Hosted by Colorado State University, with temporary funding from USDA/AMS and USDA/NIFA, and in collaboration with eXtension, the localfoodeconomics.com site is designed to provide a one-stop platform for cutting-edge information on local food research findings, benchmark data, and economic impact assessments.
The site was originally created in 2016 to showcase a new economic assessment tool for local food systems entitled The Economics of Local Food Systems: A Toolkit to Guide Community Discussions, Assessments and Choices. This seven-chapter document, co-authored by more than a dozen leading researchers and consultants on local food systems, was developed to enhance the capacity of community planners and stakeholders to make more accurate and credible measurements of economic activity accruing from local food system investments.
Designed to be usable by individuals at all levels of technical sophistication, the document provides guidance on how to:
- Engage community members in discussions on local food system priorities
- Determine appropriate and meaningful study parameters
- Find relevant secondary data and engage in cost-effective primary data collection
- Understand and produce meaningful economic multiplier and impact data on local food systems with input/output software
Since the site was launched, its scope has expanded beyond Toolkit-related economic impact materials to incorporate numerous aspects of current local/regional food research, including:
- Benchmarks for Local Food Data
- Tools for Farmers Market Data Collection, Analyses and Reporting
- Farm-to-School Research
- Community Supported Agriculture Research
- Rural-Urban Linkages