The Field Guide to the New American Foodshed was originally created as the result of a USDA Risk Management Agency grant to the Farm Credit Council, the national trade organization for the farmer-owned Farm Credit System. The Wallace Center of Winrock International's National Good Food Network is a lead partner and manages the Field Guide's ongoing development.
The purpose of the Field Guide is to illustrate how local food systems work in the everyday world of business and economics. Specifically, it is designed to identify different foodshed-related business models “in the field” and help entrepreneurs and their advisors investigate relevant business structures and strategies.
The Field Guide was inspired by the mission of USDA's "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" initiative to strengthen local and regional food systems. The Farm Credit Council and the National Good Food Network followed the lead of "Know Your Farmer" by applying their expertise to build this website that seeks to educate and promote opportunity for young, beginning, and small farmers in foodshed-related businesses.
Development partner organizations included The Ecological Farming Association (California), The Corporation of New Sogobia (Western Shoshone, Nevada), Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (Wisconsin), Rural Advancement Foundation International (North Carolina), and The Greenhorns (New England). These partners from around the country are experienced in serving very different markets, while the Farm Credit Council represents experienced agricultural lenders. Other collaborators included Regional Food Solutions LLC; Originz, LLC. The Wallace Center National Good Food Network and Morse Marketing Connections, LLC. also assisted in development of the site, and with Farm Credit Council, are the current project partners.