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Center for a Livable Future


December 17, 2013

CLF to Sponsor Expansion of Food Systems Journal

The Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future will join three other leading North American universities with programs focusing on food systems to support the Journal of Agriculture Food Systems and Community Development (JAFSCD).  CLF joins the Institute for Sustainable Food Systems at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia; the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University; and the Food Systems Initiative at the University of Vermont to underwrite the expansion of JAFSCD through a three-year commitment. 

JAFSCD, also known as the Food Systems Journal, is published by the Food Systems Development Project, a program of the Center for Transformative Action, a nonprofit organization affiliated with Cornell University.

The Food Systems Journal was founded in 2009 in order to fill a gap in the applied research literature on farming and food systems–based community development, such as regional food value chains, urban food systems, farmland protection, and food sovereignty. The journal focuses on public policy, research, and practice in food systems work, and emphasizes “accessible scholarship” that maximizes its usefulness in the transdisciplinary field of food systems. Authors include scholars across many academic fields, as well as food systems development practitioners such as educators, activists, and nonprofit and public agency staff. It is currently licensed by academic and institutional libraries around the world and is available free to libraries in low income countries.

The sponsors join the Center for Transformative Action (which provides administrative support) in helping the Food Systems Journal not only expand its global reach, but also increase its impact. The journal nurtures early-career authors, provides editorial assistance to non-native English authors, and, aims to be a meaningful source of positive change in food systems development, having recently published over 20 open-access commentaries from around the world on food systems research priorities for the next 5 years.

With the support of its sponsors, the journal expects to not only expand its current distribution, but also launch new value-added activities such as producing policy and practice briefs (two-page summaries of published papers that are immediately useful in the field). Also on the drawing board is a “Senior Corps of Researchers and Educators” to leverage the talents of retired faculty and researchers to work with select limited-resource organizations in conducting program evaluations and publishing the results in JAFSCD.

“We are pushing the boundaries of what it is to be a journal,” says editor-in-chief Duncan Hilchey. “We take great pride in contributing to the nascent literature on food systems, and publishing the very practical work of the growing number of researchers and writers in the field. But we want to take this to an entirely new level, and this will begin to happen now that we have the right partners in place to do it.”

“The Center for a Livable Future is very pleased to support the Food Systems Journal,” says Director Robert S. Lawrence, MD. “The Journal’s solid record as a respected voice will increase the scope of food systems knowledge to new audiences.”

More information on the Food Systems Journal, the Food Systems Development Project, the Center for Transformative Action, and JAFSCD’s sponsors is available here.