And vegetables for all: urban and civic agriculture in Kansas City and visions for the U.S. agrifood system

K-REx Repository

Show simple item record Beach, Sarah S. 2013-10-22T12:20:02Z 2013-10-22T12:20:02Z 2013-10-22
dc.description.abstract In the United States, many are critical of agricultural policies and economic incentives that support large-scale food production and the dominant actors in the mainstream agrifood system. Critics point out that at the same time agribusinesses and very large-scale farmers receive support, there are those in poverty who struggle to meet their food needs. Critics question what that relationship should be between civil society and the agrifood system. A variety of activities are addressing concerns of social injustices in the system. For example, participation is increasing in civic and urban agriculture. Civic agriculture is the interrelated activities of small-scale, socially and environmentally sound practices of food production and consumption that aim to increase community sustainability. Urban agriculture is food production in and near cities. By focusing on Kansas and the Kansas City metropolitan area, this dissertation addresses the following questions: How do the relations between civil society and the U.S. agrifood system impact the level of fairness in the system? To what extent are urban agricultural activities fostering fairness in the agrifood system, including access to fresh foods, civic engagement, and fulfilling careers, while also benefiting the environmental health of the city? Survey and interview data collected by a research team on agriculture in Kansas sets the context for my examination of urban agriculture in Kansas City’s urban core. In addition to participant observations and primary and secondary data analysis, I conducted 38 semi-structured interviews with growers (27), food advocates (4), community organizers (4), and governmental employees (3). In Kansas City, many of the activities and programs in place are building community, strengthening civil society, and promoting food justice for the poor and for people of color, for example, in food deserts, which are locales where people particularly face challenges in meeting their food needs. While some participants are more focused on their immediate communities and less so on overt widespread change, others feel a part of a social movement aiming to change the agrifood system. Diverse people from various social classes and races are increasingly becoming involved in growing food and food advocacy to expand fairness in the system. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship The part of the dissertation focused on Kansas commodity agriculture was informed by a project of the Kansas National Science Foundation Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, Biofuels and Climate Change: Farmers’ Land Use Decisions (KS NSF EPSCoR BACC: FLUD). The BACC: FLUD project is supported by the NSF under Award No. EPS-0903806 and matching assistance from the State of Kansas through the Kansas Board of Regents. The analysis and the conclusions are mine, and they do not necessarily represent the views of any agency or person connected with the NSF project. en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Kansas State University en
dc.subject Urban agriculture en_US
dc.subject Civic agriculture en_US
dc.subject Food access en_US
dc.subject Kansas City en_US
dc.subject Civil society en_US
dc.subject Civic engagement en_US
dc.title And vegetables for all: urban and civic agriculture in Kansas City and visions for the U.S. agrifood system en_US
dc.type Dissertation en_US Doctor of Philosophy en_US
dc.description.level Doctoral en_US
dc.description.department Department of Sociology, Anthropology, and Social Work en_US
dc.description.advisor László J. Kulcsár en_US
dc.subject.umi Sociology (0626) en_US 2013 en_US December en_US

Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Search K-REx

Advanced Search


My Account


Center for the

Advancement of Digital