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JAFSCD is pleased to have the support of four leading North American university programs focused on food systems in publishing the journal.


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See details about each of our sponsor's programs at right.


We also appreciate the support of
our fiscal sponsor, the Center for
Transformative Action
(an affiliate of Cornell University).


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Sponsors Support the Expansion of JAFSCD

Ithaca, NY, December 17, 2013 -- The Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development (JAFSCD) is pleased to announce the support of four leading North American university programs focused on food systems. The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future; the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia; the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University; and the Food Systems Initiative at the University of Vermont have joined together to underwrite the expansion of the journal through a three-year commitment.  

JAFSCD is published by the Thomas A. Lyson Center for Civic Agriculture and Food Systems (the Lyson Center), a program of the Center for Transformative Action, a nonprofit organization affiliated with Cornell University. It publishes four issues a year and is online only.


JAFSCD was founded in 2010 to fill the gap in the applied research literature on farming and food systems–based community development, such as regional food value chains, urban food systems, farmland protection, and food sovereignty. The journal focuses on public policy, research, and practice in food systems work, and emphasizes “accessible scholarship” that maximizes its usefulness in the transdisciplinary field of food systems. Authors include scholars across many academic fields, as well as food systems development practitioners such as educators, activists, and nonprofit and public agency staff. It is currently licensed by academic and institutional libraries around the world and is available free to libraries in less-developed countries.


The four financial sponsors join the Center for Transformative Action (which provides administrative support) in helping JAFSCD not only expand its global reach, but also expand its impact. The journal nurtures early-career authors, provides editorial assistance to non-native English authors, and, seeking to be a meaningful source of change in food systems development, recently published over 20 open-access commentaries from around the world on food systems research priorities for the next 5 years. With the support of its sponsors, the journal expects to not only expand its current distribution, but also launch new value-added activities such as producing policy and practice briefs (two-page summaries of published papers that are immediately useful in the field). Also on the drawing board is a “Senior Corps of Researchers and Educators” to leverage the talents of retired faculty and researchers in working with select limited-resource organizations in conducting program evaluations and publishing the results in JAFSCD.


“We are pushing the boundaries of what it is to be a journal,” says editor-in-chief Duncan Hilchey. “We take great pride in contributing to the nascent literature on food systems, and publishing the very practical work of the growing number of researchers and writers in the field. But we want to take this to an entirely new level, and this will begin to happen now that we have the right partners in place to do it.”


For more information on JAFSCD, the Lyson Center, the Center for Transformative Action, and the journal’s four sponsors, click their logos to the left.


Emails for those involved with JAFSCD:


CLF-Logo-Print_Under-2-5in-Hi-RGB-Stacked-TrimmedJohns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

Baltimore, Maryland, USA


Founded in 1996, the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF) is an interdisciplinary academic center dedicated to conducting research on food security problems, educating students from all walks of life, and advocating for evidence-based reforms. Based within the Bloomberg School of Public Health, the CLF works with faculty, staff, and students throughout Johns Hopkins University to harness the expertise available in a wide range of disciplines and collaborations.


CLF-Concept-ModelA leader in research, education, policy, and advocacy, the CLF serves as a critical resource for advocates, policymakers, educators, and students. Its core programs integrate research, education, policy, and outreach in four program areas linked to public health: food production, food communities, food system sustainability, and food system policy. The Center's work is driven by the certainty that we must understand the connections among all four program areas in order to fulfill the right to food.

The CLF explores these interrelationships — and works to improve those systems to assure food security for present and future generations. In a truly livable future, all the systems that sustain us operate synergistically and in balance to support the goals of human and ecosystem health, equity, and resilience.


For more information, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , associate director, Center for a Livable Future.

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kpu-mark-drop-sig_RGBKwantlen Polytechnic University's Institute for Sustainable Food Systems

Surrey, British Columbia, Canada


Sustainable Food Systems programs at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) are focused on the advancement of regional food systems through integrated education, applied research, and outreach. Collaborations with community, industry and scholars are an integral component of research and education efforts tackling economic, social, and environmental questions of sustainability.

KPU imageThrough classes, practical training, community engagement, and research projects our Bachelor of Applied Science in Food Systems degree uniquely integrates the science and art of agroecosystem management with deep exploration of the many human and ecological dimensions of food systems. Our outreach programming, exemplified by the KPU Farm Schools, engages and supports people, organizations, community, and industry, striving to advance regional agriculture and food systems.


The Institute for Sustainable Food Systems constitutes the program's research arm. A diverse and dynamic team of agriculturists, economists, ecologists, Indigenous food system specialists, planners, community health specialists, and social scientists pushes the boundaries of food systems research through multifaceted community and regional projects in western Canada. Applied research engages students, community, and the food and farming sector at all stages — forging powerful, effective partnerships in discovery and learning.


Through a truly multidisciplinary, integrated approach KPU's Sustainable Food Systems programs are committed to advancing sustainable food systems as an integral and foundational element of sustainable humanity.


For more information, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , director of the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems.

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Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture logoLeopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

Ames, Iowa, USA


The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture is a research center located on the Iowa State University campus. Its work is focused in four initiatives: ecology; marketing and food systems; policy; and a cross-cutting program aimed at multidisciplinary systems. Each initiative funds competitive grants to support activities such as research, educational programs, outreach, and demonstrations.

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The Leopold Center has a national reputation for its local and regional food systems work as well as development of production, cropping, and marketing systems to supply local products. In 2011, the Center developed the Iowa Local Food and Farm Plan, a statewide blueprint to enhance opportunities for local foods systems.


Created by the 1987 Iowa Groundwater Protection Act to identify and reduce negative environmental and social impacts of farming and develop new ways to farm profitably while conserving natural resources, the Center's primary funding comes from state appropriations and fees on nitrogen fertilizer and pesticides.


The Center is named for Aldo Leopold (1887–1948), a Burlington, Iowa, native known internationally as a conservationist, ecologist, and educator. His famous articulation of a "land ethic" was outlined in his 1949 book of essays, A Sand County Almanac.


Research reports, publications and online tools are at the LCSA website. For more information, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with Marketing and Food Systems Initiative Research Program at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture.

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UVM LogoUniversity of Vermont's Food Systems Initiative

Burlington, Vermont, USA


The University of Vermont (UVM) is a public land-grant university with a longstanding commitment to teaching and learning about food systems through academic programs, applied research, and community education and collaboration. UVM faculty from across the campus interact with students and communities through the Food Systems Initiative on issues as far-ranging and relevant as the ethics of eating, the consumption of energy, the impact of behavior and culture, and the sustainable production of food, UVMstudents2as well as other food systems issues facing our world today. Our faculty work with students both domestically and internationally to understand current issues and develop models for our future food system.

UVM offers a comprehensive range of degrees, including interdisciplinary programs for both undergraduate and graduate students though a Food Systems Minor and a Food Systems Master's Program. UVM students are on the cutting edge of food systems innovation in the perfect small, regional food systems testing ground — Vermont.


For more information, contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , University of Vermont Food Systems Initiative.


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Last Updated on Tuesday, April 26 2016 11:33

Banner photos include a Cape Cod cranberry bog; a cranberry “screen house” used to grade fresh cranberries; farmland near Lake Placid, NY, in the Adirondack Mountains; Montmorency cherry trees on the Mission Peninsula of northern Michigan; the historic Round Barn in the South Mountain Apple Belt of Adams County, Pennsylvania; the “Sea of Grapes” district of the Lake Erie Concord Grape Belt, near Erie, Penn; a field of cabbages near Shortsville, NY, home to one of the world’s largest sauerkraut factories. All photos copyright by Duncan Hilchey.


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