• The USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) Food Systems Research at UVM is the first USDA research station designed to study local and regional food systems and the farms and processors that contribute to sustainable, healthy environments and people.

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ARS Food Systems Research at UVM

ARS Food Systems Research investigators conduct local and regional food systems research, with an integrated approach that uses data to assess economic, environmental and social sustainability outcomes. The research focuses on small and medium farms and processing systems and their relationship to consumer food choices, nutrition, and health outcomes. The researchers are developing new knowledge that expands our understanding of the suite of benefits that small and medium farms and processing systems contribute to farm families, local communities, and people that consume their products. A key goal of this work is to improve the ability to measure and document sustainability outcomes from local and regional food systems that may not be fully recognized or valued by markets and policies.

Senator Patrick Leahy talking at a press conference.


"The University of Vermont is known nationally and internationally for its expertise in nutrition and sustainable agriculture, and I’m proud that the USDA ARS researchers will now have a station on campus to draw upon and expand that knowledge base. Vermont has been at the forefront of diversified, sustainable, local food systems, and this research station will allow other regions to benefit from what we have learned and are building here in Vermont.”

- Senator Patrick Leahy



Contact US

Leslie V. Parise
Principal Investigator, ARS Food Systems Research at UVM
Dean, UVM College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
Professor, Microbiology and Molecular Genetics

Meredith Niles
Associate Director, ARS Food Systems Research at UVM
Assistant Proessor, UVM Dept. of Nutrition and Food Sciences


UVM Campus view of Old Mill and other buildings.

We are Hiring!

Six post-doctoral positions are available at the University of Vermont (UVM) through a cluster-hire with a focus on sustainable dairy food systems.

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A basket full of fruits and vegetables.

Impacts of COVID-19

Research related to farm and food sector impacts of COVID-19 including social and economic factors, and the resilience in Vermont’s food systems.

COVID-19 Grants

A red barn with horses along a dirt road.

Data Integration and Metrics

Research on the frameworks to measure the sustainability of local and regional food systems, and to investigate factors that promote healthy agricultural systems.

Data and Metrics Research