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A list of our resources. Use the search box in the upper right corner, below the banner logo for the site to find specific resources.

PDF Knowledge Guide to USDA Funding for Local and Regional Food Systems
This guide begins with a general overview of the USDA’s structure, followed by descriptions and details of fifteen grants and programs that are relevant to local and regional food systems development. Each program description also includes a case study of a real-world regional food system project that received program funding.
PDF Knowledge Healthy Food Systems: A Toolkit for Building Value Chains
This toolkit is designed to help new and emerging healthy food system value chain efforts. While it draws heavily from the experience of Appalachian Sustainable Development, including particularly its Appalachian Harvest network, it also includes ideas, challenges and insights from other value chain and food system initiatives, both within Appalachia and other parts of the country. The toolkit is intended to be a hands-on resource which can help spur new thinking, help refine plans, and perhaps help guide implementation of new and emerging food system initiatives.
PDF Knowledge Ready to Grow: A Plan for Increasing Illinois Fruit and Vegetable Production
The demand for locally grown fruits and vegetables in Illinois far outstrips supply and a new Action Plan and Feasibility Study released by FamilyFarmed.org gives strong recommendations on remedies. “Buying local is the hottest trend in the food industry right now and Illinois is taking strides to capitalize on this movement,” says Jim Slama, president of FamilyFarmed.org. “This report describes the opportunity in this niche and spells out concrete steps that need to happen in order to take local fruit and vegetable production and sales to the next level.” The fourteen buyers interviewed for this report repeatedly stated that their demand for Illinois-grown fruits and vegetables far surpasses available supply and if they could, they would purchase over $23 million in Illinois-grown produce on an annual basis.
PDF Knowledge Local Food System Assessment for Northern Virginia
The study assesses the feasibility of building a successful fruit and vegetable aggregation and distribution system in the Northern Virginia agricultural crescent around Washington D.C. that contributes local and regional products into the existing wholesale commercial food system. The intended outcome is to encourage the development of a local food system in Northern Virginia by offering a roadmap and insight to those embarking on the business development process.
PDF Knowledge Good Natured Family Farms Meat Processing Plant
Niche Meat Processor Assistance Network analysis of the Good Natured Family Farms meat processing plant, including business plan, marketing, plant design, and more.
PDF Knowledge Regional Food Hubs: Linking producers to new markets
Regional Food Hubs: Definition & Core Components; Two Food Hub Examples (Urban and Rural); Current Research and Lessons Learned; Maps of Existing and Potential Food Hubs; USDA’s Role -KYF2 Work Plan
PDF Knowledge How Do They Differ: Co-ops, C-Corps, LLCs, Non Profits, L3Cs, CMGs
A summary of the similarities and differences in the different legal structures available to businesses. A slide presentation created by Stephanie M. Smith, Senior Legal Adviser for Cooperative Programs, USDA Rural Development.
PDF Knowledge Sysco’s Journey from Supply Chain to Value Chain: 2008-2009 Final Report
Results and lessons learned from the National Good Food Network / Sysco Corporation pilot project to source and sell good food.
PDF Knowledge NGFN Food Safety FAQ
Last updated 21 October 2009. A primer on the intersection between food safety and policy.
PDF Knowledge Guiding Principles: A Value-Chain Partnership Charter
This document lays out Guiding Principles intended to outline a common line of action to provide healthy produce and other good food from sustainable farms into local and regional food service distribution. The document is intended to be signed by grower, aggregator and distributor in a value chain trust relationship.
PDF Knowledge Developing your pricing plan
A four-part series (here combined into one document) describing how to develop a pricing plan. A pricing plan can help you determine accurate production costs for each of your products, set selling prices that cover your costs AND make you a profit, convince your customers to pay that price, expand your customer base, and increase your peace of mind.
PDF Knowledge A New Kind of Middleman
A new kind of middleman is helping small farmers get their produce into larger stores—without sacrificing quality or income.
PDF Knowledge Innovative Model: Small Grower and Retailer Collaborations
How a network of small farms united under a common brand to supply a chain of grocery stores with a competitive range of local products. This is the case study from the cooperative's (Good Natured Family Farms’) perspective.
PDF Knowledge See the Local Difference: Regional Food Systems Become Essential Ingredient for Michigan's Future
Provides a tour of the emerging good food system in Michigan: How it is taking shape, what it contributes, and how local and state leaders can pitch in to both accelerate and make the most of it. Part I covers the economic opportunities that flow from supporting and advancing local and regional food systems. Part II provides a map of the programs and policies on the pathway leading to good food and a more durable prosperity for Michigan.
PDF Knowledge Northwest Michigan's Farm Factor: Economic Impacts, Challenges, and Opportunities
This report documents the economic impact of agriculture in a six-county region of Michigan’s northwest Lower Peninsula, explores opportunities for improving farm profitability as a means of maintaining the economic and other benefits associated with agriculture, and describes the resources available in the region to exploit these opportunities.
PDF Knowledge Are We About to Lose the Agriculture of the Middle?
This white paper discusses the comparative advantage of mid-sized farms to implement innovative production and marketing systems in order to supply significant quantities of food into new food chains.
PDF Knowledge Agriculture of the Middle
This presentation outlines the bifurcation of the American food systems, value chains, what can be learned from existing regional value chains, and developing an Ag-of-the-Middle Initiative.
PDF Knowledge A Pig's Tale: Marketing Stories for New Value Chains
This speech explores whether niche markets promise advantages to producers, if they can be expanded to provide opportunities for more producers, and if they are sustainable.
PDF Knowledge Ecolabel Value Assessment Phase 2: Consumer and Food Business Perceptions of Local Foods
This report discusses the results of the second phase of a pilot project studying ecolabels and consumer perceptions of locally grown foods. Study objectives included identification and analysis of consumer perceptions of "freshness" in food labels and how much of their food is grown in their state; determination of the market appeal of the term "grown locally"; and the strength of the term "family farm" and how and where food is grown from a consumer perspective.
PDF Knowledge Institutional buying models and local food markets: The Iowa experience
This paper provides a brief overview of several models of institutional food buying projects in Iowa and critical factors that make these systems work - both from the producer and food service director perspectives. The paper concludes with how the integration of community, marketing, profitability, and policy has increased the success of Iowa institutional buying projects.
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