Date of Award

2021

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Biological and Environmental Sciences (MSBES)

Department

Fisheries, Animal and Veterinary Science

First Advisor

John Taylor

Abstract

Conventional production practices undermine the social, environmental, and economic longevity and sustainability of the U.S. food system. Some postsecondary education institutions (PSEs) have sought to develop alternative, hyper-local food systems through the integration of campus farms into institutional supply chains. These institutions could serve as models for food systems at large; no research has been published on the dynamics and impacts of their efforts at self-provisioning on food system sustainability, resilience, and equity. This research modified existing agroecological resilience frameworks, expanding resilience indicators to include metrics of equity, an often overlooked component of resilience in social-ecological models. The modified framework informed interviews with agricultural and culinary representatives of land grant universities (LGUs) and private PSEs (PPSEs) in the northeastern U.S. with established self-provisioning activity. The study found that campus farm purpose and proximity to the core PSE campus are drivers of campus farm-food system integration, with major differences in self-provisioning dynamics found between LGUs and PPSEs. Results suggest PSE food systems could serve as lighthouses disseminating agroecological practices and catalyzing agroecological transition in the food system.

Available for download on Friday, January 05, 2024

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