I have recently received word that my proposed research on cooperative local food organizations in Maine has been funded by the National Science Foundation.
The research integrates (1) new theoretical models of organizational change with (2) a case study of cooperative, self-organized local food organizations, focused around (3) a collaborative facilitation process to help these groups meet their goals.
The research will design and test new theoretical models and aims to make new progress in understanding the organizational features that keep cooperative groups functioning and effective. The research includes a collaborative facilitation process will empower local food groups and provide them with tools to improve group efficacy toward their self-identified goals. The plan will also include a collaboration with state food industry and food policy organizations such as the Maine Food Strategy. This collaboration increases the likelihood that the research described here will be of direct value for the development of food policy in Maine, New England and beyond.