Streaming Media

Start Date

7-3-2022 12:00 AM

End Date

8-3-2022 12:00 AM

Abstract

Alarmed by farmland conversion, growing food insecurity, and increasingly threatened resources, multi-stakeholder groups endeavor to improve access to fresh food and protect farmland’s multiple community benefits. To inform the allocation of scarce resources needed to sustain local food production, this transdisciplinary action research investigated farm-level resilience within a fragmented county context. What will be needed to retain and enhance local food production capacity for the long term? Iterative analytical approaches utilized multiple data sources framed by agroecological resilience principles. Immersion in the local food movement, as a researcher, consumer, educator, and farmer advocate, offered ample participant observation opportunities across the Portland-Vancouver Metropolitan Region. Primary data also included semi-structured interviews and farming system assessments on 23 farms and two farmer-only roundtables. Analysis of public data compiled from multiple sources documented the high rate of farm turnover, a steady loss of agricultural capacity across all operational scales, and data insufficiencies. While direct-to-consumer (DTC) markets and supportive institutions strive to improve farm viability in urban regions, even DTC farms are only marginally resilient, at best. My dissertation research found an urgent need to redesign local policies, public institutions, and support networks in accordance with stated farmer needs. A pandemic-response assessment informs the next phase of collaborative action research by centering grassroots-led solutions forwarded by Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities. How does equitable food-oriented development, aligned with BIPOC food sovereignty goals, serve to advance agroecological resilience and food system justice in metropolitan regions?

Subjects

Economics, Environmental policy, Land/watershed management

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Mar 7th, 12:00 AM Mar 8th, 12:00 AM

Centering farmers’ perspectives in assessing the resilience of food farming in rapidly urbanizing regions

Alarmed by farmland conversion, growing food insecurity, and increasingly threatened resources, multi-stakeholder groups endeavor to improve access to fresh food and protect farmland’s multiple community benefits. To inform the allocation of scarce resources needed to sustain local food production, this transdisciplinary action research investigated farm-level resilience within a fragmented county context. What will be needed to retain and enhance local food production capacity for the long term? Iterative analytical approaches utilized multiple data sources framed by agroecological resilience principles. Immersion in the local food movement, as a researcher, consumer, educator, and farmer advocate, offered ample participant observation opportunities across the Portland-Vancouver Metropolitan Region. Primary data also included semi-structured interviews and farming system assessments on 23 farms and two farmer-only roundtables. Analysis of public data compiled from multiple sources documented the high rate of farm turnover, a steady loss of agricultural capacity across all operational scales, and data insufficiencies. While direct-to-consumer (DTC) markets and supportive institutions strive to improve farm viability in urban regions, even DTC farms are only marginally resilient, at best. My dissertation research found an urgent need to redesign local policies, public institutions, and support networks in accordance with stated farmer needs. A pandemic-response assessment informs the next phase of collaborative action research by centering grassroots-led solutions forwarded by Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) communities. How does equitable food-oriented development, aligned with BIPOC food sovereignty goals, serve to advance agroecological resilience and food system justice in metropolitan regions?