Building Strong Economies and Healthy Food Systems from the Bottom Up

September 28, 2016

This presentation explores the close relationship between healthy regional food systems and diversified, sustainable local economies. A sampling of innovative initiatives from around the U.S. are shared, along with an analysis and discussion of the strategies and public policies needed to accelerate these emerging alternatives from the bottom up.

This webinar was co-hosted by the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems and the North Central Region Center for Rural Development.

Anthony Flaccavento is an organic farmer, small business owner, author and activist from Abingdon, in the Appalachian region of Virginia. A pioneer in the local foods and sustainable development movements, he has worked for over 30 years to strengthen the economy and food system throughout Appalachia and beyond. In 1995, he founded Appalachian Sustainable Development, which in turn launched social enterprises including farmers markets, a regional food hub, and sustainable forestry and wood products businesses. Anthony left ASD in 2009 when he started his consulting firm, SCALE, Inc., to help catalyze and strengthen healthier, more sustainable economies and food systems in both rural and urban settings. SCALE works with communities around the U.S., as well as in Canada and, most recently, Australia.

Anthony writes and speaks about the economy, sustainable development, and farming, food and rural issues, including pieces in Huffington Post, the Washington Post, the Progressive Wing, The Nation, Solutions Journal and other outlets. His Healthy Food Systems: A Toolkit for Building Value Chains has been utilized by scores of communities across the nation, and his first full length book, Building a Healthy Economy from the Bottom Up (University Press of Kentucky) was published in June of 2016. Anthony also produces a weekly five minute YouTube series, “Take Five with Tony”, that tackles these complex issues, around which he also periodically mobilizes and leads advocacy campaigns. Anthony has a BS degree in Agriculture and Environmental Science and a Masters in Economic and Rural Development.

Building Strong Economies and Healthy Food Systems from the Bottom Up Slides 


Anthony Flaccavento

For more information visit:

Center for Regional Food Systems

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