In this interview, I talk with Ken Meter about the future of local food economies and strategies communities can be following now to ensure they remain sustainable in response to current challenges.
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Ken Meter is one of the most experienced food system analysts in the U.S., integrating market analysis, business development, systems thinking, and social concerns. Meter holds 48 years of experience in inner-city and rural community capacity building. His local economic analyses have promoted local food networks in 143 regions in 41 states, two provinces, and four tribal nations. He developed a $9.85-milllion plan for local food investment for the state of South Carolina, and completed similar studies for Hawai’i, Alaska, Mississippi, Indiana, Ohio, and Minnesota. He researched the economic impacts of institutional food purchasing for the CDC and the Illinois Public Health Institute, and developed strategic regional food plans for more than a dozen communities. Meter consulted with the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service and Colorado State University as one of 14 co-authors of a toolkit for measuring economic impacts of local food development. He is one of 3 co-editors of Sustainable Food System Assessment: Lessons from Global Practice, published by Routledge (UK) in 2019. Meter is a member of the International Economic Development Council, and presented his findings at several annual meetings. He has taught at the Harvard Kennedy School and the University of Minnesota.