Rural wealth creation of intellectual capital from urban local food system initiatives: Developing indicators to assess change

  • Todd M. Schmit, Becca B. R. Jablonski, Jennifer Minner, David Kay, Libby Christensen
  • Community Development, July 2017, Taylor & Francis
  • DOI: 10.1080/15575330.2017.1354042

Rural wealth and urban farmer's markets

What is it about?

With growing interest in wealth creation in rural areas from farmer participation in urban local food markets, defining empirical measures is crucial. However, data limitations and a lack of agreement on what serves as reasonable proxies for alternative capital measures makes the process challenging. Using the Delphi Method and considering a large urban farmers market system, this study prioritizes impacts on eight forms of community capital and estimates empirically flows of intellectual capital to rural areas using primary data from market vendors and customers. Results indicate that sufficient engagement between farmers and urban consumers, combined with educational programming by the farmers market, can increase the transmission of intellectual capital flows to rural areas. For the large urban-based farmers market evaluated, we find that such participation is associated with higher human capital stocks in the counties in which the farmers reside.

Why is it important?

Some will be interested in the specific results discussed in relation to the food system, rural wealth creation, intellectual capital, and rural development. Others might be more interested in the methodological and conceptual frameworks used to consider how these topics relate to each other.


David Kay
Cornell University

This is an empirical view into an ongoing project exploring ways to more comprehensively account for the importance of policy and economic activity on different aspects of "development".

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The following have contributed to this page: Dr Becca B.R. Jablonski and David Kay