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Stevenson Center, food systems, economic impact analysis


Local food movements nationwide have gained traction in their popularity and relevance as an alternative to the more dominant industrial, specialized system. The primary focus of this paper is the analysis of food systems in a five county region of Central Illinois. Statistical analysis as well as theoretical perspective is used to present the current status of the industry and develop a framework for assessing the economic impact of an increase in local food production for local consumption. We use the IMPLAN Modeling System to measure the financial and employment impacts of an increase in vegetable and fruit production in the five-county region as well as the impact of nine farmers’ markets within this region. We find a positive net impact for both scenarios.

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