Local Government, Planning & Agriculture Policy
Local government, business groups, and economic developers have begun to consider the potential value that agricultural resources can bring to a community. Local and regional planning and policy can play a major role in the capacity to develop strong local food systems by reducing zoning and policy barriers and providing tools to support communities in their endeavors.
North Carolina Planning Tools & Resources
- NEW Agricultural Economic Development Infographics for all NC Counties . N.C. Cooperative Extension, Center for Environmental Farming Systems, and NC Farm Link, 2019. County and statewide agriculture infographics comparing 2012 and 2017 USDA Agriculture Census Data.
- A Government Guide on Building Local Food Economies. Edmonds, Emily and Rebecca Dunning. N.C. Cooperative Extension & NC Growing Together, Center for Environmental Farming Systems, 2016.
- Local Food Economies Initiative: Research, Case Studies, and Other Tools. Center for Environmental Farming Systems, 2016.
- From Farm to Fork: A Guide to Building North Carolina’s Sustainable Local Food Economy. Center for Environmental Farming Systems, 2010.
- Guidebook on Local Planning for Healthy Communities
NC Department of Commerce, Division of Community Assistance, 2013
Chapter 5 – Access to Healthy Food includes content on local food and related topics.
- Health Impact Assessment Tool
Developed by Eat Smart Move More NC, “Health Impact Assessment is a process used to identify how a project, policy or program might influence health.”
- UNC-School of Government has resources related to local government and local food. Search the linked site for “local food.”
- Local & Regional Food Councils
Article on Local Food Policy Councils as Community Development Strategy
- North Carolina Guide to Incorporating Health Considerations into Comprehensive Plans
Toolkit developed by Eat Smart, Move More North Carolina to support communities planning around health and community food systems.
Other Planning Related Resources
Recommended Professional Resources: Many leading local government and small business development organizations have conducted their own research into the impacts and strategies of local food system development.
- Johns Hopkins University’s Center for a Livable Future has a number of food policy initiatives. A 2016 webinar, “The How and Why of Local Government Support for Food Systems,” showcased regional and county government efforts in Santa Fe County, the City of Baltimore, and the Lewiston-Auburn Council of Government in Maine. Download a copy of the presentation, or check out CLF’s website for additional resources.
- ATTRA: The National Center for Appropriate Technology’s Sustainable Agriculture division maintains a web resource center for urban agriculture. In July 2016, they published Agrihoods: Development Supported Agriculture, which explores examples of agrihoods around the country and their development premise and challenges. Access the publication.
- Croatan Institute: Croatan Institute, an independent institute for advanced social and environmental research and engagement based in Durham, researches a variety of topics including local food economies. Their July 2016 publication explores place-based impact investing in Southern rural value chains. Access the publication.
- Engaging Community Planners and Local Elected Officials with Local Food Systems Producers to Integrate Local Food Systems into Community Plans and Policies, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Bulletins.
- Introduction and Overview: Engaging Community Planners and Local Elected Officials with Local Food Systems Producers to Integrate Local Food Systems into Community Plans and Policies, Bulletin SP415A
- The Intersection of Local Food Systems and the Agricultural Exemption to Iowa County Zoning, Bulletin SP415B
- Smart Growth and Local Food Systems, Bulletin SP415C
- Local Food Systems and Economic Development, Bulletin SP415D
- Growing Local Food Systems: A case study series on the role of local governments
Case study series developed by Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems and Internatiolal City/County Management Association showcases local government innovation in food system development. Includes case studies on Catawba County, NC; Decatur, GA; Tomshaw, Maine; Washtenaw County and Ann Arbor, Michigan.
- From the Ground Up: Land Use Policies to Protect and Promote Farmers’ Markets
ChangeLab Solutions, 2013
- Growing Food Connections
A USDA NIFA funded project led by University of Buffalo focused on The enhancing “community food security while ensuring sustainable and economically viable agriculture and food production. This requires, in part, removing public policy barriers and deploying innovative public policy tools by building capacity of local governments.”
- Policy Guide on Community and Regional Food Planning
Document of the American Planning Association, for planners, that provides, first, facts and trends about how the food system impacts localities and regions, and second, organization policies providing concrete ways in which food issues may be incorporated into current planning activities, providing for more systematic and comprehensive community and regional food planning. 2007.