The recent issue of Choices, the online magazine of the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, features an impressive selection of articles on local food worthy of your attention.Â In particular, the final article on regional food systems by Kate Clancy and Kathryn Ruhf is particularly relevant to our efforts.Â In it, theyÂ explore the differences between ‘local’ from ‘regional’ as it pertains to food systems. They also examine how a regional viewpoint is often preferable when attempting to address environmental and economic sustainability.
The challenges of scaling up local food systems were in the national news in the past few weeks.Â NPR broadcast a segment on the challenges connecting small- and mid-sized growers with the institutions who want to buy their products.Â Â Featured were Wisconsin’s own Sauk Prairie Memorial Hospital and their recent partnership with Local Dirt.Â The two organizations were brought together by Dane County’s Institutional Food Market Coalition.
Speaking of the IFMC, the organization is hosting its annual meeting on May 19 at the Alliance Center in Madison.Â The theme is “Local Food Delivers: Which Distributor is Right for You?”.Â Here’s the agenda.
Although there’s no Driftless point of view represented, the New York Times recently hosted an online commentary on “Making It Easier to Eat Local Food.” It’s nice to know that what we’re engaged in is attracting national attention.
On a housekeeping note, we hope to start adding more partner organizations and events to the calendar in the days ahead.Â If you are hosting an event that might be of value to folks throughout the region, please email us and let us know.Â We’d be happy to share your work.