Special Reports and Projects

Food Hubs: Solving Local
A report with the Wallace Center National Good Food Network. It demonstrates how regional food hubs are integral partners for larger scale buyers trying genuinely to satisfy increasing demand for local food and all the community health and wealth benefits wrapped up in what “local” means.

Food Innovation Districts: An Economic Gardening Tool
Lead author of this guidebook for growing a community’s food and farm sector with planning, zoning, and economic development support. USDA-Rural Development funded this collaborative effort with Networks Northwest (MI), Michigan State University’s Center for Regional Food Systems and MSU practicum students.

Turn Up the Volume: Growing Opportunities in Local Food
A project of the Fair Food Network to promote opportunities for larger volume producers as local and regional food markets grow. Articles published, for example, in Michigan Farm News, Fruit Growers News, and Vegetable Growers News (2011)

Michigan Good Food Charter
Patty Cantrell co-chaired the Michigan Good Food Charter’s Food System Infrastructure Working Group. Its recommendations are part of this statewide policy platform housed at the Center for Regional Food Systems at Michigan State University. Patty also worked with CRFS to tell the Michigan Good Food Charter policy story with articles and other coverage. (2010-2012).

Financing Farming in the U.S.
Case studies and other research about financing America’s new generation of smaller, diversified farms, including lender training materials used in the federal Healthy Food Financing Initiative. More here. This work with The Center for Regional Food Systems at Michigan State University, The Carrot Project, and community financing practitioners. (2010-2012)

Field Guide to the New American Foodshed
Developed and produced this searchable database of business case studies as part of a Wallace Center National Good Food Network team working with the Farm Credit Council. (2011)

National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
Co-chaired NSAC’s “Marketing, Food Systems, and Rural Development” committee, including the committee’s role in developing and promoting a 2012 Farm Bill platform. (2009-2010)

National Good Food Network
Work with this project at the Wallace Center at Winrock International has included research and writing on the new value chain model for regional food solutions. This case study about food service distributor Sysco’s Journey from Supply Chain to Value Chain is an example. (2009-2011)

Michigan Land Use Institute (now Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities)
Developed food and farming projects that continue to grow in northwest Michigan, including the regional Taste the Local Difference marketing program and 10-county Northwest Michigan Food and Farming Network. The Network recently published a fascinating and powerful report to the community on its first six years. Earlier at MLUI, Patty produced research and events that helped put local food and farming into state economic development thinking, including the Eat Fresh and Grow Jobs, Michigan! study with Michigan State University and the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

Early Projects

Hog Wars, a report for the Missouri Rural Crisis Center in the mid-1990s on the grassroots organizing and accomplishments of communities facing a devastating influx of industrial hog operations.

The Food and Agriculture Workbook Produced this 1991 guide to community food system development for the Rocky Mountain Institute’s Economic Renewal Program. It’s one of the earlier community organizing guides in the current local and regional food movement. This link for an online version.