Annual Report FY 2004 - Research at Cornell

12. Thomas A. Lyson, Development Sociology

Civic Agriculture: Reconnecting Farm, Food, and Community (Tufts University Press/University Press of New England, 2004). This analysis of food production in the United States describes the rebirth of locally based agricultural production and marketing systems, showing how this renaissance is closely tied to a local community’s social, cultural, and economic fabric. Lyson not only introduces the concept and underpinnings of modern-day “civic agriculture”—a term coined by Lyson and now commonly used to denote contemporary community-based food production and distribution—but also offers a critical perspective on today’s highly globalized and industrialized food production and marketing systems. Civic agriculture embraces innovative ways to produce, process, and distribute food, and it represents a sustainable alternative to the socially, economically, and environmentally destructive practices associated with conventional large-scale agriculture. Examples of civic agriculture include farmers’ markets, community gardens, and community-supported agriculture.

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