NC State Extension

Economic Development

Local government, business groups, and economic developers have begun to consider the potential value that agricultural resources can bring to a community. A healthy local food economy — one where multiple and various sizes of entrepreneurial agricultural businesses profitably produce and trade production resources and consumer products within a community — can maintain rural character and working lands, create jobs for rural residents, and spark a culture of business entrepreneurship for activities as various as value-added agri-foods to agritourism. Community members are often eager to work together to support farmers markets and other local businesses, as well as organize and volunteer at farm tours, community and school gardens, and agricultural heritage events, and communities are beginning to see the economic impact of a strong local food economy.

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North Carolina Resources

“Thriving local economies form decisions that ensure the well-being of future generations. They account for hidden costs in decision-making and work to build systems that regenerate output (wastes) into input (resources). Thriving local economies may utilize decentralized, participatory, and democratic processes designed to be informed by diverse community members and based upon a community’s assets.” (Whole Measures for Community Food Systems)

National Resources

Written By

Photo of Joanna LelekacsJoanna LelekacsExtension Local Food Flagship Program Manager (919) 515-1195 joanna_lelekacs@ncsu.eduANR/CRD - NC State University
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