Electrical and Computer Engineering Faculty Research


Innovative Public-Private and Philanthropy Partnership for Local Food Supply-Chain Infrastructure: Countryside Initiative of Cuyahoga Valley US National Park

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

Summer 7-3-2014


In the post-modernist discourse of management of agro-food technology and urban infrastructure planning, unprecedented climate change and sustainability are setting the context for producing and supplying quality local food in highly densely populated urban and suburban regions. There is a seismic shift needed for innovative public and private partnerships governing green infrastructure for local food production. This empirical multi-disciplinary case study uses business model innovation theory and green suburban infrastructure framework to examine the Countryside Conservancy Initiative start-up by Cuyahoga Valley National Park (CVNP) for managing urban farming technology and local food production and supply chain. After considering some alternate theoretical frameworks, we use a case study methodology. It is noted that despite various centralized attempts by federal and state governments to stop the decline of agriculture within CVNP, most historic food producing farms in existence since 1800s slipped into disrepair and disuse. The Countryside Initiative of CVNP was established in 1999 with an innovative 3P (public-private-philanthropic) partnership between public sector CVNP, private farms, and a not-for-profit Cuyahoga Valley Countryside Conservancy (CV-CC). This 3P partnership involved incentivizing 60-year long-term discounted leases for 13 agricultural farm lands, farm residences, and outbuildings to adopt and diffuse technological innovations for culturally intensive fruit and vegetable production, small intensive grazing operations, and small integrated crop-livestock production. Certified organic food production was encouraged, though not mandated. In this study, selection, growth and impact of family farm enterprises in the green suburban infrastructure in NEO region are investigated in the context of a business model innovation for family farmers. Strategic opportunities and challenges are proposed and discussed. Conclusions are left open for future discussion.

Publication Title

Portland International Conference on Management of Engineering and Technology

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