Terms and Dates:

  • Summer 2018


Todd Schmit

Cornell Affiliations:

Cornell Cooperative Extension


Opportunity Description

CCE Chemung and CCE Tioga are planning to implement the Community Food System Development Framework for Change developed by Amanda Philyaw Perez, MPH, DrPH of Arkansas University, which she presented at the joint national conference of the Community Development Society and the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals in June 2017.

This framework looks at the food system as a whole, breaking it down into the four major areas of production, coordination, markets and consumption. It provides a comprehensive approach for local communities to assess and document what exists, to identify gaps, and to learn about current options and resources, which are critical steps in developing improvement strategies and potential grant proposals. NYS and the Southern Tier Regional Economic Development Council have identified our food system as a priority area for improvement. We believe that this framework will help us do a better job of identifying and implementing extension programs that will strengthen the local food system. If our pilot project is successful, we see this as a model for other county associations and/or our state extension system. It will improve our overall extension program development, help position us as a leader in community food systems, and identify potential local and regional projects to submit for funding.

In addition, since we have permission to do the pilot from the author and from the Director of the Cornell Small Farms Program, this project will strengthen our connections and working relationships within our system and with other extension and community development professionals nationally. It could also serve as a valuable practicum for students completing the Community Food Systems minor. Therefore, our primary outcomes for this project include:

  1. Utilize the Community Food System Development Framework for Change to assess the Chemung and Tioga County food systems.
  2. Gather and document data about production, coordination, marketing, and consumption within the local food system.
  3. Identify strategies and/or potential projects to develop into funding proposals for improving the local food system. 
  4. Assess and report the value of utilizing the framework to the author and to our CCE system. 

Roles and Responsibilities

The interns would: 

  1.  Become familiar with the Community Food System Development Framework for Change 
  2. Research and collect existing data and information regarding the production, coordination, marketing and consumption in the county.
  3. Create and implement surveys based on the framework to gather additional information from farmers, leaders, and/or the public, which is not available through existing sources.
  4. Organize and facilitate focus group conversations utilizing the framework around production, coordination, marketing, and consumption, which will include a discussion about who has access.
  5. Aide in identifying and documenting existing local and system resources and expertise available related to the practices and activities suggested for improvement of the local food system.
  6. Document and summarize the data collected through surveys and information gathered through research and focus group discussions.
  7. Develop and present a presentation and maps to the community leaders showing what they learned about the local food system, including suggestions for next steps.    

Benefits and Skills

  1. Become familiar with the Community Food System Development Framework for Change 
  2. Increase knowledge and understanding of local food systems and related resources.
  3. Gain a better understanding about who has access to production, coordination, markets & consumption.
  4. Gain experience and knowledge on how to gather, document, and present information in communities.
  5. Apply academic knowledge and life experience in a community-based setting.
  6. Gain experience and a better understanding of cooperative extension work.