i-Three Issue Corps 2016 – Scaling Up the Local Food System

Marlin Bates

Horticulture Agent

Kansas State University

What is the change you are designing to achieve?

Overall increase in acreage dedicated to fresh market fruit & vegetable production in Douglas County Kansas and Northeast Kansas

How will you measure that change?

Census of Agriculture Statistics

What is the innovative component or strategy you will implement as a result of the design-a-thon?

Influencing numerous audiences including economic development leaders, lenders, county commissioners, county zoning, etc. to incentivize adoption of fresh fruit & vegetable production

How did the design-a-thon help you?

Got me thinking about different audiences to address to achieve the goal


Douglas County, Kansas enjoys a relatively mature local food system. Most of our local food producers rely on direct-to-consumer markets for their products, and concern exists over saturation of these markets. In order to continue to grow our local food system, producers need to tap into new, larger markets. Though we have developed a producer-owned food hub, a knowledge gap exists for many who are interested in producing on a larger scale. My project will address this gap by equipping local food producers with the knowledge and skills needed for this level of production with an emphasis on sustainability.

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