Case Study: Southeast Nebraska Development District

Case Study: Southeast Nebraska Development District

Southeast Nebraska Development District (SENDD) represents nearly 150 jurisdictions ranging in population size from 30 to 10,000 residents across 16 counties. Recognizing that many rural communities have limited economic development support, SENDD set out to create a...

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Food Systems as Economic Development

Food Systems as Economic Development

The field of economic development utilizes programs, policies, and commercial activities to improve a community's economic well-being and quality of life. The field of food system planning can bring together diverse stakeholders from across the food system who are...

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Good Food Glossary: Food System

Good Food Glossary: Food System

The “food system” is all the steps to get food from farm to table. It encompasses production, processing, distribution, consumption, and waste management. This system can work collaboratively to enhance social, economic, and environmental sustainability. Ecosystems,...

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Case Study: Cedar Rapids Community Gardens in Parks Plan

Case Study: Cedar Rapids Community Gardens in Parks Plan

In 2021, the City of Cedar Rapids Iowa developed a Community Climate Action Plan that envisions a resilient and accessible city where all residents can access high-quality green space, healthy food, clean air and water, and good, green jobs. Expanding healthy food...

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Case Study: CLiCK, Inc. Expansion Plan

Case Study: CLiCK, Inc. Expansion Plan

CLiCK, Inc. (Commercially Licensed Cooperative Kitchen) is a 501c3 non-profit in Windham, Connecticut, with a mission to Grow, Cook, Share. The organization recognizes the historical and institutional injustices of the American food system and aims to grow a...

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A Guide to USDA LAMP Grants for Food System Projects

A Guide to USDA LAMP Grants for Food System Projects

Local Agriculture Market Programs (LAMP) are transformative grants in the good food sector. They provide an influx of money for large-scale projects that support the development, coordination, and expansion of direct producer-to-consumer marketing, local and regional...

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Good Food Glossary: Food Processing

Good Food Glossary: Food Processing

Food processing uses methods and techniques involving equipment, energy, and tools to transform agricultural products such as grains, meats, vegetables, fruits, and milk into edible, functional, and culturally relevant food products. Processing is essential to...

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Innovative Rural Grocery Store Trends

Innovative Rural Grocery Store Trends

Innovation in rural grocery stores is a story of community building. Small-town grocery stores are the heart of their communities, yet many struggle to compete with dollar stores, a shrinking customer base, maintaining aging buildings, and changing customer demands...

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Cold Storage: A Hot Topic for Regional Food Systems

Cold Storage: A Hot Topic for Regional Food Systems

Cold storage, in any capacity, is vital to creating a more resilient food system. It ensures that as little goes to waste as possible at every step of the value chain. But warehouse and cold storage space are in short supply, and the need is only growing.  ...

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What DEI Means at New Venture Advisors

What DEI Means at New Venture Advisors

As the events surrounding George Floyd’s murder caused a welcomed reckoning, we all heard many companies respond with statements of beliefs regarding diversity, equity, and inclusion, and commitments to advancing DEI in their organizations and work. You didn’t hear...

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Good Food Glossary: Food Insecurity

Good Food Glossary: Food Insecurity

Food insecurity is defined as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.  It refers to a lack of available financial resources for food at the household level. (USDA) Food insecurity is a complex problem. Historically, it was thought to be...

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Case Study: Shagbark Seed & Mill

Case Study: Shagbark Seed & Mill

Shagbark Seed & Mill tackles the burgeoning local foods movement head-on within the Ohio ecosystem. Since their launch in 2010 by the Appalachian Staple Food Collaborative, Shagbark has focused on marketing single-source, Ohio-grown, certified organic heirloom...

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The LFPA: Optimism for More Equitable Food Systems

The LFPA: Optimism for More Equitable Food Systems

With food shortages exacerbated by the pandemic, the Biden administration has announced a flurry of initiatives and funding opportunities to increase resiliency in food supply chains. Tucked into these announcements is the Local Food Purchase Assistance Cooperative...

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The Complete Glossary of Terms for Commercial Kitchens

The Complete Glossary of Terms for Commercial Kitchens

The term Commercial Kitchen can have many variations, yet at its most basic its meaning is a room or building, or any part thereof, used for food preparation that meets all the requirements of local building code and is not a residential kitchen. As commercial...

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Case Study: Damian’s Craft Meats Processing Facility

Case Study: Damian’s Craft Meats Processing Facility

Damian's Craft Meats (DCM) provides on-farm animal processing services for producers in southeast Michigan. Demand for Damian’s processing services has far outpaced the company's capacity since opening in 2014. It surged to a new level during the pandemic when other...

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Equity in Food System Planning

Equity in Food System Planning

Over the past several years, scholars in planning and public health have increasingly called attention to inequities in the food system. One recent article that caused us to reflect on our practice here at New Venture Advisors is  "Planning for Regional Food...

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 Whatcom County Food System Plan

In 2021, the Whatcom County Food System Committee conducted a community food assessment that pointed to key opportunities to build a more robust and resilient regional food system. New Venture Advisors partnered with Whatcom County staff and the Food System Committee to draft a Whatcom County Food System Plan that builds upon these findings. This Plan focuses on five key goals for building a more equitable, sustainable, and resilient food system, and was informed by an inclusive community engagement process. The Food System Plan will provide the county with a policy roadmap that will strengthen the local food system for years to come. (2023)

 Whatcom Local Food Campus

The Whatcom Community Foundation invests in activities and organizations that improve the ability of people to help themselves, increase connections among people, and take cooperative approaches to community issues. WCF is exploring the development of a local food campus on a waterfront property that would become a multi-tenant site, anchored by a collaborative production kitchen benefitting food access, school system, and community organizations. The goal is strengthening Whatcom County’s local food system by promoting health equity, forging tangible strategic connections between food production organizations, and helping farmers connect with institutional markets. The facility will also feature an incubation kitchen, demonstration kitchen, event and classroom space, collaborative office and conference facilities, and housing.  New Venture Advisors developed the business case for this ambitious project and continues to support its development through engagement and operational development. (2023)