Posts By Andrew Burger
The advent and growth of farmers markets has been a tremendous boon to farmers and consumers interested in supporting community and sustainable agriculture. But sustainable ag and food producers as well as suppliers stand to benefit to an even greater degree by tapping into the food industry’s well-established network of distributors, grocery stores and food chains, according to researchers at Ohio State University.
Director of the Northeast Regional Center for Rural Development and Penn State professor of agricultural and regional economics, Stephan Goetz, will lead a five-year, $5 million project to study if and how greater reliance on regionally produced foods could improve availability and affordability for disadvantaged communities and others.
Cleveland and other ‘post-industrial’ North American cities have the potential to produce all of the fresh produce and other food items they need, and taking steps to realize that goal would bring numerous and substantial benefits, according to research conducted by Ohio State University’s Center for Urban Environment and Economic Development (CUEED).
Aiming to determine just how much food could be produced in Cleveland, Wooster professor of entomology and the director of the CUEED, Parwinder Grewal, worked with the Cleveland City Planning Commission to obtain information on the amount of vacant land and the total rooftop surface area of industrial and commercial buildings. He also searched for published data on the productivity of fruits and vegetables in urban settings.
The University of California at Davis’ Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP) and Verliant Energy Partners plan to build a network of sustainable solution centers to address urgent issues related to agriculture and food systems, the partners announced on September 1.
The four regional Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SARE) centers are accepting grant proposals that aim to further advance research into and the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices in the US. To be awarded in early 2012, the grants will be evaluated on a competitive basis as part of a new, $10 million Federal-State Matching Grant SARE Program that was created as part of the federal government’s 2012 proposed fiscal year budget.