i-Three Issue Corps 2016 – Virtual Field Trips to Local Food Projects for Online Learners

Joanna Massey Lelekacs

North Carolina Cooperative Extension Coordinator for Local Foods

North Carolina State University, Center for Environmental Farming Systems

What is the change you are designing to achieve?

Virtual Local Food Project Field Trips will improve service providers’ (including Extension agents) client and community local food project outcomes and potentially save project developers and their communities time, money, and frustration. The local food projects targeted for virtual field trips will be those designed to encourage community economic development while simultaneously contributing to local farm viability, healthy eating habits among consumers, and community food security and resilience.

How will you measure that change?

If the videos are embedded in a program where attendance is tracked and a post-program evaluation can be performed (e.g. local food systems online, non-credit course) to understand practice changes and implementation of knowledge gained, etc. the following impacts could be measureable:
• Time and dollars saved based on avoiding prior project pitfalls and utilizing lessons learned from similar projects

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

360 photography/video with hotspots with be utilized in video development.

How did the design-a-thon help you?

The Design-a-thon validated my design background as a valuable asset to Extension. It also gave me alternative input into the project, helped me to better describe the impact of this small component of a larger project, and helped me think more strategically about the impacts of the project. I appreciated the ‘forced’ diagramming of the project because that made it ever so helpful to explain it as I went around to the Expert tables. It was also important to help me build my community of local foods Extension educators around the country.



Through identification of creative processes and solutions to capture, edit, and distribute high-quality virtual local food project field trips, this project will initiate creation of a virtual local food field trip video library. Pilot virtual field trips will be embedded into a new online, non-credit local foods course for evaluation. NC Cooperative Extension’s virtual local food project field trip library will provide local food system developers and entrepreneurs with accessible examples and lessons learned of local food projects designed to address multiple community issues, ultimately improving project outcomes and potentially saving project developers and their communities time, money, and frustration.

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