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We welcome your participation in this Food System Development Practitioner survey. If you are short of time, you may simply read SHOULD I COMPLETE THIS SURVEY? (below) and then go straight to the first question at the bottom of this page. To get the background on the survey, read on.

This survey is sponsored by the North American Food Systems Network (NAFSN). This questionnaire is largely simple checkboxes and should take about 15 minutes to complete. This survey was conducted in 2012 and this new survey will provide trends in the professional development needs of food systems practitioners.

You have the option to provide your name and contact information at the end in case you’d like us to stay in touch with you. The survey and results will be completely anonymous. If you choose to share your contact information, they will not be shared in conjunction with this survey.

One of the big questions relating to food system development is what are the challenges and training needs of current and prospective food system development practitioners? We believe that improved knowledge and skills of practitioners are likely to lead to more effective and efficient programs, and ultimately to more viable and sustainable food systems.

Therefore, we are surveying current or prospective food system development practitioners (including professionals and volunteers) to better understand their needs and opportunities. The results will be shared publicly (although all responses are anonymous) and used to inform the work of a broad range of organizations and agencies.

While Cooperative Extension and other entities have been doing food system development for a long time, for many organizations and their staff or volunteers this is new territory. In addition, much of the current focus in this emerging field lacks established foundations for practice. Out of this we are identifying an emerging need for the kind of information, training opportunities, and networking that enable food system development practitioners to be effective in the important work of building and strengthening local and regional food systems.

Thank you for your participation!

We define a “food system development practitioner" as anyone who, as a significant portion of their work, uses community development strategies in working with farmers, business people, government agency staff, local residents, or other persons or entities to create or strengthen the viability, equity, and sustainability of food systems. Under our definition of food systems we include (a) agriculture and other kinds of food production, processing, distributing, marketing, and retailing, (b) food security, and (c) food waste management. Under our definition of "food system development professional," we include paid staff with a broad range of job titles and effort allocations, as well as consultants, volunteers, and activists.

Question Title

1. Do you consider yourself a current or prospective food system development practitioner (professional or volunteer) as per the definition above?