Jennifer Giarratano, 404-413 0028
Andrew Young School of Policy Studies
ATLANTA – The Georgia Department of Agriculture, in cooperation with the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University, has been awarded a $55,373 grant from the U. S. Department of Agriculture to conduct research that will ultimately guide efforts to expand local farm-to-market activities in cities throughout Georgia.
The school’s Public Performance and Management group, led by professor Greg Streib, will spearhead the research. “This is a very exciting project, as it addresses a number of pressing policy issues,” he says, “and food is involved!” Streib will be assisted by Andrew Young School research associates Crista Wrenn and Moreblessing Dzivakwe.
The project, named “Increasing the Supply of Georgia Grown Produce,” is designed to develop new marketing and distribution strategies for state-run, nonprofit and community farmers markets that will help connect local producers to these venues and their growing customer base.
“Research in this field is normally consumer-driven. We will be looking at the suppliers,” says Wrenn, who completes her B.S. in Public Policy at Georgia State this month. “We will determine the barriers for Georgia’s farmers; the difficulties they have getting their locally grown produce to the statewide network of farmers markets.”
The project team will organize a group of farmers, market owners and the area’s leading farm-to-table proponents to provide ideas, feedback and connections to key stakeholders. After identifying supply opportunities and constraints, the team will create a distribution model focused on Georgia’s farmers markets to increase the sale of locally grown produce.
The USDA plans to disseminate the model nationwide. “We will put this model together in a way that can be used by others,” says Dzivakwe, a Georgia State alumna who has worked in grants administration for the Georgia Department of Agriculture.
The Georgia Department of Agriculture is among 25 grant recipients from 19 states and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico chosen by the USDA to help create opportunities for America’s farmers and related businesses with this round of grants.
Aug. 5, 2011