Assessing the Economic Contribution of the Local Food System: A Case Study for Tennessee

Oluwatooni Ajayi, Tennessee State University


Local food systems are often viewed as development pathways for local economies due to their ability to create a multiplier effect in an economy through a significant contribution to Output and job creation. There is limited information for these impacts for Tennessee; therefore, this study identified the distribution of selected food systems in Tennessee and measured the gross economic contributions of Tennessee’s local food system using IMPLAN’s input-output model. The distribution of direct-to-consumer marketing channels across the state showed that Farmer’s market is the most populous channel. Results from the analysis showed that L.F.S. is a crucial component of Tennessee's economy, with an estimated total economic contribution of $37.5 billion. The region's local food system directly employs over 99,000 people, has an income multiplier of 2.56 and a value-added multiplier of 2.06. This study also created two models of a local food system: agricultural producers and another model that consists of "agricultural producers and processors." The econometric analysis of both models showed that the model that contained agricultural producers and processors had a higher economic contribution in Output, employment, labor income, and value-added. Findings show that L.F.S. has significant positive contributions to the total state output, employment, and labor income in Tennessee. Therefore, a strengthened local food system is an avenue for further economic development in the region of Tennessee.

Subject Area

Agricultural economics|Agriculture

Recommended Citation

Oluwatooni Ajayi, "Assessing the Economic Contribution of the Local Food System: A Case Study for Tennessee" (2021). ETD Collection for Tennessee State University. Paper AAI28493615.