Investigating the economic sustainability of distribution channels for the urban farmer and consumer in food insecure neighborhoods

Project Overview

FNC18-1127
Project Type: Farmer/Rancher
Funds awarded in 2018: $7,498.00
Projected End Date: 11/28/2020
Grant Recipient: Dirt Beast Farm
Region: North Central
State: Missouri
Project Coordinator:
Jameson Hubbard
Dirt Beast Farm LLC

Commodities

Not commodity specific

Practices

  • Education and Training: farmer to farmer, networking, participatory research
  • Farm Business Management: farmers' markets/farm stands, market study
  • Sustainable Communities: community services, ethnic differences/cultural and demographic change, infrastructure analysis, local and regional food systems, public participation, public policy, social networks, urban agriculture, values-based supply chains

    Summary:

    Like many urban farms, Dirt Beast Farm is located in a low income neighborhood.  Many farms operate in the Ivanhoe neighborhood, and each farm has its own unique method of supplying their produce to their neighbors.  While Ivanhoe neighborhood has more farms than most other neighborhoods in Kansas City, MO, access to the produce grown can be limited due to a number of reasons.  We will identify the most common concerns that our neighbors have when it comes to accessing fresh produce, and how neighborhood farmers can meet those concerns.  In order to do this, we will be conducting surveys, distributed to our Ivanhoe neighbors, and follow up these surveys with one-on-one discussions with a number of our neighbors.  Afterwards, we will interview farmers in the neighborhood, as well as nonprofit leaders, and discuss the topics brought up in the surveys and conversations.  From this we will present our findings so that they can be used as a case study by other urban farmers, suggesting ways to increase access to urban grown produce in low income neighborhoods. We plan to employ a number of these suggestions on our farm, and report on the effectiveness of the suggestions in the coming years.

    Project objectives:

    1. Identify boundaries between the local food market and low income Ivanhoe residents.
    2. Determine, through research and direct engagement, what causes these boundaries to exist.
    3. Identify and explain possible ways to create local food access, taking into account these boundaries and the reasons for them.
    4. Compile one document, workshopped with neighbors and urban farmers on our findings investigating the economic sustainability of distribution channels for the urban farmer and consumer in food insecure neighborhoods.
    5. Share our findings using social media, website, and presentations.
    6. Determine the likelihood of urban farmers and policymakers adopting these methods.
    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.