Date of Award

1-1-2013

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Geography

First Advisor

Andrew R. Goetz

Keywords

direct to consumer sales, land conservation, local food, urban agriculture, urban encroachment, urban fringe

Abstract

Today, the Front Range Urban Corridor of Colorado is one example from the urban/agricultural battlefield. The history of food production and urbanization in this area is similar to many regions throughout the western United States. Originally an extraction based economy, Colorado later became agriculturally/pastorally based, and more recently became a service-based, urban economy. On the Front Range Urban Corridor specifically, the urban core of Denver and Boulder developed with rich agricultural lands toward the northeast to Weld County along the northern border of the state. Though a semi-arid region, this agricultural zone produces a volume and variety of food-based crops due to a vast irrigation network on the rich piedmont soils of the Platte River valley (Whitney 1983, Acevedo and Taylor 2006). Urban development, however, is overtaking agricultural areas as cities grow towards each other and spread out along transportation networks (Acevedo and Taylor 2006). Unfortunately, the same rich, flat, irrigated soil used to grow food is also favored by land developers and home owners. As development and food production are starting to challenge the finite limits of the land, there are choices to make regarding land, development, and local food production. By combining data from the U.S. Agricultural Census with results of an author-driven survey of local producers in Colorado, this project will consider these choices and illuminate the complex web of their interdependence. The principal results display that

Colorado faces increasing competition for food production and urban development space potentially pressuring local food prices upward and forcing producers to peripheral land or out of food production.

Provenance

Recieved from ProQuest

Rights holder

Amanda Jessie Weaver

File size

202 p.

File format

application/pdf

Language

en

Discipline

Geography, Agriculture economics, Land use planning

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