Applied research is any research that is used to answer a specific question, determine why something failed or succeeded, solve a specific, pragmatic problem, or to gain better understanding. It is applying knowledge to practice — by putting research into use for the benefit of society.
Accessible scholarship is a writing style that is engaging, has a minimum of jargon, and uses the active voice. It is the preferred writing style for the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development. The active voice is where the subject of a sentence is performing the action, rather than being the target of the action. For example, "Grower cooperatives with 25 or more members participated in the survey" (active voice) would be preferred over "The survey was administered to a group of cooperatives with 25 or more members" (passive voice). Naturally, there may be instances when the passive voice may be preferred. An excellent overview of the use of the active and passive voices is available from The Writing Center, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
A critical reflection essay is an article that might have a more popular journalistic style, but has much deeper substance than a typical trade journal article. Reflective essays can take the form of a best practice or post-mortem case study, a policy commentary or position paper, or even a thoughtful proposal for a new strategy, technique, or approach. A reflective essay is still a type of scholarship and high standards of objectivity and quality are expected.
A practitioner in JAFSCD terminology is an individual whose paid or volunteer work is related in part or in whole to the progressive development and sustainability of the food system. Practitioners include the staff of governmental and nongovernmental agencies, consulting firms and other businesses, and educational institutions. They are planners, outreach specialist, trainers, program managers, associates, directors, interns, producers, citizen activists, and many others with direct program work in the field agriculture, food systems, and community development.
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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