The Regional Economic Development Potential and Constraints to Local Foods Development in the Midwest
This paper looks at practical limits to local foods production and consumption in the Upper Midwest. It presumes that local foods production makes the most sense, and has the greatest profit potential, in relatively close proximity to dense urban demand. The research demonstrates methods for determining county-level fresh fruit and vegetable production potentials for the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indian, and Iowa in light of the distribution of metropolitan areas with 250,000 residents or more within or nearby the region. It also estimates the farm production-related total economic values that would accumulate were local foods production goals achieved in the region using input-output modeling tools. A state-only analysis was also conducted for Iowa using smaller metropolitan areas and a shorter viable distance-to-market threshold to apply the larger studyâ€™s insights in a manner that might guide state-level decision making. The research can be useful for helping to inform state policy developments as well as the location and extent of Cooperative Extension and other types of state and local services and production assistance designed to bolster or further investigate this emerging rural development topic.
|Date of creation:||30 Mar 2011|
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