Friends of the Lyson Center

Stronger local food systems, stronger communities.

As 2017 slides into 2018, we are finalizing the seventh volume of the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development (JAFSCD). That's 7 years and 28 issues of research-based best practices, models, case studies, and other ways to strengthen local and regional food systems. As of January 1, 2018, JAFDSCD will be open access — freely available — so it has greater impact for both authors and practitioners in the field.

We are also facilitating the new North American Food Systems Network (NAFSN), which offers professional development and networking for members working in any of the three domains of food systems: sustainable production, value chains, and food security.

We are working with colleagues from around the country to create NAFSN’s signature program, a food systems professional certification program, which will provide recognition for individuals who participate in accredited training programs. Training and certification benefit the individual (with greater job security and professionalism), and also benefit the community in which that person works.

We are proud of these innovative programs and hope you agree that we are filling important gaps in research, policy, and practice. We invite you to join friends and colleagues across North America who value Tom Lyson's work — to become a Friend of the Lyson Center.

The photo on this page shows Tom's family — Loretta Carrillo and their daughters Mercedes and Helena Lyson —speaking at the dedication event for the Thomas A. Lyson Center for Civic Agriculture and Food Systems at Cornell University in September 2015.

Sharing Lyson's work at the Community Food Systems Conference

December 11, 2017

We attended the Community Food Systems Conference in Boston, Dec. 5-7, 2017. It was organized by the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project, affiliated with Tufts University. We were gratified to hear opening speaker and New Entry Executive Director Jennifer Hashley credit Tom Lyson's term "civic agriculture" as an important concept to the work of attendees. We were able to follow up on her comments with folks who dropped by our table in the exhibit area. While we were there, we also had a strategic meeting for NAFSN.

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About the Organization

Lyson Center for Civic Agriculture and Food Systems

The Lyson Center supports the collaboration of scholars, professionals, and active residents engaging in food systems-based community development. We publish the Journal of Agriculture, Food Systems, and Community Development (JAFSCD), and facilitate the North American Food Systems Network (NAFSN).

We are named in honor of Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor Thomas A. Lyson, Cornell University, who coined the term "civic agriculture" to express the importance of strengthening connections among farms and their communities. Read more about Tom's work at

In 2018, JAFSCD transitioned to open access using an innovative "community-supported journal" model. Borrowing from a successful model in the local food movement—community supported agriculture (CSA)—will are asking college and university programs, libraries, nonprofits, foundations, and progressive businesses to support JAFSCD so its content is accessible to those who need it most—those working in communities to increase food security, build local economies through...

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