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Open AccessArticle

Perspectives from the Field: Adaptions in CSA Models in Response to Changing Times in the U.S.

Extension, Washington State University, Burlington, NJ 98233, USA
Center for Rural Studies, University of Vermont, Burlington, NJ 05405, USA
Extension, University of Vermont, Brattleboro, VT 05301, USA
Cooperative Extension, University of California, Novato, CA 94947, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(11), 3115;
Received: 1 May 2019 / Revised: 27 May 2019 / Accepted: 29 May 2019 / Published: 3 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Management of Community Supported Agriculture)
PDF [254 KB, uploaded 3 June 2019]


Representing three states in the United States, the authors describe approaches and practices of direct-to-consumer markets from their combined experience of 40 plus years of working with Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), beginning in the early years of skepticism about the CSA model to the periods of rapid growth and optimism followed by today’s challenges regarding market saturation, competition from mainstream foods, complex logistics, and cultural disconnect. Through Cooperative Extension appointments in California, Vermont, and Washington, the authors have supported farmers as they have adopted CSA models and then adapted these models in response to changing consumer demand. This article examines the term and concept of CSA and how it has evolved in practice in different parts of the United States and at times been misused and co-opted for marketing purposes. We explore recent variations on the CSA model, including Farm Fresh Food Boxes (F3B), and discuss economic factors, marketing considerations, environmental stewardship, and community connections. The article concludes with projections for the future of CSA and the importance of maintaining authentic and beneficial relationships between farmers and consumers. View Full-Text
Keywords: Community Supported Agriculture; Cooperative Extension; Farm Fresh Food Boxes Community Supported Agriculture; Cooperative Extension; Farm Fresh Food Boxes
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Smith, D.; Wang, W.; Chase, L.; Estrin, H.; Van Soelen Kim, J. Perspectives from the Field: Adaptions in CSA Models in Response to Changing Times in the U.S.. Sustainability 2019, 11, 3115.

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