CONNECTING COLORADO’S FOOD SYSTEM

80% of the population lives in cities. Their purchasing power has a
BIG impact on the food that is grown and raised. Watch video:

Source: Hoffman Farms

OUR RESEARCH QUESTION

What types of urban food policies, programs, and initiatives support farmers, ranchers, regional commmunities and economies?

OUR APPROACH

DATA AND MODEL

We are concomitantly using the best available data from multiple disciplines to populate a model, and working with community partners to ensure accuracy of our approach and usability of results.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT

Though data can tells an important part of a story, it is only through working with stakeholders that we can validate data, identify gaps, and ensure that recommendations are implemented.

MODELING APPROACH

Our model uses an agent-based approach which allows for the simulation of complex systems, and the emergent behavior that may result from the autonomous actions of agents with each other and with their environment. In this case, integrating economic data, social decision making factors, biophysical crop data, and life cycle analysis allows us to model complex rural to urban food chains across several Colorado commodities. In focusing on rural-urban linkages, this model allows us to simulate a variety of potential changes to the Denver food policy environment, and to observe any resulting effects or feedbacks throughout various stages of the supply chain, from school purchasing decisions to potential changes in producer planting regimes, which may effect environmental outcomes include soil health and CO2 emissions.

REGIONAL PARTNERSHIPS

Choices urban decision makers make regarding food policies have impacts along the supply chain (including to farmers and ranchers) on the environment and to rural communities and economies. Accordingly, our team has worked closely with four Colorado commodities (supply chains and regions) to understand if and how farmers and ranchers respond to existing urban food policies; and secondly, how supply chains, the environment, communities and economies are impacted.

Photo courtesy of Mark Rose

FOOD POLICIES

People across the U.S. are increasingly concerned about where their food comes from and how it was grown and raised. As part of this interest, cities, municipalities and states are increasingly leveraging their buying power to create policies that embed their values into procurement decisions. As part of this research, we are working to understand the impacts, or potential tradeoffs, associated with these food policies.

OUR FUNDERS AND PARTNERS

QUESTIONS?

Contact us by email and we’d be happy to answer any questions you have about our rural-urban connection efforts!

Copyright © 2020 CSU Food Systems