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Talk – The Puzzle of Making the Local Food Movement Sustainable

February 5, 2018 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

| Free

The Puzzle of Making the Local Food Movement Sustainable: The Challenge of the Supply Chain

UMaine Farm to Institution Team
Speakers: Mark Haggerty, Linda Silka, Stephanie Welcomer, Melissa Ladenheim and Michaela Murray

Some of the most important questions facing the local food movement in Maine relate to sustainability: environmental, economic, and social. One solution has been to promote a farm-to-institution (F2I) movement whereby farmers sell their produce to local institutions such as universities and hospitals, and reduce environmental costs and enhance economic and social benefits through these local supply chains. What might appear simple and straightforward has turned out to be filled with challenges, including: timing, need, size, and coordination. Institutions often find it easier to purchase from nonlocal sources despite understanding the economic benefits of buying local. Here we will discuss F2I broadly and what our research indicates are the challenges as well as some of the solutions to participating in and promoting F2I initiatives.

About the presenters

Mark Haggerty is an associate professor in the Honors College at the UMaine. He has teaching and research interests in food systems and sustainability. He is a co-founder of the Honors College Sustainable Food Systems Research Collaborative (SFSRC).

Melissa Ladenheim is the Associate Dean and a preceptor in the Honors College with research interests related to social justice and food systems. She is a co-founder of the Honors College Sustainable Food Systems Research Collaborative (SFSRC) and the Servant Heart Research Collaborative. Ladenheim is an affiliated faculty with the Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions and a member of the UMaine Diversity Leadership Advisory Committee. She is currently working on a project funded by the Mitchell Center examining food to institutions.

Michaela Murray is a 3rd year Honors College student from Bar Harbor, Maine who is studying Ecology and Environmental Sciences with a concentration in Sustainability, Environmental Policy, and Natural Resource Management. She is also pursuing a minor in Economics. Her research interests include sustainable development, food systems, and policy.

Linda Silka is a senior fellow at the Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions and Executive Editor of the Maine Policy Review. She was formerly the Director of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center and professor in the UMaine School of Economics. Her work has focused on community-university research and action partnerships and how to strengthen collaborations between universities and their partners.

Stephanie Welcomer earned her PhD at Pennsylvania State University and is a professor of Management at UMaine. Dr. Welcomer’s research has focused on the intersection of sustainable businesses, communities and environments and she has recently published articles on climate change and farming, farmers’ adaptation strategies for energy resources, and pro-environmental behavior. She is currently working on a study of sustainability and social change related to artisanal cheesemaking. Most of her work is undergirded by her interests in sustainable food systems and their evolution via human networks, power, and language.



February 5, 2018
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Event Category:


Mitchell Center
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107 Norman Smith Hall
Mitchell Center - UMaine
Orono, ME 04469 United States
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