Colorado State University Uses Grant from Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research to Understand Local Food Systems

The food systems research team at Colorado State University has received $1 million in support from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) which will be matched by several other organizations, for a total of $2 million in research funding to address today’s food and agriculture challenges. The grant is part FFAR’s program – Tipping Points – which seeks to increase the nation’s understanding of regional and local food systems, and how targeted interventions can lead to change in communities’ health and food security.

The team – led by Becca Jablonski, Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics – will evaluate the potential for Denver-based food policies and initiatives to support farmers, ranchers, regional communities and economies. The research project will include compiling primary and secondary data sources to characterize producers, processors, retailers and consumer behavior in Colorado in order to build a computational model of the current food system and develop hypothetical intervention scenarios. The grant will help connect food security and access efforts with the agri-business, natural resources and economic development communities.

“Our team is very excited about the opportunity to leverage consumer interest in Colorado-grown, raised and processed products to support opportunities for improved farm and ranch viability, as well as regional economic development,” said Jablonski . “Through effective and well thought out urban food policies, we believe there are opportunities to support improved food access and food security outcomes, while creating new opportunities for ag businesses and regional community economic development.”

The competitive grant required applicants to secure funding to match the $1 million FFAR grant and leverage investments already spent on food and nutritional security programs. CSU’s FFAR grant is being matched by Colorado Food Policy Network, Colorado Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, Colorado Potato Advisory Committee, Colorado Wheat Research Foundation, Colorado State University Extension, the City and County of Denver, LiveWell Colorado, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, Denver Urban Gardens, Field to Market, IP3 and Kaiser Permanente.