Civic agriculture

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Civic Agriculture is the trend towards locally based agriculture and food production that is tightly linked to a community's social and economic development. Civic agriculture is geared towards meeting consumer demands in addition to boosting the local economy in the process through jobs, entrepreneurship, and community sustainability. [1]

Civic agriculture represents a sustainable alternative to the potentially destructive practices of conventional, large-scale agriculture. The term was coined by the late Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor Thomas A. Lyson, Department of Development Sociology, Cornell University, at the 1999 Rural Sociology Society Annual Meeting.[1]

Professor Lyson wrote a follow-up book titled Civic Agriculture, in which he expounds on his ideas, arguing that because of the interlocked relationship between the food economy and consumers, people have a civic duty to support important agricultural engagements. In his book, Lyson claims that communities that show an active involvement in civic agriculture aid economic development by supporting their local food production.[1] Thus, in committing to civic agriculture, local communities contribute to an economy growth in the agricultural sector.

Manifestations of movement towards Civic Agriculture:

Lyson Center for Civic Agriculture and Food Systems

The Lyson Center for Civic Agriculture and Food Systems is a food systems development program in Ithaca, New York. Since 2013, it has been a project of the Center for Transformative Action, a nonprofit organization affiliated with Cornell University. The mission of the center is "To provide practical research-based information, tools, programs and services that lead to productive collaboration between food systems scholars, professionals, and active residents engaged in food systems development work at the community level."[2][3][4] The Center's current projects include publishing the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development and facilitating the North American Food Systems Network. The Lyson Center also publishes the Sustainable Food Systems Sourcebook.


  1. ^ a b c Lyson Thomas A. Civic Agriculture: Reconnecting Farm, Food, and Community (2004)
  2. ^ Lyson Center Values Retrieved 18 September 2018. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ Cornell University, Office of the Dean of the University Faculty. "Lyson, Thomas Anthony". eCommons. Cornell University. Retrieved 26 September 2018.
  4. ^ Pearce, Jeremy (18 January 2007). "Thomas Lyson, 58, Cornell Sociologist Who Studied Rural Towns, Dies". New York Times. Retrieved 26 September 2018.

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