Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

A growing segment of food consumers want to know the person who is growing their food. And they want to support local producers. This phenomenon has given rise to a movement called Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). In this type of system, the farmer or producer grows food for a group of subscribers who commit to buying a portion of the production from the farm. Production can come from a single grower or several growers working together. For a better understanding of Community Supported Agriculture and how it works, read Understanding Community Supported Agriculture. An Electronic Budgeting Tool is available to help you compare the returns from selling your produce through a CSA or another direct marketing outlet.

For more information on this topic, see the links listed below of articles posted on related Web sites.

Understanding CSA

  • What is Community Supported Agriculture?, University of Florida Extension -- This document explores and explains Community Supported Agriculture. The document includes steps to develop a CSA including legal concerns, distribution systems, developing a brochure and a list of resources.
  • Growing a Community Food System, Washington State University Extension – A community food system is one in which sustainable food production, processing, distribution and consumption are integrated to enhance the environmental, economic, social and nutritional health of a certain place.
  • Community Supported Agriculture, University of Massachusetts Extension -- CSA is a partnership of mutual commitment between a farm and a community of supporters that provides a direct link between the production and consumption of food.
  • Community Supported Agriculture, University of California Extension -- CSA practitioners hail the concept as a way to revitalize the deteriorating family farm, to promote organic agriculture and to help consumers create their own food systems in the increasingly impersonal and detached world of agribusiness and supermarkets.
  • What is Community Supported Agriculture and How Does It Work?, University of Mass Extension -- Increased local food production would add considerable food dollars to the economy of many states.
  • Community Supported Agriculture, Sustainable Agriculture Network -- Community Supported Agriculture has revolutionized thinking about how farmers and consumers can participate in a local food system based on mutual trust.

CSA Resources

Links checked July 2014.