlas: Presents a spatial overview of food access indicators for low-income and other census tracts using different measures of supermarket accessibility; provides food access data for populations within census tracts; and offers census-tract-level data on food access that can be downloaded for community planning or research purposes.
- Food Environment Atlas -From ERS, assembles statistics on three broad categories of food environment factors: food choices, health and well-being and community characteristics. They can be queried and mapped interactively, for the US as a whole or for specific states/counties.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Data System Maps - Map selected variables from time-series data on county-level estimates of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participation and benefit levels
- Mapping formats available on this site range from snapshot images to interactive mapping programs to downloadable spatial data in standard GIS file formats. Includes:
- Economics, Statistics and Market Information System reports and datasets from the economics agencies of the USDA. Materials cover U.S. and international agriculture and related topics.
- Farm to School Census offers data at the national, state, and school district level
- Farmers Market Directory Designed to provide consumers with convenient access to information, including: market locations, directions, operating times, product offerings, accepted forms of payment, and more.
- Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) Public health agency responsible for ensuring nation's commercial supply of meat, poultry, and egg products is safe and correctly labeled and packaged. Provides Meat, Poultry and Egg Product Inspection Directory, a listing of establishments (with address and other contact information) that produce meat, poultry, and/or egg products regulated by FSIS, including slaughter facilities.
- Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass Map and data shows efforts supported by USDA and other federal partners, as well as related information on local and regional food systems for the years 2009-2012.
- National Agricultural Library
- National Agricultural Statistics Service Statistics and reports covering virtually every aspect of U.S. agriculture, including production and supplies of food and fiber, prices paid and received by farmers, farm labor and wages, farm finances, chemical use, and changes in the demographics of U.S. producers.
- agINFRA is a European Commission funded initiative that aims to design infrastructure facilitating the management and access to agricultural data of various types, from a variety of sources, enabling existing search tools and data collections to better connect their data.
- AgriProfiles (formerly known as AgriVIVO) is a search portal giving access to profiles of experts and organizations in the field of agriculture, bridging across separately hosted directories and online communities. .
- CEIC Data provides access to 1.2 million macro-economic time series and statistics from over 50 countries. The number and historical depth vary by country for the employment and labor-related series, but this is an incredibly rich database. In-depth data is available for China, India, and Russia. (Cornell Library Resource)
- CIARD Routemap to Information Nodes and Gateways (RING) is a global directory of web-based information services and datasets for agricultural research for development (ARD)
- Databib A tool for locating online repositories of research data
- EIU Data Services a comprehensive database of economic indicators with historical series, estimates and forecasts, covering 278 series for 117 countries, as well as 40 regional aggregates, over the period 1980 - 2005+ (Cornell Library Resource)
- Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) FAO has a decentralized statistical system and statistical activities (outlined here) cover the areas of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, land and water resources and use, climate, environment, population, gender, nutrition, poverty, rural development, education and health as well as many others. The Databases and Software page lists several resources, including CLIMWAT a climatic database to be used in combination with the computer program CROPWAT, allowing the calculation of crop water requirements, irrigation supply and irrigation scheduling for various crops. Other specialized resources include:
- Agricultural Development Assistance Mapping (ADAM) is a platform that gathers information from diverse databases about agricultural development needs, objectives, in-country activities, and funding modalities, and aggregates the data to generate customizable maps, matrices and charts.
- AGRIS a collaborative network of more than 150 institutions from 65 countries, maintained by FAO, promoting free access to agricultural information, including papers, data, statistics, and multimedia material.
- FAOSTAT provides time-series and cross sectional data relating to food and agriculture for some 200 countries. A national version, CountrySTAT, is being developed offering a facility to store data at the national and sub-national levels, and supporting two-way data exchange between countries and FAO.
- Global Agro-Ecological Zones (GAEZ) Data Portal has been designed to support sustainable management of natural resources for food and agriculture. It contains many features and capabilities including the ability to browse, query, visualize and download tabular and spatial datasets.
- Global Forum on Agricultural Research (GFAR) AR4D Information Gateway provides access to resources developed and maintained by Forum stakeholders and partners.
- Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition Though not a data source in itself, the GODAN initiative seeks to support global efforts to make agricultural and nutritionally relevant data available, accessible, and usable for unrestricted use worldwide. It focuses on building high-level policy and public and private institutional support for open data.
- International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) datasets
- Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) compiles a variety of statistical data.
- United Nations databases, including
- World Bank Research and Data National and international statistics, analysis, and advice on global trends in the world economy.
- World Bank Development Indicators Comprehensive database including 1,600 time series indicators for 217 economies and more than 40 country groups, with data for many indicators going back more than 50 years.
- KNMI Climate Explorer is a web application to analysis climate data statistically.
- US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
- World Bank climate data, including
- Climate Change Knowledge Portal (CCKP), a central hub of information, data and reports about climate change around the world.
- World Climate Data and Monitoring Programme (WCDMP)
Agriculture & Food Policy Related Information Sources
- Amercan Farmland Trust Local Food Program Extensive amount of local foods information
- Big Picture TV video archive offers video clips of leading experts, thinkers and activists in environmental and social sustainability.
- Community Food Security Coalition Now defunct, CFSC was dedicated to building strong, sustainable, local and food systems that ensure access to affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food to all people at all times. A list of CFSC resources is still available. Links to archive.org provided for access to archived documents
- Environmental Nutrition and Activity (ENACT) Local Policy Database is a searchable database designed to provide community advocates, health professionals, policymakers and those working in related fields with concrete examples of local-level policies that have been adopted and/or implemented to improve nutrition and physical activity environments.
- FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) including the following programs:
- Farm Foundation Provides objective policy analysis on the entire food chain from agricultural to consumer issues.
- Food First is focused on global hunger, poverty, and ecological degradation and developing solutions in partnership with movements working for social change.
- Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) works locally and globally at the intersection of policy and practice to ensure fair and sustainable food, farm and trade systems. Their Local Foods Program seeks to advance small- and medium-scale sustainable farming by expanding market opportunities, innovative partnerships and supportive policy change
- International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) International multi-stakeholder group of organizations. Purpose is to assess agricultural knowledge, science and technology (AKST) in order to use AKST more effectively to reduce hunger and poverty, improve rural livelihoods, and facilitate equitable, environmentally, socially and economically sustainable development. It will build and enhance local and regional capacity to design, implement and utilize scientific assessments.
- International Institute for Environment and Development has projects and resources related to food and agriculture
- International Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC) food and farming resources. Non-profit organisation concerned with the protection of both biological and cultural diversity. "Promoting locally based alternatives to the global consumer culture."
- Local Food Calculator Offered by CISA, this tool provides an estimate of the economic impact of buying local food in terms of jobs and other economic benefits (only for Western Mass right now).
- National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition local food systems page. Good list and descriptions of relevant government programs.
- New Venture Advisors Toolsite Includes MarketSizer® and HubSizer® tools useful for those starting a local food business or conducting a food system assessment who want to evaluate markets, and capabilities needed to address demand.
- Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development (NERCRD) Local food links/resources
- Oxfam -International confederation of organizations working together around the world to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice. Campaign areas include GROW, focused on food justice, and agriculture.
- Tisch Food Center, in the Program in Nutrition at Teachers College-Columbia University, cultivates research about connections between a just, sustainable food system and healthy eating, and translates it into recommendations and resources for educators, policy makers, and community advocates.
- Economic Research Service (ERS) Publications including the Community Food Security Assessment Kit
- Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food site. USDA-wide effort to create new economic opportunities by better connecting consumers with local producers.
- National Agricultural Library (NAL) Community Food Systems
- World Hunger Year (WHY) Food Security Learning Center Extensive amount of information related to food systems and security. Supported by Community Food Projects Competitive Grants Program of the USDA NIFA.
- Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability provides research funding for faculty, students and postdocs, often in partnership with other organizations. That includes funding for food security related research.
- Foundation Directory Online provides access to information about public and private foundations in the U.S., including profiles and links to foundation web sites. [Licensed database, use Cornell FDO log in link or Passkey to access off campus]
- Grant Forward (previously the Illinois Researcher Information Service [IRIS]), is a Web-based resource for funding opportunities. [Licensed database, use Cornell GF log in link, or Passkey to access off-campus.]
- Grants.gov A central storehouse for information on over 1,000 grant programs, providing access to approximately $500 billion in annual awards.
- Healthy Food Financing Initiative (HFFI) - America’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative is a public-private partnership administered by Reinvestment Fund on behalf of USDA Rural Development to improve access to healthy food in underserved areas.
- Kellogg Foundation grant funding
- Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) grants
- New York State Department of Ag and Markets funding opportunities
- New York State Grant Opportunities
- NYS Farm Viability Institute Farmer-led nonprofit group that awards grant funds for applied research and outreach education projects that help farms increase profits and provide models for other farms.
- US DHSS Office of Community Services (OCS) works in partnership with states, communities, and other agencies to provide a range of human and economic development services and activities which ameliorate the causes and characteristics of poverty and otherwise assist persons in need. See the Funding Opportunity Announcements page.
- US Small Business Administration Loans & Grants
Online Discovery Tools & Digital Repositories
- Mann Library Maintained Digital Collections (all freely available online)
- Core Historical Literature of Agriculture (CHLA) is a core electronic collection of agricultural texts published between the early nineteenth century and the middle to late twentieth century. Full-text materials cover agricultural economics, agricultural engineering, animal science, crops and their protection, food science,forestry, human nutrition, rural sociology, and soil science.
- Cornell eCommons Local and Regional Food Systems Collection -Materials produced by Cornell students, faculty, and staff pursuing studies, research or outreach work related or relevant to local and regional food systems. Some items may be restricted to select members of the Cornell Community.
- Cornell University Geospatial Information Repository (CUGIR) provides geospatial data and metadata covering New York State, from the collections of Mann Library, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the US Census and other federal, state and local agencies.
- The Hive and the Honey Bee offers a subset of the Phillips Beekeeping Collection at Mann Library, one of the largest and most complete apiculture libraries in the world.
- Home Economics Archive: Research, Tradition and History (HEARTH) is a core electronic collection of books and journals in Home Economics and related disciplines. Titles published between 1850 and 1950 were selected and ranked by teams of scholars for their great historical importance.
- locale collection contains conference proceedings and newsletters that have not been commercially published and therefore tend to be difficult to locate in print or electronic form.Focus is on materials of importance to the faculty, staff, and students of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) and the College of Human Ecology (CHE).
- USDA Economics, Statistics and Market Information System contains nearly 300 reports and datasets from the economics agencies of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. These materials cover U.S. and international agriculture and related topics.
- AgDevONLINE -Repository of tools and resources for agriculture and food system development practitioners, applied researchers, and students, maintained by the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development (JAFSCD). Includes
- Food System Wiki, a collaborative project administered by the JAFSCD. It aims to present a comprehensive guide to food systems and agricultural development–related terms, including scientific, political, and popular words, terms, and acronyms.
- Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC) Resources about sustainable food systems and practices in support of USDA's effort to ensure a sustainable future for agriculture and farmers.
- CGIAR Virtual Library From just one search engine, tap into leading agricultural information databases. Access research on agriculture, hunger, poverty, and the environment, including the online libraries of all the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) centers.
- Community Food Security Coalition Publications
- Cooperative Extension System Google Custom Search Tool -Search for educational content from multiple Cooperative Extension Systems and Land-Grant universities at once.
- Environmental Commons Local Food Resources
- FAO Document Repository -full-text electronic versions of FAO publications
- Farmland Preservation Literature from Farmland Information Center. Articles, books, fact sheets, technical memos, reports and studies.
Food and agricultural systems, and the movements which arise around them related to issues such as health, justice, security, and sustainability, represent a rich area of inquiry and insight. The following links provide resources for incorporating these topics into learning and discussion activities.
- Ag in the Classroom USDA Agriculture in the Classroom supports state programs by providing a network that seeks to improve agricultural literacy — awareness, knowledge, and appreciation — among PreK-12 teachers and their students.
- Community, Food & Agriculture Books & Films -Searchable list of materials related to food systems from Philip Howard, Assistant Professor, Michigan State University.
- Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) -Educational resources for teaching sustainable farming and gardening skills.
- Center for Ecoliteracy Variety of instructional tools to assist teachers as they plan and implement sustainable curriculum.
- Cloud Institute Curriculum Units, Courses & Design Tools
- Community Food Security Coalition resources, including Community Food Security 101, an interactive educational tool walking participants through the food system are available (from the now defunct CFSC via the Internet Archive).
- Cornell University Resources (just a sampling -others listed elsewhere in this guide)
- Discovering the Food System Experiential learning program for children created by Horticulture and Nutrition faculty at Cornell.
- Garden-Based Learning Program provides educators with inspiring, research-based gardening resources and professional development to support engaging, empowering, and relevant learning experiences for children, youth, adults, and communities.
- Edible Schoolyard (ESY) Program of the Chez Panisse Foundation (led by Alice Waters), with an organic garden and kitchen classroom for urban public school students in Berkeley, California.
- Farm Based Educators Association FBEA is a member organization established to strengthen and support the work of educators and administrators providing public access to their productive working farms. The FBEA website serves to connect farm-based educators, allowing them to share information and resources.
- Feeding Minds, Fighting Hunger is designed to help equip and encourage teachers, students and young people all over the world to actively participate in creating a world free from hunger. Materials offered for exploring the problems of hunger, malnutrition and food insecurity.
- FFA Educator Resources -(AKA Future Farmers of America)
- Food, Farming and Community resources Activity of the Michigan State University Museum that provides materials to build greater understanding about local food, and the importance of sustainable practices
- Food for Thought and Action: A Food Sovereignty Curriculum From Grassroots International
- Food, Land and People -Nonprofit organization committed to helping people of all ages understand the interrelationships amongst agriculture, the environment and peoples of the world. Offers science and social studies-based curricula from pre K-12 grade students in their Resources for Learning section.
- FoodSpan from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future is a free curriculum that empowers high school students to make healthy & responsible food choices.
- Food Project Toolbox -Books, manuals, activities and wide variety of curriculums available for free download from the Food Project, a national model for engaging young people in personal and social change through sustainable agriculture.
- Gardening with Kids Resource Catalog from National Gardening Association, offering plant-based curricula, horticultural information, and products that engage kids in active learning and exploration.
- GrowNYC educational resources
- Heifer International school resources for helping students learn about their world neighbors, hunger and poverty and sustainable development while inspiring them to help Heifer build a better world.
- Lesson Planet "Food System" lessons
- LifeLab School Garden Resources providing educators across the country with the inspiration and information necessary to engage young people in gardens and on farms.
- Lunchbox Project -Web portal helping schools and school districts to make a healthy difference for all children in America by providing information and tools necessary to make good food available for all kids.
- Northeast Beginning Farmers Project Resources including Videos, Guides & Handbooks, Beginning Farmer Articles, Farmer’s Bookshelf
- Nourish Initiative Media and Education initiative focused on opening a broad public conversation about our food system that encourages citizen engagement, particularly among young people and families.
- NY Coalition for Healthy Schools Resources to help schools educate children about good nutrition.
- Oxfam Educational Resources
- Project Look Sharp -is a media literacy initiative of Ithaca College that develops and provides lesson plans, media materials, training, and support for the effective integration of media literacy with critical thinking into classroom curricula at all education levels. Offers several food related materials, including those focused on sustainability and nutrition.
- School Lunch Initiative Learning resources, including Linking Food, Culture, Health, and the Environment Visual Guide.
- Spoons Across America Develops and supports food- and nutrition-based educational programs for children.
- Sustainable Agriculture Education Association (SAEA) Promotes and supports the development, application, research, and exchange of best teaching and learning practices in sustainable agriculture education and curricula through communication, training, development, and collaborative activities for teachers and learners.
- Sustainable Agriculture Education and Training Directory -Compiled by the Alternative Farming Systems Information Center (AFSIC) at the National Agricultural Library, this directory offers current information on training and educational opportunities in sustainable agriculture.
- Sustainable Table teacher resources.
- Tisch Food Center at Columbia University produces curricula independently and in collaboration with nonprofit food and nutrition education programs that engage children in exploring food systems, food choice, and personal health.
- Vermont Food Education Every Day (FEED), a Vermont Farm to School program, offers resources and courses supporting integration of food and wellness programs into instruction, programming and policy.
- Yes! Magazine offers a range of inspiring curriculum materials and articles related to food, local economies and sustainability. YES! Tools, colorful posters, charts, quizzes, and facts to capture student interest, include Everybody Eats: How a Community Food System Works.
- Northeast Beginning Farmers Project Online Courses Courses are open to anyone, but some content is NY State specific.
- Center for Organic and Sustainable Agriculture (COSA) at Alfred State College Serving students, faculty, and the community through education, research, and demonstration of organic and sustainable farming practices.
- Farm-Based Educational Programs from Groundswell. Provides experiential learning opportunities with real working farms and food businesses in the Ithaca area. Collaborates with area schools, colleges and universities offering programs of study for beginning farmers, students, community members, and professionals.
- Meat Processing and Food Safety Certificate Program at SUNY Cobleskill. Program participants learn food safety and sanitation guidelines and obtain a basic understanding of the steps involved in livestock processing from slaughtering to retail cut.
ListServs and RSS Feeds
Email listservs are a great way to follow and engage in discussions focused on a particular topic. They generally offer options for receiving postings as individuals messages or compiled daily/weekly "digests". The following listservs offer food systems related information (please note that not all of these may still be active at this time):
- Buy Local NY Yahoo Group Group for anyone interested in growing, processing, distributing, selling, promoting or enjoying New York foods.
- Comfood/Comfood Jobs Email lists created to link individuals and organizations across the US involved with or interested in community food security.
- Cornell Small Ruminant Marketing Listserv aims to assist in the marketing of sheep and goats and the discussion of marketing topics and events. Join by sending email to srmarketing-Lfirstname.lastname@example.org with a subject of “JOIN”.
- Groundswell News about groups activities helping youth and adult learners develop the skills and knowledge they need to build sustainable local food systems.
- LivestockProcessing-L Facilitating communication among interested livestock farmers, small scale processors, extension staff, and agency representatives in New York and bordering states. Join by sending email to livestockprocessing-Lemail@example.com with a subject of “JOIN”.
- NEFOOD sponsored by NESAWG Northeast Sustainable Agriculture Working Group.
- New World Agriculture & Ecology Group A Cornell organization that analyzes the problems of contemporary agriculture and ecology in order to develop and implement alternatives.
- NNY Local and Regional Foods Regional list serve designed to help producers, consumers, and communities across northern NY work together to achieve local and regional food goals.
- NY Farm to School Listserv dedicated to facilitating communication among those working on Farm to School in New York State. Regular postings include policy updates, funding opportunities, publication announcements, news articles, upcoming events, and requests for information/assistance.
- Rochester Farm Connection Yahoo Group Online community of consumers and local/sustainable farmers within 100 miles of Rochester NY.
- Small Farms News Resource for farmers and agricultural service providers in New York, provided by Cornell’s Small Farms Program.
Subscribing to RSS Feeds is another convenient way to get updates from websites, twitter feeds and Facebook pages.