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Economics, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

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There is growing concern over the "food miles", the "input BTUs ", and the nutritional value of conventionally delivered and distributed fresh fruits, vegetables, and melons. At the same time, there are scores of ongoing efforts to re ‐ invigorate rural economies by re ‐ introducing fruit and vegetable production into areas of the U.S. that had ceded those pr oduction specializations to other regions of the U.S., along with a reinvestigation of producer to distributor relationships in fruits and vegetable origination, marketing, and ultimately distribution to consumers. This research describes the potential economic impacts of a nutritionist ‐ suggested level of fresh fruits and vegetable consumption coupled with increased levels of loc al production of these commodities and builds off of earlier work done by the author. It combines the net economic impacts of shifting from traditional commodity crops (corn and soybeans in Iowa) to horticulture crops with an imagined producer ‐ owned wholesale and retail distribution net work to gauge overall job and income gains for Iowa or for regions in Iowa. We also assess animal, poultry, and whole grain components of the hypothetical diet. The potential economic outcomes are identified and quantified in this study. The methodology and applicability to other regions and other local production and distribut ion contexts are discussed as well.



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