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Abstract

Ever since Time magazine proclaimed "Local" the new organic in the food sector, it has drawn increasing attention to local foods. In response, marketing and business technical assistance programs targeting direct market producers, regional food hubs, and food retailer efforts to promote local foods are proliferating. This paper describes the evaluation approach and outcomes for three Colorado-based local food marketing programs. In addition to illustrating how new programming efforts may be affecting consumer awareness, network building and economic contributions of food systems, we discuss the appropriate roles for Land Grant extension and research professionals, including development of cost effective methods to provide evaluation and technical support to food marketing efforts.

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