Building Community Wealth through Food and Farming: New Tools and Insights for the Heartland

APA Missouri Chapter


Friday, October 26, 2018
10:45 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. CDT

CM | 1.50

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Recent national publications suggest that local and regional food systems development is more than what happens at farmers markets and on U-Pick farms. This session will draw upon emerging research and new tools to show how planners can work with community partners to support food and farm businesses, seizing new market opportunities that build our communities’ wealth, creating jobs and strengthening relationships.

On May 31, 2018, a mix of public health, local government, agricultural, and economic development partners came together to host "Harvesting Opportunity: A Symposium on Building Community Wealth through Food and Farming." The daylong event drew professionals and community members passionate about local agriculture, healthy food access, and improving Kansas communities to learn about new tools to advance their work with a focus on economic development. The Harvesting Opportunity Symposium, inspired by a book of the same name published by the Federal Reserve of St. Louis in 2017, highlighted the potential positive economic impact well-developed regional food systems could have in Kansas--and the investments needed to achieve it. This session will build upon that event--using a set of new, place-based tools that were developed after the event--with a focus on implications and key takeaways for Heartland planners. Attendees will (1) gain new insights into this burgeoning economic sector and (2) discuss strategies and actions to help spur urban and rural community development throughout Kansas and Missouri. In addition, (3) participants will be guided to identify their community’s unique assets and the ways local government and regional institutions can seize these market opportunities.


Helen Schnoes, AICP

Confirmed Speaker

Helen Schnoes, AICP, is the Sustainability and Food Systems Planner for Douglas County, KS. Helen’s work to build a strong, healthy local food system has included facilitating public input for urban agriculture policy changes, supporting local food purchasing by area schools, and overseeing the City of Lawrence’s award-winning ... Read More

Contact Info

Bonnie Johnson,