There is an increasing array of land-grant, nonprofit, and other academic programs intended to support the development of food system enterprises and programs. However, research to track consumers' evolving preferences and behaviors within these systems and to measure the intended policy outcomes of any public investments in these systems is lagging. This research commentary represents a compilation of opinions and insights from those who are interested in exploring research priorities for economic, marketing, and supply-chain aspects of local food systems. The priorities that emerge are framed in the following way: (1) opportunities for increased and more targeted research to help identify gaps in the literature; (2) areas where current localized research projects could be leveraged and scaled up to the national level; and (3) innovative projects and partnerships that are evolving to bridge both knowledge and systems gaps.
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The authors wish to acknowledge a number of USDA NIFA Grants, collaborations with USDA Economic Research Service and Agricultural Marketing Service colleagues for projects and discussions that informed this commentary and funding support from each of their state Agricultural Experiment Stations and Extension programs.
Thilmany, Dawn; Conner, David; Curtis, Kynda R.; Liang, Chyi-lyi Kathleen; Mulik, Kranti; O'Hara, Jeffrey; Sullins, Martha; and Woods, Timothy A., "Researching Market and Supply-Chain Opportunities for Local Foods Systems: Setting Priorities and Identifying Linkages" (2013). Agricultural Economics Faculty Publications. 24.