National webinar: “State Food System Plans: Are they worth it?”

The MSU Center for Regional Food Systems, in collaboration with the University of Michigan Sustainable Food Systems Initiative hosted a national webinar:

State Food System Plans: Are they worth it?
Thursday, July 15th
3-4pm EDT

The webinar recording is available here

Statewide food system plans, also referred to as food system charters, have been in place in several states for more than ten years. These food system plans often serve as a food system policy framework, identifying goals and priorities developed by a diverse group of organizations and agencies to advance sustainability, health, and equity in the food system. As more and more states develop statewide plans, we use this webinar to come together to reflect on this strategy for food systems change.  In this webinar, we will:

  • Share a snapshot of what is happening with food system plans across the country (USA);
  • Share brief examples from Michigan, New Mexico, and Hawaii as to how plans have developed (or starting to develop) and evolved, and explain why a food system plan can be a valuable tool in developing a more resilient and equitable food system, and
  • Solicit feedback and insights from participants – is a statewide food system plan an effective tool to transform food systems in your state? Is it worth the investment?


The final directory document can be found below:

Participatory State and Regional Food System Plans and Charters in the U.S.: A Summary of Trends and National Directory

This directory was developed by University of Michigan Sustainable Food Systems Initiative affiliates in collaboration with the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems. Funding for this work comes from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.


September 13, 2021 – Authors: Lesli Hoey, Lilly Fink Shapiro, Kathryn Colasanti, Alex Judelsohn, Mrithula Shantha Thirumalai Anandanpillai, and Keerthana Vidyasagar

Completed in August of 2021, this report offers a snapshot of national trends and a directory of food systems plans and charters that exist at state and regional levels across the United States. It is intended to serve as a resource to facilitate network building and co-learning among practitioners leading these efforts and groups interested in launching their own plans and charters.

We collected information from plans and charters that are publicly available on websites, and — to the extent possible — followed up with lead organizations or individuals to review information relevant to their state. We looked for plans and charters that:

  1. are systems-based and cross-sector (covering the entire food system),
  2. propose visions beyond 2021 or that are currently being updated (e.g., the 2005 California plan proposed a vision of the food system into 2030), and
  3. were participatory and collaboratively developed (those that crowdsourced ideas and attempted to mobilize stakeholders throughout the state using numerous strategies such as summits, working groups, etc.).

Download the report to explore trends and a directory of state and regional food systems plans and charters!