Architecture and Planning ETDs

Publication Date



Food systems development, while historically not the purview of professional planners, would benefit greatly from their interdisciplinary expertise. Small agricultural businesses are important economic and social drivers in the Middle Rio Grande. Increased demand for locally grown foods by Middle Rio Grande residents and food businesses, like restaurants and grocery stores, mean that more than ever, farm businesses have opportunities for success and for making meaningful contributions to their communities. In addition, many of the necessary resources exist right here in this area that can enable local growers’ success, including agricultural land, irrigation infrastructure, easy access to markets, and a growing young work force interested in agricultural careers. This research explores how small-scale farmers in the Middle Rio Grande articulate success for their businesses. Facilitating growth in this sector has broader implications for the health and well being of communities in the area. Prioritizing development of these businesses keeps small land parcels in agricultural use, maintains historic cultural practices in agrarian communities, provides access to affordable healthy food, and increases consciousness about water use.



Document Type


Degree Name

Community and Regional Planning

Level of Degree


Department Name

School of Architecture and Planning

First Committee Member (Chair)

Isaac, Claudia

Second Committee Member

Harris, Catherine


sustainability, agriculture, planning, food security, food systems, community

Included in

Architecture Commons