Characterizing Ag of the Middle and Values-Based Food Supply Chains
Agriculture of the Middle (AOTM) encompasses a spectrum of farms and ranches that are declining because they are too small to be served well by commodity markets and too large to be served well by direct markets. Most AOTM farms are characterized by: (1) their size; (2) their business organization; and (3) the production and marketing strategies they adopt to remain viable.Continue reading "Characterizing Ag of the Middle and Values-Based Food Supply Chains"
Value chain teaching materials
Agriculture of the Middle has produced three sets of curricular resources on value-based food supply chains for university-level business and economics courses.
These curriculum materials are based on a set of four case studies developed by the Agriculture of the Middle initiative. These case studies offer models of how mid-sized farms and ranches can prosper through producing and selling high-quality, differentiated food products into a variety of markets. They feature four innovative enterprises: Country Natural Beef, Organic Valley, Red Tomato and Shepherd's Grain.Continue reading "Value chain teaching materials "
A priority research agenda for Agriculture of the Middle
From the beginning, the Agriculture of the Middle initiative identified research as a critical component. The following report and PowerPoint presentation outline a research agenda for Agriculture of the Middle. Work on this report was initiated when Steve Stevenson of CIAS was Director of the Agriculture of the Middle research group (NC 1036), in order to answer questions raised by the group about future priorities. Priorities were based on interviews with 50 researchers involved in sustainable agriculture and agriculture of the middle around the country, and were conducted, analyzed, and compiled by Kate Clancy.
Although multiple agricultural research agendas have been proposed in the last decades, most (but certainly not all) are fairly generic and bland. In contrast, the agenda-setting process described here collected research ideas from a more focused set of respondents—food and agricultural researchers within universities, government agencies, and nonprofits. The resulting agenda, developed by the researchers themselves, is designed to encourage better targeting of research on topics related to agriculture of the middle.