Research and Reports
Health and Nutrition educators both participate in and evaluate the work of food networks both in Minnesota and around the nation.
National Research: Statewide Food Networks
What are the key activities of a statewide food network? What opportunities and challenges do these networks face? What are best practices to cultivate collective action? We interviewed leaders of 13 statewide food networks and two multi-state networks to find out.
- Download the 2015 report: Cultivating collective action: The ecology of a statewide food network (PDF)
- Download the infographic: Networks as Ecosystems (PDF)
- Watch the authors discuss the report findings: Critical Conversations: Extension and Collective Action Networks 1:00:11
Regional Research: Ingredients for Successful Collaboration
What makes a food network successful? Extension educators interviewed five core members from three rural food networks in Minnesota. The report offers eight strategies for improved collaboration.
Download the 2014 report: Making Soup: 8 Ingredients for Successful Food Network Collaboration (PDF)
Regional Research: Understanding the Landscape
As of 2014, Minnesota had 20 active food networks. What are their structures and functions? This summary brief is based on interviews with leaders Minnesota’s food networks, and describes the different kinds of work they are doing around the state.
Download the 2014 report: Minnesota Food Network Landscape (PDF)
Issue Brief: Statewide Food Policy Councils
What are the typical activities and outcomes of a statewide food policy council that could be relevant to Minnesota? Written by Extension educators and published by the Food Policy Research Center, this issue brief examines the implications of a food policy council in Minnesota.
- Download the 2014 issue brief: Statewide Food Policy Councils: Considerations for Minnesota Policymakers (PDF)
- Read the 2014 issue brief online: FPRC: Statewide Food Policy Councils
Case Study: A Rural Food Hub
What does it take to kick off a brand new food hub in a rural area? What major challenges do emerging food hubs experience? What early steps are essential during the start-up phase? We analyzed the pilot season of the Fresh Connect Food Hub to find out.
Download the 2015 report: Fresh Connections: The pilot season of a rural food hub (PDF)
Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems — View projects by region in this focus area of Extension’s Regional Sustainable Development Partnerships.
Food Hub Resources — This webpage provides resources to support rural communities just beginning to build a food hub and is intended for farmers, producers, and community organizations, but may interest anyone in community and local foods.
Minnesota Food Charter — The Minnesota Food Charter is a roadmap designed to guide policymakers and community leaders in providing Minnesotans with equal access to affordable, safe, and healthy food regardless of where they live.