- Agronomic: corn, potatoes
- Fruits: apples, berries (other), berries (cranberries), melons, pears, berries (strawberries)
- Vegetables: asparagus, beans, beets, broccoli, cabbages, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cucurbits, eggplant, garlic, greens (leafy), onions, parsnips, peas (culinary), peppers, rutabagas, sweet corn, tomatoes, turnips, brussel sprouts
- Additional Plants: herbs
- Animals: bees, bovine, poultry, sheep, swine, fish
- Animal Products: dairy
- Miscellaneous: mushrooms
- Education and Training: demonstration, extension, networking
- Farm Business Management: marketing management, market study, value added
- Sustainable Communities: infrastructure analysis, new business opportunities, partnerships, urban/rural integration
The College Food Project sought to understand the opportunities and barriers to marketing local and sustainable farm products to colleges and universities and develop marketing linkages between such institutions and local farms. Barriers such as liability issues, convenience, cost, and lack of consumer demand do exist. However, where there is demand and committed food service personnel, barriers can be overcome. Self-run food services appear to have more flexibility to buy from local farms than contracted food services and marketing cooperatives or local distributors make local buying more convenient for both buyers and farmers. The project generated or increased local buying at six institutions and helped over 25 growers or marketing cooperatives sell to institutions. At many institutions, however, real and perceived barriers kept both interested and disinterested food service directors from local buying.
Project objectives:div style="margin-left:1em;">
1. Evaluate the opportunities and barriers for increased utilization of local, sustainable agricultural products by analyzing the preferences, buying practices, and protocols of colleges and university food purchasing decision-makers.
2. Explore the practices and policies of food service distributors to evaluate the opportunities and barriers they present for increased sourcing of local and sustainable food products.
3. Explore and evaluate strategies for working with students, faculty, and alumni to increase demand for local, sustainable food products within a small private college and a large public university.