Growing Local - Phase III

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2017: $300,000.00
Projected End Date: 08/31/2021
Grant Recipient: Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project (ASAP)
Region: Southern
State: North Carolina
Principal Investigator:
Charlie Jackson
Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project

Information Products


Not commodity specific


  • Farm Business Management: farmers' markets/farm stands
  • Sustainable Communities: local and regional food systems

    Proposal abstract:

    Over the course of this research project, we have developed and tested a theory centered on the idea that substantive food system change relies on broader food system participation and a process that provides people with ways to engage with food and agriculture in meaningful ways. Within this theoretical farming, research questions have asked how the activities of local food system building are shaping the contours of the region's food system and what impact specific kinds of strategies and actions are having.

    Phase III will continue to monitor changes in the region's food and farming system. In contract to Phase II, which studied the impact of farmers market experiences on participants and their role in building a base of local food and farm supporters, Phase III will quantify the larger economic impact of farmers markets and look more closely at the relationship of farmers markets to larger local food system building dynamics.

    Project objectives from proposal:

    A significant focus of Phase III will be on the dissemination of research findings to key audiences.

    • Conduct farmers market research to quantify the economic impact and develop a model that communities can use to create vibrant farmers markets that support the economic viability of farms.
    • Conduct an analysis of the 2017 USDA Census of Agriculture.
    • Conduct in-depth interviews with participants of the 10-member farmer panel.
    • Conduct interviews with the attendees of local food and farm events.
    • Conduct broad surveys with farmers and food system buyers.
    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.