What We’re Working on Now
The Santa Barbara Food Action Plan is the ongoing product of a community coalition of food system and health organizations facilitated by Ag Innovations that lays out the community's strategies and actions that will lead to a better food system for all. Ag Innovations is utilizing its decade-plus experience in other California counties in facilitating and producing such a community road map for food sytstem health.
What We’re Thinking
Taking A More Holistic Approach to Food Hub Feasibility: Reducing Risk Through Collaborative Process
In this 3-part series, Ag Innovations is examining food hub feasibility in a non-traditional way. This series weaves together insights from a growing body of food systems research and experience in food hub development. In our first post Efficacy of Food Hubs, we shared the USDA’s current definition of a food hub, and then we called for practitioners to expand their thinking about feasibility to include a more holistic assessment to consider how food hub projects affect the entirety of a food system in a specific area. In this second post in this 3-part series, we examine how incorporating collaborative process into food hub planning development can reduce business risk.
Taking A More Holistic Approach to Food Hub Feasibility: A 3-Part Blog Series
Evidence shows food hubs can play a role in solving complex problems in our food system. Food hubs are relatively new on the scene – we’ve only been studying, experimenting, and talking about them for less than a decade – which means they present a lot of opportunity for creating resilient regional food systems. Building sustainable models and understanding a food hub’s true viability requires a feasibility study that takes a holistic approach.Read More
Nationally Recognized Food Systems Leader Joins Ag Innovations
Ag Innovations is pleased to announce that Lucy Norris has joined our team as our Regional Food Systems Program Director. Lucy joins us after eight years in Seattle where she was most recently the Director of Marketing for Northwest Agriculture Business Center. She collaborated with farmers, businesses, and partner organizations to develop the Puget Sound Food Hub to increase farm sales, reduce costs and waste, address regulatory requirements, improve food safety standards, and increase access to locally produced foods.Read More
"Growing Our Farms," A Local Food System Forum
“Growing Our Farms” was a forum, hosted by the Sonoma County Food System Alliance's Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee, to share resources and forge new partnerships between landowners, land seekers, and support organizations working to improve land availability for local food production. Held on April 23, 2015, the event drew in more than 150 diverse food and farming interests to collaborate on strategies to strengthen local food systems.Read More
What We’ve Done
California Food System Alliance Project
The Alliance project has been Ag Innovations' main project since the founding of the original county Alliance in Ventura County in 1999. At one time or another, as many as 12 different counties in California have had a local Alliance organized and facilitated by Ag Innovations.
Making Good Food Work Conference
Michigan State University’s Center for Regional Food Systems (CRFS) hired Ag Innovations to design and facilitate their 2011 three-day participatory conference and idea incubation laboratory towards solving food-based challenges faced by underserved communities in the Detroit area.
San Diego Community Food Project
Ag Innovations served as an evaluation consultant for the Community Food Project of the International Rescue Committee in San Diego in 2011-2012, assisting in evaluation efforts and supporting integration of participant feedback.
Sonoma County Food System Alliance: Growing Our Farms Forum
Growing Our Farms was a forum to share resources and forge new partnerships between landowners, land seekers, and support organizations working to improve land availability for local food production.View »
2014 Salon Series: Finding Higher Ground
Joseph McIntyre, President of Ag Innovations, discusses how to move collaborations to action. Part of Ag Innovations' 'Salon Series' targeted to bring resources to leaders and food system advocates.View »
2014 Salon Series: Food Action Plans
Is your community or organization working to create a unified vision for your county's food system? Join Ag Innovations as we divulge the details of our Sonoma County Food Action Plan, a product of the Sonoma County Food System Alliance. The plan is one of few of its kind in the country, providing a roadmap for a more sustainable food system across sectors.View »