Year of Publication


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Agriculture, Food and Environment


Agricultural Economics

First Advisor

Dr. Timothy Woods


This dissertation consists of three essays: In the first essay, we utilize a Principal Component Analysis (PCA) to measure the residents’ perceptions of the local food system performance. Local food system (LFS) components are classified into related measures that may help explain the overall performance scores provided. LFS performance measures are explored across 15 different communities in the U.S. South. The second essay explores the awareness and performance differences toward farmers markets, including the markets themselves and the corresponding local food product quality, product diversity, and markets infrastructure across different age-range groups and community sizes in Southern states. Finally, in the third essay, we use the nationwide consumer survey data collected in Fall 2020 and cluster analysis to specify consumer segments profiled by food values and demographic variables to measure their changes in dollars spent on Food-at-Home and Direct-to-Consumer market channels during the pandemic.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

Funding Information

Part of this study was supported by the United States Department of Agriculture USDA-NIFA project in 2018.